As the founders of the biggest tech company in the world look for the next big thing, there’s one big question they must ask themselves: What if I could help them succeed?
In an interview with CBS Business, Peter Thiel, CEO of PayPal and cofounder of Facebook, discussed how his company was able to transform itself into one of the most powerful businesses in the business.
“The way we did it was by focusing on innovation,” Thiel told CBS Business.
“It was a pretty radical departure from where most of the businesses were headed.
There was so much of a risk that we weren’t going to be successful.
I thought it was the right thing to do.
I think you need to focus on the future.”
Thiel’s company went public in 2007 with a valuation of $30 billion.
At the time, it was considered one of Silicon Valley’s most successful companies.
In 2014, it went public at a valuation $6.5 billion.
In 2017, it raised a valuation that was $16 billion.
But what happens when a company with a $30-billion valuation, a massive market cap, and a strong business model becomes a $50 billion company with nearly two-thirds of the company’s stock and nearly all its employees in China?
That’s where the question of the founders education comes into play.
In a nutshell, the founders should ask themselves, “Is there an opportunity for me to become a billionaire?”
And in a new report from The Atlantic, a number of former and current CEOs of the largest tech companies in the United States spoke out about the importance of getting into that conversation.
“We need to have a conversation about where the future is,” Thiel said.
“We need an honest conversation about what the world is going to look like in 25 years.”
The founders also want to talk about what they believe are the lessons of the past that they could use to help the next generation of tech founders.
In an interview, Thiel said he hopes the discussion around the founders future will “put pressure on companies to take the next step forward.”
For Thiel, the future comes with a lot of “potential risks,” but the biggest risk he sees for a company like Facebook is that it will “fizzle.”
“I think Facebook has to do more than it has done,” he said.
“[It] has to figure out what it does well, what it is good at, and then figure out how to do something different that is better.”
Thiel also said the company needs to become more “self-aware” about its failures.
“I don’t think there is a single single company that has a very good failure-tolerant culture,” he told CBS.
“That is what I think Facebook can do better.”