Peter Thiel, Facebook’s angel investor and board member — and top entrepreneur and hedge-fund manager — said today that Facebook is one of the “least overvalued or most undervalued” tech companies. And what is the valuation? Around $30 billion, he said.
Speaking at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference happening this week in San Francisco, he spoke more broadly about the state of technology and investing. A staunch libertarian futurist, he encouraged Silicon Valley to invest in technologies that can make the world a better place in the coming decades, noting that median wages had stagnated in the US for the last 37 years.
What about the Facebook movie, “The Social Network.” Interviewer Sarah Lacy noted that the trailers, at least, portrayed Zuckerberg as an evil genius. Thiel said that’s not how anyone who has worked with Zuckerberg “tended to view him.” However, he thinks there could be a positive side for the company from the Hollywood attention. Paraphrased, he said:
Silicon Valley is about positive sum game where all the stakeholders can benefit — founders, stakeholders and public at large. Hollywood is a zero-sum game where everyone is trying to stomp on each other. One very good thing about the move is that it encourages young Americans to think that they can start new businesses. The Wall Street movie was far more negative in the 80s, but encouraged people to go into Wall Street. If this movie gets more people coming to Silicon Valley and building companies, great.
Thiel is also launching a fund to encourage people to “stop out of school” to pursue a big-idea company.