PayPal founder, hedge fund manager and venture capitalist Peter Thiel isn’t much of a fan of Europe, according to a video interview with the Financial Times.
“I think people in Europe are generally pessimistic about the future. They have low expectations, they’re not working hard to change things. When you’re a slacker with a pessimistic view of the future, you’re likely to meet those expectations.”
Thiel did have some recommendations for the continent, at least:
“You don’t want to be a pale imitation of Silicon Valley,” he added, suggesting that London was more likely to have a competitive edge in financial innovation, rather than tech.
He went on to accuse Brussels of having a “technological angst” over companies like Google, suggesting the firm was too heavily regulated.
Thiel is the president of hedge fund Clarium Capital, and is promoting his new book, Zero To One. The subject is innovation and starting up businesses, something Thiel can claim to know something about as the founder of payments firm PayPal. He’s known for quirky opinions, and is a major donor to libertarian political movements.
Thiel also told the FT about his his contrarian view on monopolies, using Apple’s initial development of smartphones as an example:
“Monopolies are bad and deserve their reputation when things are static and the monopolies function as toll collectors… But I think they’re quite positive when they’re dynamic and do something new”