The end of the future – Peter Thiel
I write this blog post based on something I’ve read a few days ago on Blendle (Dutch website where you can read news articles for 10 to 50 cents). This article was a profile of Peter Thiel (1967), founder of PayPal who claims the end of the future.
PayPal was founded in 1998 and acquired by eBay in 2002. Peter Thiel personally received around 50 million dollars due to the sale and decided to invest in all kinds of start ups. Peter is a real cocky man. He believes the government is holding us back and that we are therefore in a technological stagnation. Until the seventies we were innovating in a rapid speed and were able to land a man on the moon. Science fiction books predicted we could all live on several planets and have eternal life. Thiel’s investment fund’s motto: “We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters” to symbolize the innovations we are dealing with today. He claims that innovations within computer science and technology disguises the stagnation on other fields like energy, food, transport and healthcare. We stopped trying to answer the biggest questions in life.
I think his thoughts are kind of pessimistic and don’t agree on the technological stagnation, but do acknowledge there has been a shift from societal innovations to personal innovations. If you look at the biggest companies from the past 10 years (Google, Apple and others) you can see that all of these companies made our life a bit easier, but none really solved the questions for our future as a society.
Going back to the article about Peter Thiel where he explains his tactics involving investments, he doesn’t invest in information technology, but only hard tech start ups. So no new websites or social media.
What do you think? You can read the article provided in the link below (Dutch only). Do you think Peter has a point and we are currently not moving forward? Do you think investments in Facebook, Twitter or other social media start ups are a waste and it should rather be invested in health care issues?