PayPal co-founder, Facebook billionaire and general Silicon Valley demigod Peter Thiel gave an interview to CapLinked, a company he invested in. He talks about the college bubble and his history but the thing that’s most striking is the fact that he said that if he had known everything he now knows about the payments industry before starting PayPal, he would never have tried to do it, because of how many difficulties there are in the space.
Thiel co-founded PayPal, took it public and then sold it for $1.5 billion to eBay.
It’s a nice testament to the power of innovators just doing something they believe in and trying to figure it out from there. All of the experts would have predicted PayPal to be a failure, and they would have been “right” on paper.
He also talks about his decision to become the first outside investor in Facebook. The two things that stuck out for him about Facebook were: a) the fact that this was the first site where people logged in with their real identities, and so it had the potential to be an identity layer for the web, and b) the scale of Mark Zuckerberg’s vision. That’s what got him to invest.
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