Primer: Peter Thiel

Peter Thiel, entrepreneur, deep-thinker, and Silicon Valley wild-child, will be speaking this evening in a primetime slot of the final night of the Republican National Convention. The billionaire co-founder of PayPal has been an avid supporter of Donald Trump and intends on providing his full endorsement of the GOP nominee on national television tonight. Between his unique personality, supreme intellect, and straight contrarian-ness (he’s a gay, Silicon Valley, conservative),  Thiel has built a pseduo cult-following while building an interesting reputation over the years.

As we mentioned earlier this week, PT’s speech tonight is appointment-television. In light of that, we thought it’d be ideal for y’all to catch the fuck up on what the American mogul’s deal really is. All information we’re about to breakdown are from an awesome article from BloombergBloomberg that you should totes read in full here. We’ve cherry-picked some gems from the write-up that everyone should know.


He was born in Germany in 1967 and moved to the U.S. at age 1. He was a chess prodigy—ranking seventh in the U.S. Chess Federation’s under-13 age group—with a thing for J.R.R. Tolkien and Ayn Rand.

Looks like homie has had a serious noggin on his shoulders since a young age. Impressive, Peter, most impressive.


When Peter Thiel has the first move in a chess game, he lifts his e2 pawn, the fifth from the left and the one directly in front of his king, and advances it two spaces. It’s an aggressive tactic, putting the bishop and queen into play, which is why Thiel likes it.

The king’s pawn, as it’s known, was the preferred opening by the American chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer. And even though Thiel considers the move more perilous than another popular opening, the queen’s pawn, he’s made it his go-to. “It’s the attacking move,” he explained last year.


This speaks volumes to the Type-A, alpha-dog way of life that Thiel has led.


At 48, he’s co-founded PayPal, was Facebook’s first outside investor, and is worth almost $3 billion. He still sits on Facebook’s board, and through his firm, Founders Fund, made early bets on Spotify, Airbnb, SpaceX, Lyft, Palantir Technologies, and a half-dozen other private companies worth more than $1 billion each.


So not only did Thiel invent one of the most game-changing companies of the last 25 years, but PT also has an fucking eagle-eye for spotting other revolutionary companies to invest in.


Thiel will be the first speaker to publicly acknowledge his or her homosexuality at a Republican convention.


This is a big fucking deal, folks.


“He’s always thinking, ‘How can I use this to move my agenda forward?’ ” Another acquaintance, a founder of a startup in which Thiel is an investor, says with a mix of fear and admiration, “He’s diabolical.” – Investor who is familiar with Thiel


Thiel is anti-college. He runs a fellowship that gives promising students $100,000 to drop out. “Education,” he said in a 2011 interview with the National Review, “is a bubble in a classic sense.”


I mean… he has a point. And that is in fact quite a bad-ass fellowship to run. Lots of “STICK-IT-TO-THE-MAN-NEOSIS” with that program.




In reference to Peter Thiel’s enthusiastic endorsement of Donald Trump:

It is, these friends and colleagues say, a perfectly sensible chess move—the political equivalent of the king’s pawn.


Poetic, and nicely done, Bloomberg.

Among other generally agreed-upon concepts about which Thiel has expressed doubts: antitrust policies (he’s pro-monopoly), women’s suffrage (in a 2009 essay for the libertarian journal Cato Unbound, he noted that women have a troublesome tendency not to be libertarian), and the political system of the U.S. (in the same essay he noted, “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible”). Thiel has also funded efforts to cure death, which he considers a treatable disease, and to create an offshore colony free of governmental interference. The concept is known as “seasteading.”




In 2007, Valleywag, the tech gossip site owned by Gawker Media, noted that Thiel, who had come out to friends but not to the public, was gay. Nine years later, in May, Thiel revealed he’d been funding numerous lawsuits against Gawker, including one involving a sex tape featuring Terry Bollea, also known as Hulk Hogan, that resulted in a $140 million judgment in Bollea’s favor. Gawker filed for bankruptcy in June.


Moral of the story: Don’t fuck with PT.








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