Peter Thiel: The age of Apple is over
Peter Thiel has been in the news a lot recently – mainly because he was something of an anomaly in Silicon Valley by openly supporting the candidacy of Donald Trump, donating some $1.25 million to his campaign. This support was ultimately rewarded by Trump, as Thiel became part of the president-elect’s transition team.
Thiel has done an interesting interview with The New York Times, where he discusses Trump, Silicon Valley and what’s coming, but the most interesting insights are reserved for a quickfire “confirm or deny” round.
Asked, for example, to confirm or deny that “the age of Apple is over,” Thiel confirms. “We know what a smartphone looks like and does,” Thiel replies. “It’s not the fault of Tim Cook, but it’s not an area where there will be any more innovation.”
In the same interview, he agrees that Google was too powerful in the Obama administration. “Google had more power under Obama than Exxon had under Bush 43,” he opines. Asked whether he agrees that California should secede the United States as some in Silicon Valley want, he also surprisingly agrees. “I’d be fine with that. I think it would be good for California, good for the rest of the country. It would help Mr Trump’s re-election campaign.”
And he has some interesting views about Star Wars vs Star Trek, too, on a less serious note. No, he doesn’t think the empire gets a “bad rap” (“Deny. Oh, come on”), but he does prefer Star Wars, in part because of his perceived political undertones. “I’m a capitalist. ‘Star Wars’ is the capitalist show. ‘Star Trek’ is the communist one,” he explains.
“There is no money in ‘Star Trek’ because you just have the transporter machine that can make anything you need. The whole plot of “Star Wars” starts with Han Solo having this debt that he owes and so the plot in ‘Star Wars’ is driven by money.”
The full interview is well worth reading, if you have time. It includes Thiel being quizzed on similarities between his old colleague Elon Musk and Trump, as well as being asked about the president-elect’s backwards views on climate change.