Peter Thiel on Startups and the Future

Thanks to class notes by Stanford Law student Blake Masters on Peter Thiel’s CS183 Startup class at Stanford, Spring 2012, one can pick Peter Theil’s brain on envisioning the future, startups, VC funding, AI, and a lot more.

Some key points among many: One is he speaks of “last mover advantage”, that is the winner is the last one in the space to fill the space.

Last movers build non-commoditized businesses. They are relationship-driven. They create value. They last. And they make money.

In a startup, you want something of a monopoly position,  go from 0 to 1 is vastly different from the 1 to n economic activity of scale and growth. How to be innovative and stand out? Be unique, so being contrarian is useful – do what others are NOT doing:

What valuable company are other people not building?

All this is wrapped with a simple proposition about the startup:

Thiel’s law: A startup messed up at its foundation cannot be fixed.

This is the just the startup-advice tip of an iceberg of forward thinking, with notes that include guest speakers from companies discussing their takes on the future.

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