An investing genius, Peter Thiel is most prominently known for co-founding PayPal, the electronic payment site, and for being the first angel investor in Facebook.

A loner of sorts, Peter was a maths genius and a national level chess player in his home country, Germany. In 1996, Peter founded Thiel Capital Management, a multi-strategy fund, which was a pre-cursor to his next venture, PayPal.

He co-founded PayPal, with some of his like-minded friends and took the company public in 2002. A year later he sold the company to eBay for $1.5bn and turned towards his most successful career until now – investing.

With a 3.7% stake in PayPal which earned him $55m at the time of the acquisition, he started Clarium Capital Management. His company invested in many successful startups like Friendster, LinkedIn (founded by his friend Ried Hoffman), Rapleaf,, Yelp.Inc, Palantir and Votizen, among others.

Key acheivements

  • Sits on the steering committee of the mysterious Bilderberg Group – the elite band of the rich and powerful from politics, industry and business that convenes each year to discuss nobody-knows-quite-what.
  • Having a net-worth of $2.2bn, and counting.
  • Wrote the widely acclaimed book: Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future.

Lessons for your store

  • Feed off people who inspire you – whether that’s through a book or aspiring friends.
  • Put your imagination into your work – Thiel is known for thinking far outside the box, and having the imagination of a small child (mixed with genius).
  • Play chess – or something similar. These strategic games reportedly help you in your approach to business.