1. If you didn’t create Google, you aren’t going toToday’s Larry Page isn’t working on a search engine and Steve Job’s counterpart isn’t working on personal computer, says Thiel, who writes about huge, singular achievements and what we can learn from them, rather than how we can copy them, to become as successful as possible. Thiel doesn’t sugarcoat the process to success and he doesn’t think there’s a formula.
2. Monopolize the market for true success (Teddy Roosevelt’s shaking in his grave at this one)Thiel says it’s OK to start as a big fish in a small pond and become a monopoly in a small market. Just look at Facebook … wait, not pics of your drunk friends, but the company itself. Investors in Boston wouldn’t invest in Facebook, he said, which had a majority share of the college market, probably because they weren’t familiar with the whole college thing anymore. But it worked and became successful because it was scalable.
3. Be originalEntrepreneurs aren’t the type of people to follow the beaten path – you, your concerned family and the baristas next door to your apartment already know this. Thiel gives this notion 2 thumbs up. He believes conformity is crowded and stagnant.
OK, but let’s back up a sec. Before becoming a billionaire entrepreneur and investor, Thiel played it safe. …
… One is that he thinks the fact that many CEOs have Asperger’s tendencies, says something about our society. Because they don’t have natural social cues, they don’t think twice about pursuing crazy ideas. People who are socially adapted would be discouraged and uncomfortable to go off-roading; opting instead for a safer path.
4. Work on something no one understands or something no one else is working onHe likes to ask, “What great company is nobody starting?” Better yet, “Tell me something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.” …
Instead, he said we need to answer life’s “mysteries” – things we write off as unsolvable or figure someone else will solve for us.
So one takeaway here is to work on something new, difficult and seemingly unsolvable that can be a life-changing idea. And then Thiel might invest.
Thiel also expects you to answer the problem better (read: differently) than anyone else, that is, if you want to monopolize your market.
5. Technology + Globalization = The FutureThiel says technology accounts for vertical growth and would be on the y-axis because it is taking an idea from zero to one (This is that moment when you listen to an entire album and get to the line where you realize why that’s the album’s title. Satisfying, right?). Globalization is the process of replicating something that works, and belongs on the x-axis for growth, and growth is “n” because there’s no limit.
6. Thiel wants you to stop getting olderWell, he just wants people to research aging. His interests are in energy and biomedical research. He also doesn’t approve of all those restrictions.
“The polio vacation wouldn’t be approved today,” he said at Columbia.
7. Every good speaker ends with relationship adviceThiel likes to hire friends or people he could see as potential pals. He also suggests
working with someone you’ve known for a long time that shares your vision. When he
hears that the co-founders of a business just met a few weeks ago at a coffee shop, he commented, “Sounds like, ‘I just got married to the first person I met in Vegas.’”