Fantastic Friday: Peter Thiel

Extraordinary, that is an apt description of Peter Thiel, billionaire co-founder of PayPal.  Peter Andreas Thiel is an American entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and hedge fund manager. Thiel cofounded PayPal with Max Levchin and Elon Musk and served as its CEO. He also co-founded Palantir, of which he is chairman.

Peter Thiel                                                                 Peter Theil

Theil wants young minds to use their extraordinary talent and skills rather than become a robot learner in college.  He says, A college diploma is a dunce hat in disguise.”

To back up his frustration with the closed-minded thrust of American college institutions, Theil created and funded a fellowship which pays 20 young adults, $100,000 each to pursue their interests instead of going to college.

CNN documentary, “Ivory Tower: Is College Worth the Cost” too makes the case that the post graduate debt a students faces while getting  a typical college education, especially for students who do not attend prestigious Ivy League institutions, outweigh the benefits of finding a well paying job with benefits.

Theil and others are advocating experience and experimentation as a best learning practices a young adult can use.  They tout that the student load debt load, reaching north of a billion dollars in the United States, stymies the mind.

As a counterpoint, Business Week asserts, “Higher education can expand our thinking and challenge our assumptions. It doesn’t have to teach us to put on cognitive blinders.”

Theil, a Stanford law school graduate, believes in education. But, he is willing to pay students to out think the dinosaurs of a clamped down system of learning.  Extraordinary!


Who would you like for me to profile in Fantastic Friday?  Send me photos and a brief on extraordinary people that you admire. Thanks.