• Rich Bordner


Peter Thiel

"Whenever I interview someone for a job, I like to ask this question: “What important truth do very few people agree with you on?” This question sounds easy because it’s straightforward. Actually, it’s very hard to answer. It’s intellectually difficult because the knowledge that everyone is taught in school is by definition agreed upon. And it’s psychologically difficult because anyone trying to answer must say something she knows to be unpopular. Brilliant thinking is rare, but courage is in even shorter supply than genius." – Peter Thiel, From Zero to One (HT: Aaron Renn) That's gold... I'm going to ask my students this question, because they really have a hard time getting out of the peer echo chamber. I mean, I was just the same at 18 and am still like that more than I realize, but nevertheless, the walls of the chamber are pretty thick these days, and one of my goals is to shake them loose from that. Unpopularity doesn't mean something is true, nor does it mean something is false, and vice versa, but if you can't find *any* points of friction between your views and what's popular, that *usually* is a sign that the tail is wagging the dog more than you think. If I was in a job interview with Peter Thiel and he busted that question on me, I wonder how I'd respond in the moment without any chance to prepare an answer. I have an answer thought out in my head now, but if he asked me before I had the chance to do that, what would I say?

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