Peter Thiel Facts


Peter Thiel Facts – # 50 Fun Facts

Peter Thiel Facts - Biography

Peter Thiel Facts – Biography

Peter Thiel – Early Life

1. Birth

Peter Thiel is born in West Germany and grows up in America; he has a good background in education.

He finishes a B.A degree in Psychology and acquires a J.D from Stanford Law later on.

However, for Thiel, true love lies in an entrepreneurial venture.

Therefore, he forms the Thiel Fellowship Program that vows to fund 20 individuals under 20 who will leave the university and will start up their own innovative businesses.

2. Early Jobs

Peter Thiel starts his career by putting his education to work.

At first, he works as a clerk at the United States Court of Appeal for Judge J.L. Edmondson.

From 1993 to 1996, he joins the financial sector and works for Credit Suisse Group in the trading of derivatives.

3. The Thiel Capital Management Fund

In 1996, Thiel sets out to become an entrepreneur when he establishes the Thiel Capital Management Fund.

In merely 4 years of its existence, PayPal gave its first IPO that makes him a millionaire overnight.

Later when eBay shows interest in buying it, Thiel’s brainchild fetches a price worth $1.5billion.

PayPal & Peter Thiel

4. Co-founds PayPal

In 1998, he co-founds PayPal with Max Levchin.

Thiel’s eye for a smart business investment never fails him.

Within 4 years of its existence, a mere 3.7% stake in PayPal summed to approximately $55 million, now imagine what the rest of it is worth.

5. Talks about PayPal

Not only does Thiel financially support PayPal’s, he also has a mission for this business.

His far sightedness is reflected in his inspirational speech in which he defines PayPal as revolutionizing and liberating people all around the world from paper money, which is unreliable and unsafe.

6. Passionate about PayPal

During a speech in 1999, Thiel’s passion behind PayPal was apparent and so was the zeal with which he wants the infant company to soar at great heights.

He puts his experience in the finance sector to good use by combating the weaknesses of an economy with e-money.

An excerpt from his speech notes: “They use inflation and sometimes wholesale currency devaluations to take wealth away from their citizens.

Most of the ordinary people there never have an opportunity to open an offshore account or to get their hands on more than a few bills of a stable currency like U.S. dollars.

Eventually PayPal will be able to change this.”

7. Members of PayPal Mafia

The current members of the PayPal Mafia, all of whom help and are part of the online payment company at some point in its life, are also from Stanford University, and enjoy Thiel’s company immensely.

Some of the popular names include Keith Rabois, David O. Sacks, and Reid Hoffman.

8. PayPal- A Step towards the Perfect World

For Thiel and for the rest of the world, PayPal serves a monumental purpose.

In Erik Johnson’s book PayPal Wars, he describes Thiel’s idea of a perfect world that is free of worries of inflation.

For him, PayPal was a step towards such a world.

He describes it in his own words; “Everyone in the world needs money – to get paid, to trade, to live.

Paper money is an ancient technology and an inconvenient means of payment.

You can run out of it.

It wears out.

It can get lost or stolen.”

9. PayPal Group

According to Fortune Magazine, the PayPal group, which later breaks up to spearhead ventures such as LinkedIn, Yelp, Yammer and Xero, has been invaluable to the present and future of the IT industry worldwide.

With startup ventures of the likes of the ones mentioned, this group alone is responsible for a total of $30 billion in venture funds, headed by the notorious Peter Thiel of course!

More Ventures by Peter Thiel

10. Clarium

His success and excitement from the launch and sale of PayPal is enough to fuel its predecessor.

Thiel launches Clarium Capital, a global hedge fund with $700 million in assets under management.

In 2005, Clarium is titled as the ‘Global Macro Hedge Fund’ by two trade magazines namely MarHedge and Absolute Return.

11. Founders Fund

Being an angel investor in a number of start-up concerns like those mentioned above, Thiel founds an angel investment company called the Founders Fund in 2005.

This Fund has its aim in helping young entrepreneurs start up their dream businesses without worrying about finances, which is the number one reason most businesses wrap up in their initial years despite the brilliance of their selling proposition.

12. Financial Securities

The depth of financial services that Peter Thiel deals in is arguably unmatched.

His experience with financial securities and the art of speculation drives his purpose behind many companies that spring up under his name.

Mithril, launched in June 2012, is a last-stage investment fund for companies that feel the need for finances just when they are going public.

For Thiel, every phase of a successful business needs different amounts and kinds of finances.

13. Doesn’t Invest in Safe Projects

An interesting discovery about Thiel’s sense of business is that one never sees him invest in ‘boring’ or ‘safe’ projects.

The Thiel Foundation donates millions of dollars to fund the research for anti-aging medication and the biological reversal of the effects of age.

For Thiel, this research means longevity of a healthy life for our loved ones.

14. Facebook Failure

At the end of 2004, when Facebook fails to reach 1.5 million users- the target that Thiel has set for his convertible notes to turn to equity, Thiel still allows for the loan to be converted.

In his words, “It is a reasonable valuation and a pretty safe investment.”

Other Work by Peter Thiel

15. Thank You for Smoking

Having a few tricks up his sleeve, Peter Thiel is not all about numbers.

In 2005, he co-produces a film called Thank You for Smoking, which revolves on Christopher Buckey’s book.

Apart from this, Thiel’s presence at Stanford as a lecturer is not a surprise.

With the immense success in his wake, his advice and contribution to the classroom is invaluable.

16. Stanford Review

Ever heard of the Stanford Review? The credit for this famous libertarian newspaper goes to Thiel as well.

He fosters staunch believe in equality and liberty while he was a mere student and the Stanford Review is his way of educating the world about his school of thought.

17. Breakout Labs

As if he has not done enough to create an impressive portfolio, Peter Thiel founds Breakout Labs in 2011.

The purpose of these labs is to be high end in scientific research and development.

For a long time Thiel wants to provide a solution to radical and innovative laboratory testing that was too risky to be funded by traditional venture funds, hence he created Breakout Labs.

18. Diversity of Myth

Another one of Peter Thiel’s efforts toward ‘political correctness’ can be seen in the form of a book called, ‘The Diversity Myth: ‘Multiculturalism’ and the Politics of Intolerance at Stanford, that he co-authored with David O. Slacks.

19. Freelancer

Apart from this book, Thiel is an avid freelancer.

He has contributed articles on various subjects to publications such as Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Policy Review and First Things.

Peter Thiel: Professional Achievements

20. Thiel’s Way of Management and Investment

Even though every investor has his own way of doing business and making money, you do not often find an investor whose way of investing is quoted in famous books.

In the book, Inside the House of Money by Steve Dhrobny, the Thiel way of management and investment has become an intense subject of discussion.

21. Several Feathers in His Cap

Peter Thiel has numerous feathers in his cap including the glorious one he acquires by being the first outside investor of the famous social network, Facebook.

His experience and intellect makes him foresee the immense success that Facebook will experience in the coming years.

With $500,000 in investment, Thiel took ownership of Facebook with a 10.2% share, which he sells later for over a million dollars.

22. Businesses Owe Their Success to Thiel

Apart from Facebook, many other online businesses owe their success today to Thiel’s investments in them as infant units.

These include LinkedIn, Booktrack, Slide, Friendster, Rapleaf,, Yammer, Yelp Inc., Powerset and Practice Fusion.

He spends around $30million on these startup concerns.

Peter Thiel: Social Responsibility

23. Philanthropy

Thiel’s philanthropic efforts concentrate in areas of human affairs, technology and government.

He forms the Thiel Foundation that organizes conferences such as the Break Through Conference and The Fast Forward Conference, to discuss areas of development in which Thiel invests money and makes them grow.

24. Strong Believer of Human Rights and Liberty

Thiel strongly believes in liberty and human rights. Being openly gay, he supports the American Foundation for Equal Rights and GO Proud to raise his voice against the injustice towards various factions of society.

25. Ocean Communities

One of most important projects in Thiel’s view is the Seasteading Institute’s commitment to form ocean communities.

Hoping for a world with equality and justice as paramount values, Thiel believes ocean communities are the next solution to world peace.

However, as an extensive project full of risks, the Thiel Foundation is a regular donor, having forwarded $1.25 million to fund further research in 2011.

26. Supports Different Charitable Organizations

Apart from promoting equal rights for the gay community, Thiel also supports the Human Rights Foundation and the Oslo Freedom Forum, both of which work to eradicate repression and injustice around the world.

27. Bilderberg Group

Influential and with a mind of his own, Peter Thiel is an avid contributor for posing solutions to world problems, be it economic or social.

Having a very mature and polished mindset, his membership of the Bilderberg Group is of immense importance to the world so that it can benefit from the valuable notions and philosophies of this incredible man.

28. Politics

Thiel’s interest in politics makes him an all-rounder! In 2010, he supports Meg Whitman’s governorship campaign by contributing a full $25,900 in support of it.

Again, in 2012, Thiel supports Ron Paul by providing $3.9 million in funds to ‘Endorse Liberty’- a group that believes in liberation and democracy.

Peter Thiel Philosophy

29. Encouragement of Startup Businesses

Thiel’s contribution to and encouragement of startup businesses can never be overstressed.

Recognizing the needs of finance at various stages of a new business is a deed in itself, let alone founding venture capital companies to aid entrepreneurs.

Be it an infant business or one that is about to go public, you can count on Peter Thiel to be there for valuable advice and funds that are the lifeblood of an organization.

30. Invests in Businesses with Innovative Ideas

The Thiel Foundation, with its philanthropic projects lined up all year round, is an avid investor in ventures that have breakthrough business ideas.

Most of Thiel’s conferences revolve around not-for-profit organizations cradling a new business plan that lack funds and capital.

Therefore, the Thiel Foundation is an evergreen source to a better world- a philosophy that is reflected in its owner’s personality.

31. Funds the Machine Intelligence Institution

The Machine Intelligence Institution is a regular receiver of funds from the Thiel Foundation.

According to Thiel, belief in super technology and access to artificial intelligence is the need of the time.

Therefore, his vision for a better world includes a huge chunk of research for super intelligence and ‘singularity’.

The Institute receives $100,000 in 2006 and $400,000 in 2007.

32. Freedom of Speech

Freedom of Speech is another one of Thiel’s ‘perfect world’ attributes.

So much so, that he makes Thiel Foundation an open proponent of the Committee to protect Journalists.

This Group is especially put together to help reporters broadcast world news without the fear of being harmed.

33. Thinks Beyond the Profit Motive

Peter Thiel’s investments go beyond profit motive.

In July 2012, his $1 million donation to the Club for Growth group is the largest by far that the group has received from any donor.

The reason behind it is Thiel’s complete involvement and belief in ‘political growth and action.’

34. Global IT Industry

Being closely involved with the Global IT industry, Thiel takes it as his responsibility to forward the notion of a fast-paced world.

In his editorial published in the National Review 2011, he says that the world is entering a ‘tech slowdown’, which can only be prevented, via breakthrough projects and giving importance to entrepreneurs.

Accolades: Peter Thiel

35. Ranks 293rd on Forbes 400

After amassing millions from his interest in financial securities and hedge funds, Thiel ranks #293 on the Forbes 400 with a net worth of $1.5billion as of March 2012.

Living in California, he is famously known as the Silicon Valley Investor.

36. TechCrunch Crunchie Award

Because of his services as a venture capitalist and an angel investor for small businesses, Thiel receives the TechCrunch Crunchie Award for being the Venture Capitalist of the Year in February 2013.

37. Awards

The kind of contribution that Peter Thiel makes to the world necessitates a number of awards and honors for him.

In 2006, he wins the Herman Lay Award for Entrepreneurship and in 2007, the World Economic Forum cites him as a Young Global Leader in the list of 250 privileged leaders less than 40 years of age.

38. Degree from Universidad Francisco Marroquin

Universidad Francisco Marroquin awards Thiel an honorary degree for his continued efforts as a Libertarian.

He is also given the Alumnus of the Year Award by the Students of Liberty Group.

Peter Thiel Personality

39. Aspects Thiel Looks for When People Come to Him for Funding

For Thiel, investing in a startup business is a passion.

However, the founder of such a business has to appease Thiel with the instincts of a true leader.

In his own words, Thiel describes what aspects he looks for when people come to him for funding; “They shouldn’t say that there are a whole bunch of different things they could do with their product, all of which would be good.

Normally you want just one thing that’s going to be fantastic.

And so when you say, ‘we could do A, or B or C or D or E, and we could make money doing A or B or C or D or E,’ that’s often that you don’t really have a plan, which isn’t going to work.”

40. Venture Capitalist

Having an uncanny ability to deal his money and his hand efficiently, Thiel is known to be a venture capitalist for the most eccentric projects.

Thiel helps in making youngsters quit college and start their own businesses and recently the Thiel Foundation invests big bucks, approximately $350,000 for 3D printed meat.

41. Don of the PayPal Mafia

It is safe to say that for Thiel, PayPal is one of his biggest and most highly regarded projects.

Even today, when Thiel sells PayPal, he is known as the Don of the PayPal Mafia, a name that fits the personality of this fearless investor well.

42. Smartest Entrepreneur

Businessman and Investor, Peter Thiel is one of those revolutionary men who like to find their own way in the world.

With a net income of $204,000,000 each year, Thiel is undoubtedly the smartest entrepreneur you will ever come across.

43. Pro at Chess

He is a pro at chess and the United States Chess Federation rates Thiel as a ‘master’ in chess.

At the young age of 21, he is able to create different strategies and win the game like none of his competitors.

44. Believes in Liberty

Thiel is a staunch believer in the concept of liberty.

In all his philanthropic projects, his believes stand out clearly, because all technological investments that he makes fight for a better and liberated future for humans.

Previously he makes investments for a Libertarian Island Nation, a concept where communities will be free of politics.

45. Meets Rene Girard

Very close to being a nerd, yet extremely ‘cool’ in his own way, Thiel has immense interest in digging up the roots of widespread theories.

While still at Stanford, he meets Rene Girard, a French historian and philosopher whose Mimetic Theory attracts Thiel because it matches his notion of equality and the importance of bonding in relationships.

46. Can Predict Details of Real Estate

With so many risky projects lined up and a thorough analysis of the market he worked in, Thiel is one of those few intellectual personalities who can predict the precise details of the real estate bubble that forms due to the recession.

His own decision to back out of a deal for buying Martha Steward’s Manhattan duplex for $7 million is fueled by his timely speculation.

Inspirational: Peter Thiel

47. Losses Do Not Scare Thiel

Even though, Clarium Capital faces large amounts of losses in 2009 and its assets decrease from $7 billion to $350 million by 2011, Thiel’s enthusiasm is un-phased.

Knowing that market ups and downs were part of the game, he continues his dream of becoming a venture capitalist with renewed vigor after the recession.

48. Lesson to Future Entrepreneurs

As mentioned before, the ‘Thiel way of management’ is quoted in numerous places and has become a famous style of running a business.

One of his most famous observations and lessons to future entrepreneurs is the relationship between the success of a startup business and low CEO pay.

According to him, putting the venture over and above oneself is not only required, it is highly imperative.

49. His Most Important Advice

The most important advice from a successful tycoon? For Thiel: “It’s always better to have a plan.

It’s one of the things I learned in chess: A bad plan is better than no plan.”

50. Committed to Bring a Change in the World

Thiel’s commitment to bring a change in the world also reflects in the way he runs his businesses.

In his own words, “All of us have to work toward a definite future… that can motivate and inspire people to change the world.

Luck is something for us to overcome as we go along the way, but not something that becomes this absolute dominating force that stops all thought.”

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