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Reid Hoffman and Peter Thiel in conversation.


Stashed in: Silicon Valley!, Peter Thiel, Stanford

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Ryan Mac writes:

More than a quarter century after their first meeting, Thiel and Hoffman still have their fair share of arguments–they couldn’t even agree on the name of their first philosophy class together [taught by renowned professor Michael Bratman] -- but remain close friends.

The pair still see their old stomping grounds as a great source for new talent and rising companies. While the technology landscape has changed, they say, Stanford and Silicon Valley’s magnetic pull for the world’s top entrepreneurs remains the same.

“To simplify the search [for the next great companies], I suggest you look within a five-mile radius of Stanford,” says Thiel, who now teaches a course entitled “Startup” this quarter to about 300 Stanford students.

Hoffman concurs, adding his own theories on the “blossoming of the entire entrepreneurial scene.”

“It was known [Stanford] was a place to start things, but it wasn’t something that, for example, undergraduates were in particular thinking about going like: ‘I’ll leave university and I’ll go start a company,’” says the LinkedIn cofounder.  ”I think that whole thread comes from how cheap it is to do a software company now…with essentially folks who are either just out of college or one or two years out of college.”

Ah, just like Paul Graham, encouraging a generation of teenagers and 20somethings to start companies.

But I digress.

After just meeting each other, Reid and Peter spent the next two hours on Stanford’s main quad arguing about life and the universe.

I wish there were a transcription of that conversation.