PayPal founder, Peter Thiel is someone every entrepreneur should look up to as he has carved a niche for himself in the competitive professional world. He has some secrets and business tips up his sleeve which every entrepreneur can follow to make his journey successful.
Thiel was born in Germany and his family shifted to Ohio within one year of this birth. Born to a humble middle class family, he was obsessed with Lego and considered a globe he received for his birthday to be the most memorable gift.
He was a brilliant student which is why he managed to get admission into Stanford University where he ran a student newspaper. He graduated in 1989 with a degree in Philosophy and followed it up with a J.D, from Stanford Law School in 1992.
The entrepreneurial bug
After working as a clerk and an investment banker in different States, he felt like he was looking for something bigger. On his return to California, he raised $1 million and partnered with three people Max Levchin, Luke Nosek and Ken Howery to start Paypal which would be competition to the successful X.com founded by Elon Musk.
PayPal was the biggest online transfer company which soon gained popularity and attracted investors.
“Ideally, I want us to be working on things where if we’re not working on them, they won’t happen; companies where if we don’t fund them they will not receive funding.” -Thiel
In 2002, the company’s net worth was $800 million and was acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion where Thiel had a share of $55 million. He still sits on the board of Directors for the company.
In 2004, he also invested in Facebook which made him the first ever outsider to do so.
Help for budding entrepreneurs
As a very respected man in the Silicon Valley, Thiel looks to helps college dropouts with their ventures by offering financial help and able guidance. The Thiel scholarship has helped a lot of budding entrepreneurs like Ritesh Agarwal (OYO rooms founder) with their enterprises.
Here are a few lessons to learn from Peter Thiel:
• All happy companies are different, and all unhappy companies are alike in that they fail to escape the sameness that is competition.
• We’ve been taught that truth is conventional, but it’s simply something that people agree on.
• Doing what we already know how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But every time we create something new, we go from 0 to 1.
• Creating value is not enough – you also need to capture some of the value you create. This means that even very big businesses can be bad businesses.
• The lesson for entrepreneurs is clear: if you want to create and capture lasting value, don’t build an undifferentiated commodity business.