Peter Thiel’s Key Advice for Entrepreneurs and Investors

Early Facebook investor and Paypal billionaire Peter Thiel revealed two key pieces of advice he gives aspiring entrepreneurs and investors this week at the Atlantic Aspen Ideas Festival.

They can be distilled into two simple quotes:

To investors — Buzzwords should be a red flag

If there are too many buzzwords in a presentation, that’s always a warning sign … Big data, cloud computing, if you hear those words you need to think fraud and run away as fast as possible.

Thiel told Atlantic Media owner David Bradley that buzzwords are a sign that the company doesn’t have a clear direction and that they’re chasing someone else’s ideas. A good business idea should be able to stand on its own without trendy buzzwords.

To aspiring entrepreneurs — solve a problem, don’t make a company for the sake of it.

I’m nervous about people who say they want to be an entrepreneur. That’s like saying I want to be rich or I want to be famous. you don’t want to be starting a business for the sake of it, but because there is a problem that cannot be solved in existing structures.

It may be temping to want to start a business because the thought of being a rich businessman feels good. But, ironically, that may lead to failure. Instead, solve a problem and let the operational aspects of the business follow.

Readers can watch the full talk below: (starts @ 2:27:00)

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