Peter Thiel is an American entrepreneur, venture capitalist and hedge fund manager. He founded Paypal with Max Levchin and Elon Musk and served as its CEO. He also co-founded Palantir, of which he is the chairman. He became the first outside investor in Facebook, when he acquired a 10.2% stake in 2004 for $500,000.
He serves as president of Clarium Capital, a global macro hedge fund with $700 Mn in assets under management; a managing partner in Founders Fund, a venture capital fund with $2 Bn in assets under management.
Here are 10 rules of success from the illustrious techpreneur:
You Are The Entrepreneur Of Your Life
An individual should believe in himself and take charge of his life. “You should never forget that you have tremendous amount of freedom to make these very basic decisions on what you can do with your life and you can start anytime you want.”
Do One Thing Uniquely Well
The most critical thing for a startup is to do one thing uniquely well, better than anybody else in this world. “If you are starting a business than first question that you must ask yourself is what do you know that nobody else knows is true, or what great business you are building that nobody knows it exists.”
Make Sure People Align Properly
Structure of the company is an important element and one must focus on aligning teams properly. Both formal and informal alignment should exist in the company. Also, there must be genuine bonding between the founders and the existing team. “There’s always a question I like to ask founders which is how did you describe the pre-history of company before you got started. A bad answer is something like this: “We met a week ago at a social networking function, and we thought of this idea to work together as we both wanted to be entrepreneurs.”
Aim For Monopoly
According to Peter Thiel, one should always aim for monopoly. An entrepreneur should always aim to build a company that is so differentiated and disruptive that it doesn’t even face any competition.
Don’t Be A Fake Entrepreneur
As said by Peter, he has met many people who end up trying to be fake entrepreneurs. “Saying that I want to be an entrepreneur is somewhat like I want to be rich and famous. But they really don’t have the mindset to become so.” To start a company means to provide solution to an existing problems, or fill up the gaps. If you are starting a company just for the sake of doing anything to give you a label of entrepreneur, then you are faking it.
Value Substance Over Status
It’s always really good if you are doing something that you are incredibly passionate about, and that the people pursue that. One might go to prestigious business schools or start working with a famous brand, but he should always ask one question – why he is doing this? If the answer is more biased towards the status or prestige and not to the inclination towards learning new things, then it’s time to think over again.
Don’t Lose Sight Of What’s Valuable
When you compete ferociously, you will get better at it. But, you will always narrow down your focus to beating the people around you and this often comes at very high price, thereby losing sight of what is important or perhaps more valuable.
Trends Are Overrated
One must not rely only on trends for his decision-making. Many startups have failed within years of starting because of this. “ I invested in Facebook because it was different from most social media platforms and trends at the time. Most social media websites had nicknames or avatars or another identity code names.”
Don’t Dwell On The Past
Failure is not something that we can very much learn from. Things are different all times. For example, if you find that your current team was the reason for your failure, then, starting again with different team, will not guarantee success. “When you fail at something, start with something new and don’t dwell on the past.”
Find The Secret path
The best entrepreneurs know this. Every great business is built around a secret that’s hidden from the outside. A great company is a conspiracy to change the world; when you share your secret, the recipient becomes a fellow conspirator.