15 November 2011

Peter Thiel Talks to Stanford Young Entrepreneurs on Innovation

[Jump ahead to the 10 minute mark on the video above, to skip the noise and superfluous comments.]

In the video, Thiel discusses entrepreneurship from two opposite standpoints: 1. Take the money and run, and 2. Building a company to last. He also talks about the difference between running a company yourself as an entrepreneur, or bringing in outside management to run your company for you.

Thiel brings an interesting historical perspective to tech startups of the past 20 years, bringing up many of the conundrums which founding entrepreneurs had to solve in order to succeed.

Interestingly, Thiel extends these problem-solving concepts which are wrestled with by tech entrepreneurs, onto the thinking of the US as a society in solving its current set of problems. In other words, how would an innovator and entrepreneur solve the modern problems of the US and other modern nations? (see this Business Insider article for a rather non-perceptive interpretation of Thiel's talk)

Thiel's discussion of the need for technological growth and innovation in order to create any type of livable future, should be an eye-opener for most stasists, but unfortunately it is likely to go right over their heads.

It is Thiel speaking as a successful insider which makes the talk interesting. Continued success in the modern world is either a result of being good, being consistently lucky (very unlikely), or being connected to corrupt seats of power (the Obama crony approach). Needless to say, Thiel as a libertarian has had to make it on his own, without cronyism.

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4 Comments:

Blogger horos22 said...

Reading your post I kept nodding, until I got to the following statement:

"Thiel's discussion of the need for technological growth and innovation in order to create any type of livable future, should be an eye-opener for most stasists, but unfortunately it is likely to go right over their heads."

Again, I think that you (and Thiel) are ignoring the exact amount of power that we have in status quo technologies.

Truth is, the clean energy problem *has* been solved (in the form of nuclear energy) and the fact that the west has basically turned its back on this technology may be the cause for our demise, but it might not be the cause of statist regimes' demises.

As Thiel also recognizes throughout the talk - yet you don't seem to mention here - all the statists need to do right now is to copy the west for a decent wage in the forsee-able future.

But they *don't* have to copy the west's disastrous energy policy. They just have to scale up the technology we are ignoring - atomic energy - and use with very old-and-proven technologies to create liquid carbon fuels, and voila! energy issues solved, and by extension water issues solved and (to a large extent) food and environment issues solved.

So - on the one hand, we have (in the blue corner) a society which is trying to innovate with lots of talent but doing so flying-in-the-face of the laws of physics, and (in the red corner) a society who limits the innovation somewhat in the name of social stability but is developing with due reverence to the laws of physics.

so - who will win? man's creativity (constrained by politics) or the basic laws of physics?

Friday, 18 November, 2011  
Blogger al fin said...

Insurrection appears to be breaking out all over. In zeitgeists of ubiquitous insurrection, all bets are off.

Incidentally, the word "stasist" vs the word "statist" involves a great deal of overlap, but they are not the same word. Statists are often stasists and vice versa, but not always.

We need to train our children to be comfortable as life-long dynamists.

As for the laws of physics, watch what happens to the planet the next time a Texas - sized asteroid impacts it. Only an advanced civilisation with abundant energy and wealth will be able to turn that much mass aside.

Friday, 18 November, 2011  
Blogger Edward Peschko said...

well, considering that a Texas-sized impact is a one-in-a-billion year event, I'd say that we've got some time there. A tunguska-sized event is once a century or two, something a bit larger a millenial event, an (extraterrestrial) extinction-level event on a decimillion level scale.

But you are missing my point. Yes, ultimately, we are going to need space-driven technology to survive, hell, we will probably need to get off the carbon standard to have our descendants survive.

What I'm saying is that *current technology applied liberally* is sufficient to get our civilization through the next century and the catalog of woes - ecological change, water problems, food problems - IF WE SO CHOSE IT.

Here in the west, we are like someone - marooned on a desert island no less - who finds a magic bottle on the beach, rubs it, sees a genie come out who offers them unlimited wishes, who then says 'screw it, unlimited wishes are for wimps!' and then throws that bottle back into the sea.

I mean really. WTF? China OTOH is *running* with that technology (and others).

So even if they are marginally more inefficient than the west in other areas, if they get that one technology right and integrate it into other, well-worn technologies (like the internal combustion engine) they are set for hundreds - if not thousands - of years. And dominate the planet.

Mark my words - if things continue the same way they are continuing, they will be exporting their reactors - and taking as recompense a controlling stake - to a planet that has little choice.

Saturday, 19 November, 2011  
Blogger al fin said...

"one in a billion" odds tell you nothing about the timing of an event.

The problem with carbon hysteria is that it unnecessarily reduces one's choices, sometimes to the desperation point.

Big wind and big solar are trash forms of energy, although Obama seems to like them.

China is taking a more rational approach to nuclear than Obama's NRC is taking and certainly a more rational approach than Germany is taking. But Greens are not kidding around when they talk about a big human dieoff, taking the human population of the planet down to 100 million people.

Somehow, though, I suspect the Chinese will not go along with their scheme.

Saturday, 19 November, 2011  

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