Want to Be an Innovator? Drop Out of College!

Venture Capitalist and Technology Entrepreneur
Innovation requires risk and sacrifice, which may be very hard to do if you have an enormous debt burden to repay.
  • Transcript


Peter Thiel: We think that the idea of becoming an entrepreneur is something that is not taught very well in school and is something that people should try to do earlier on.  One of the concerns that I’ve had about the educational system is that the enormous amounts of debt it’s putting on people is actually constraining people’s ability to do things that are not as remunerative. And so people are sort of trapped in these sort of professional jobs and are not able to do things that are entrepreneurial or non-profit or just, you know, fun or socially useful and sort of are overly or narrowly constrained.  And I think technological innovation requires risk, it requires sacrifice and it may be very hard to do that if you have, you know, this enormous debt burden to try to repay.  It’s hard to start a great company if you bought a big house, and it may be hard to start a big company if you are burdened down with enormous amounts of student loans.

And so I think it’s there’s sort of a context that’s specific to our time that we think education needs to be rethought, that education does not just happen in college, but it also happens in developing skills which will enable people to contribute to our society as a whole.

Recorded November 15, 2010
Interviewed by Victoria Brown