Peter Thiel is one of our more interesting public intellectuals, who is often willing to take stances that challenge the conventional wisdom.
“Too many kids go to college” he argued in an Intelligence Squared U.S. debate (pictured above). There, he made the point that less able students in second tier schools might be better off with vocational training (the model successfully followed in Germany and Switzerland), and that the most able students at top schools might be pushed to follow conformist career paths rather than express their entrepreneurial creativity.
In his recent book “Zero to One,” he argues that monopoly is better than competition. Monopolists frequently invent new categories whereas competitors simply seek improvements at the margin (see my recommended reading review of that book here).
Among his other views is that we are living in an era of diminished innovation and heightened pressures to conform to social norms.
This interview with Tyler Cowen is a free ranging exploration of Thiel’s take on the contemporary world. In short, it is not to be missed: