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Peter Thiel

Peter Thiel Quotes

Quotes by and about Peter Thiel

(Continued from his main entry on the site.)

[Interviewer: "Do people think you're nuts because of the things you do?"]
Thiel: "It doesn't matter to me whether people think it's crazy or not. What matters is whether we're doing something to make the world a better place."
[Interviewer: "And you really think that you are?"]
Thiel: "If you could convince me that it wasn't then I'd stop."

Thiel: "Show me a good loser, and I'll show you a loser."

Thiel: "Every myth on this planet tells us the purpose of life is death, and I don't think that's true. I think the purpose of life is life."

[On his initiative to get talented kids to drop out of University to pursue their own ends:]
Thiel: "Everyone thinks kids in inner-city Detroit should do something else - I'm saying maybe people at Harvard need to be doing something else."

Thiel: "If Harvard were really the best education, why not franchise it so more people can attend? Why not create 100 Harvard affiliates?"

Thiel: "If you never say anything that may be wrong, you'll never say anything interesting."

Thiel: "[My] basic rule on philanthropy is that I want to donate money to causes ... where the benefits are very diffuse and the costs are concentrated. ... So I focused my philanthropy on things with a 20-, 30-, 40-year horizon. The horizons are too long for a for-profit company to take advantage of, and the government and universities are not pushing things because maybe it's too unconventional or it doesn't easily fit into a particular political agenda or vision of the future."

Thiel: "[For me] 'The Lord of the Rings' expressed the ideas that absolute power corrupts absolutely, that the ideal world is one in which people enjoy more freedom, and that that's a world where you'll have the greatest amount of human prosperity and happiness and ultimately achievement."

Thiel: "I no longer believe that politics encompasses all possible futures of our world."

Thiel: "There is a ... large rust belt [in the computer industry] which nobody likes to talk about. We have a number of companies like Cisco, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, and IBM [which will soon] become commodities, and no longer innovate. ... Microsoft is probably close to the computer rust belt ... [and] in the computer rust belt [is also] Apple."

Max Levchin: "Peter is very fast. He usually decides in 1.5 seconds."