PayPal founder and Facebook director Peter Thiel told a sell-out audience at an AH/JW3 Speaker Series event, how to spot the next Mark Zuckerberg.
Harvard University Professor of History and author, Niall Ferguson, interviewed Thiel for this seventh talk in the Alan Howard Foundation/ JW3 Speaker Series. Globalisation, technology, education and politics were among themes he raised with the American entrepreneur.
Thiel was the first outside investor in Facebook, and early on in the talk Ferguson asked him how investors could spot the next Zuckerberg. Thiel said investors ought to focus on businesses run by competent people and with few competitors.“Always aim for a monopoly,” he said, “capture a small market and grow it over time. Facebook went from zero to 60 per cent market share in ten days.”
Later in the discussion, Thiel gave further investment advice by saying the more investors an enterprise has, the more likely it is to be overhyped. And he recommended that people who wanted to start their own business needed to be idiosyncratic: do something you like, you’re good at and few others are doing.