Peter Thiel, the guy forever known as the first outside investor in Facebook, joined Twitter in 2009 and has amassed 48,000 followers.
But until today he never sent a tweet.
That changed shortly before he went on stage for the TechCrunch Disrupt conference on Monday, notes Gigaom’s Carmel DeAmicis when he finally tweeted:
It’s the kind of clever tweet you would expect from Thiel, who is known for being brilliant, outspoken, political.
“From zero to one” could be a reference to his first tweet itself even as it’s an obvious plug for his new book, of the same name, which publishes Sept. 16. Plus its a play on words for binary code, the language of computer processors, which spawned Silicon Valley itself.
As far as first tweets go, that’s not bad, though maybe not as good as the CIA’s famous first tweet from June. (“We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet”).
It’s much better than Oracle CEO Larry Ellison’s first and only tweet from June 6, 2012, which he used to slam his arch rival SAP.
Thiel is not the only Silicon Valley icon that’s ignored Twitter until this year.
VC Marc Andreessen had only sent two tweets from the time he fired up his Twitter account in 2007 until Jan. 1, 2014, at 12:01 a.m. Pacific time (some kind of a New Year’s Resolution?), when he sent this tweet:
“Hello? Hello? Is this thing on?”
Andreessen then went nuts on Twitter and hasn’t stopped. He’s one of the best, funniest and most prolific tweeters. In the first half of 2014 alone, he sent 21,783 tweets, an average of five tweets an hour, Quartz’s Dan Frommer calculated, and more tweets than any of Twitter’s founders.
But even though Thiel made a fortune off of social media, he hasn’t been too comfortable with it. In 2012, he explained:
I don’t actually tweet or do any of these short messages. I’m still probably very old-school in that I’m always being incredibly nervous about anything I say or write,” Thiel said during a panel discussion on social media and politics hosted Thursday by The New Republic magazine. “Perhaps I’ve become even more nervous about these things in the last decade because there’s a sense that everything you say will be with you for all of eternity.
Thiel has reason to feel that way. He helped launch Palantir, a company that helps crime fighting organisations, financial institutionsm and spies (the CIA, NSAP) locate and sift through mountains of data like tweets.
So far, looks like Thiel will be more of a Larry Ellison than a Marc Andreessen. He hasn’t sent out another tweet yet. But with so many followers already, we’ll see if he warms up to it.