In success stories we take a look at some of the most successful people in history and breakdown their lives and tips to success. In this post we’re taking a look at the genius that is Peter Thiel.



NAME: Peter Thiel

DOB: October 11 1967

NET-WORTH: 3.3 Billion USD


MENTORS: No mentor, but worked in the Paypal mafia with Elon Musk, Reid Hoffman and other successful people, which aided his growth


Early Life

  • Born in Frankfurt Germany, but moved to the US soon after his birth
  • Very high ranked chess player
  • Studied 20th Century Philosophy as an undergraduate at Stanford University
  • He founded the Stanford review, a student newspaper
  • 1992 Thiel received a Juris Doctor from Stanford law school
  • Thiel clerked for the US courts from 1993 to 1996
  • 1996 he founded Thiel capital management a multi-strategy fund
  • 1998 Thiel co-founded Paypal



  • Paypal merged with it’s closest competitor, this is advice that we will share later in Peter’s top tips for success. Paypal merged with, headed by Elon Musk
  • They went public with Paypal in 2002, and sold it later to Ebay for $1.5 Billion. Thiel received $55 million for his 3.7% stake
  • The Paypal founders were later nicknamed the Paypal Mafia, due to the enormous success that all of them would go on to have. 3 became billionaires and many giant companies were founded by members of the Paypal Mafia, including… YouTube, Yelp, SpaceX, Tesla, SolarCity, Yammer, LinkedIn and Palantir Technologies
  • After his success, Peter became an investor, he started a hedge-fund called Clarium Capital
  • Peter showed a huge interest in the dotcom bubble, which led him to Mark Zuckerberg and of course Facebook. Thiel invested $500,000 in 2004 and became the first Facebook outside investor. Thiel recieved 10.2% of the company
  • Although Peter was a board member, he let the Facebook founders have full control. One of the only pieces of advice he gave the boys was….”Just don’t f#!k it up”
  • Peter later sold the majority of his Facebook shares for over 1 billion


Current Life

  • Thiel is a member of the Founders Fund with a host of other successful entrepreneurs such as Sean Parker. They help start-up companies get off the ground
  • Thiel is also a co-founder of Mithril, a late stage investment company that aids the progression of more advanced companies
  • Peter is a respected entrepreneur, and therefore a valued speaker. Many of Thiels keynote speeches can be found on YouTube
  • Peter is a part-time partner in YCombinator, described as being like a boot camp for start-ups
  • Thiel is keen on exploring anti-aging technologies, since he believes that the next big product will come from this industry
  • He also owns the Thiel Foundation, set up to advance break-through technologies
  • Thiel also donates substantially to charitable causes


Top Tips For Success

  • Build something original
  • Be curious, work on something that very few people agree with you on. As they say, “the fishing is best where least go”
  • Take control of your life, success isn’t accidental, you’re not a lottery ticket
  • Build a monopoly, become the dominant company in your field. Competition is a waste of everyone’s time
  • You must ask yourself, why would the 20th employee join your company?
  • Ask yourself, what are you better at than everyone else?
  • Find what you’re passionate about and do that, it makes everything so much easier


Top Traits

  • Intelligence
  • Forward thinker
  • Optimistic
  • Ability to get on with others
  • He trusts the abilities of the people he works with
  • Expert generalist – someone who knows a lot about a a lot, a term created by investor Charlie Munger which goes against the old quotation of “a jack of all trades but a master of none”. It enables you to connect the dots better since you have a wider perspective on things


Best Quote

How can you achieve your 10 year plan in the next 6-months?