Palantir cofounder Peter Thiel: 'Look outside the world of bits' - Technical.ly DC

Business

Nov. 10, 2014 8:58 am

Palantir cofounder Peter Thiel: ‘Look outside the world of bits’

In this month's Technical.ly Podcast, the cofounder of PayPal and Palantir Technologies reminds entrepreneurs about the "world of atoms."

Peter Thiel.

(Photo by Flickr user Steve Jurvetson, used under a Creative Commons license)

Innovation shouldn’t be relegated to the world of bits. Some advice, coming from all-star internet entrepreneur Peter Thiel, a guest on this month’s Technical.ly Podcast.

Thiel, the cofounder of PayPal and McLean-based Palantir Technologies, was on a tour to promote his book, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future.

"The next Mark Zuckerberg won’t build a social network, the next Bill Gates won’t build an operating system."
Peter Thiel

His advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is more about ideas than numbers.

How do you build a great business? “It always comes from doing big, new things that really move the dial on some level,” Thiel told Technical.ly Editor-in-Chief Zack Seward.

“The next Mark Zuckerberg won’t build a social network, the next Bill Gates won’t build an operating system,” Thiel added. “If you’re copying these people you’re not really learning from them.”

In fact, he suggests that entrepreneurs might sometimes want to stick their nose out of the computer screen. Sure, he said, “The trend for the last 40 years has been that the world of bits is where the future has been happening.”

But he stressed that other fields like energy, clean tech, biotech and transportation were also ripe for innovation. “I think it also would be good to look outside the world of bits back to the world of atoms,” he said.

A final piece of advice, for tech hubs growing across the country in cities like D.C.: quit trying to become “the Silicon Valley of the East” and be yourself.

“You don’t want to be the Harvard of North Dakota,” he said. “It’ll always sort of compare less favorably.”

Things will fall in place eventually — particularly where the local tech industry can be pulled up by a few giants. “Having a few companies really emerge,” he said, is “the way these ecosystems really get started.”

Advertisement

  • Listen below, download the episode or subscribe to the Technical.ly Podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.
You must appreciate accurate, relevant and productive community journalism.  Support this sort of work from professional reporters with seasoned editors.  Become a Technical.ly member for $12 per month -30-
JOIN THE COMMUNITY, BECOME A MEMBER
Already a member? Sign in here

Advertisement

KnoNap took home the top prize at HERImpact DC’s first Social Enterprise Pitch Competition

Rockville-based edfintech startup Equiday acquired by Allovue

10 quick updates on ‘the best of the best’ of DC startups from SXSW

SPONSORED

DC

Learn to lead digital transformation at Phorum 2019

Washington DC

The Washington Post

Back End Developer/ Engineer – Arc Engineering

Apply Now
Washington, DC

The Washington Post

Sr. Full Stack Developer

Apply Now
Washington, D.C.

The Washington Post

Audio Engineer

Apply Now

remodelmate announces nationwide project financing partnership with SoFi

FELA to LifeCents: A lot more than a name change

HERImpact DC is hosting its Social Enterprise Pitch Competition on March 16

SPONSORED

DC

LawIQ seeks to engineer answers for the energy industry

Washington, D.C.

The Washington Post

Senior Software Engineer (iOS)

Apply Now
Washington, DC

Nava

Infrastructure Engineer (DC, SF, NYC)

Apply Now
Fulton, Maryland

Circonus, Inc.

UI/UX Engineer (Remote)

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Technical.ly Dc

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!