Peter Thiel

Peter Thiel is a very successful Silicon Valley venture capitalist, founder of PayPay and early investor in FaceBook. I found the linked interview very interesting. Spoiler, buy monopolies. There are several ways in which a company can create a monopoly position and one of the most interesting ones is the network effect. Google, Amazon, and FaceBook are three example of network effect which is not a “thing” but an emerging property of the company in question. As economist Brian Arthur describes increasing returns, “the more you sell, the more you sell.” For me, as an online customer, Amazon has two features that keep me hooked: trust and the book reviews which is what creates their network effect. The first thing I do when evaluating the purchase of a book is to read the most helpful negative review. From there I progress to other reviews. TripAdvisor (TRIP) tried the same thing but it didn’t work out so well, there is a lot of SPAM on Trip by people who never stayed at places they “review.” And there have been accusations that Trip fudges the reviews in favor of their clients. On Amazon each review has a note from Amazon saying if this was written by someone who bought the item building trust!


Peter Thiel: being contrarian & right, AI, Elon, drug reform, overrated trends & wealth polarization

Denny Schlesinger


Thank you, Denny.

“read the most helpful negative review”

The unhelpful ones, properly curated and performed, are the most fun:

On a more serious note: as far as “selling breeds selling” goes, don’t forget the S-curve - growth that starts out exponential, then plateaus. Much better than grow-and-crash, and maybe more common.