Peter Thiel on the stagnation of technological innovation

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November 30, 2010 · 3 comments

Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, early investor in Facebook, and president of Clarium Capital, discusses the stagnation of technological innovation. Thiel gives reasons why innovation has slowed recently — offering examples of stalled sectors such as space exploration, transportation, energy, and biotechnology — while pointing out that growth in internet-based technologies is a notable exception. He aslo comments on political undercurrents of Silicon Valley, government regulation, privacy and Facebook, and his new fellowship program that will pay potential entrepreneurs to “stop out” of school for two years.



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  • Mort Dubois

    Libertarian blah blah blah. Can we have an example of a country with no regulation and kick ass technological innovation? Regulation, government, and economic growth seem to go together.

  • Brandnewpeterson

    First, let me say I enjoy this podcast. It’s a recent discovery for me and I find myself thinking about its content long after I step off the treadmill.

    With this episode, however, I did feel that the interviewer let his own views on libertarianism seep a bit excessively into the interview. He also seemed bent on discussing almost exclusively the internet when the blurb promises “examples of stalled sectors such as space exploration, transportation, energy, and biotechnology.”

    As Thiel says (sort of), the Internet’s a nice place, but we can’t live there. I wanted more probing on how innovation in the real world may have stalled out. Government over-regulaton of the internet might inconvenience me (as would corporate gaming of it for its own financial gain). On the other hand, government over regulation of, say, health care — if that’s what’s happening and we didn’t get to hear Thiel talk much about it — might just kill me if I’m waiting on a treatment whose inventor can’t afford to navigate the FDA trials process.

    Thanks and look forward to more episodes next time I mount the treadmill.

  • Daniel

    Wow, nobody’s commented on an entire interview with Peter Thiel, what is going on in this world. Great show and thanks for sharing, Jerry.