Peter Thiel Discusses Bubbles, Regulations, and Successful Investing

April 16, 2012

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On bubble: Thiel sees pockets of froth in the tech industry, but notes that the California and US economies are not booming on the back of technology. This shows the amount of froth is nowhere near the tech bubble. ~ perhaps this just means we are in the early stages of the bubble.

  • New tech companies must be a global leader – there is no room for second or third anymore.
  • Cites bubble in higher education; advises students to skip as many as possible.

Progress: Advancements in technology and pharmaceuticals has lacked; we’ve seen advancements in bits, but not in stuff.

  • We’ve been "regulated to death." ~ it takes something like $900 million and 10 years to get a drug passed, and even then you’re exposed to tremendous litigation risk. Would you risk your life’s work on this bet?

Investing: Once you start thinking of investments as a lottery ticket, you’ve set yourself up to lose. It’s an intellectual laziness.

  • Slightly more than half of the 140 he’s invested in have appreciated ~ just proves out that it’s about finding investments with asymmetric risk:returns
  • Clean energy is a disaster since it’s more expensive than existing technology – like BIll Gates, Thiel favors nuclear.
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