In the movie The Social Network, the character of Peter Thiel is played as a slick Master of the Universe, a tech industry king and kingmaker with the savvy to see that a $500,000 investment in Facebook could mint millions later.
On a recent December night, Thiel walked, slightly stooped, across a San Francisco stage to make a pitch to an invitation-only audience of Silicon Valley luminaries — investors and innovators who had scored sometimes huge fortunes through a mix of skill, vision and risk-taking.
The billionaire PayPal co-founder didn’t tell them about the next big startup. He wanted them to buy into a bigger idea: the future.
“Do we try to pursue ideas that are weird and have optimism about the future, or do we give up on all new things and compromise?”
By all means, pursue!!
Sitting before him in the audience, among others: Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, Yelp co-founder and CEO Jeremy Stoppelman and technology publishing guru Tim O’Reilly.
As venture capital in Silicon Valley chases the next big mobile app or group discount service, Thiel was asking for them to fund technological breakthroughs that some believe in fervently and others see as sheer fantasy.
He even has a name for it: Breakthrough philanthropy.
A venture capitalist after my own mind!!
Instead of just giving to help the less fortunate here and now, Thiel encouraged his fellow moguls to put their money toward seemingly far-fetched ventures that he believes could improve the lives of everyone for good.
The more unusual and far-fetched the better! I’m all over that!!
All share the view that “scientific knowledge and technical capacity will continue to increase at an accelerating rate,” Rubin said. “This is a core idea that practically defines what Silicon Valley is all about: ceaseless innovation.”
The more unusual, quirky and eccentric people think you are the better! Take pride in your uniqueness!