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June 20, 2016 / compassioninpolitics

Peter Thiels Advice about Industry Trends and Jargon

Peter Thiel seems to suggest you shouldn’t be “ecommerce of X” or “social network for Y” or “SaaS for Z.”  I guess its certainly true that you want to be customer focused in your communication.  But the idea itself can still fit existing models.  In fact, those models have some substance and history behind them.  It gives you a place to start so that you are innovating narrowly, with potential big disruptions based on narrow risk.

To answer the larger question:

If you can describe it in jargon, its unoriginal. Not true. Facebook was Myspace for Universities. In the first decade of internet innovation (aka Paypal) that may have been great and worked, but I don’t see how someone is supposed to create an entirely new category. The average entrepreneur is just trying to help out an industry or two not re-invent the wheel. And there are lots of companies both on the internet and bricks and mortar who were able to fix and tinker rather than totally revolutionize multiple industries and both massively advanced humanity or an industry or both (while making millions to boot).

His model with respect to this specific advice seem to require you to be Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, or Peter Thiel. To return to the original point, the very nature of communication requires you use existing jargon to some extent to make what is new comprehendable to employees, investors, and customers. Your product shouldn’t have to sound like Quantum physics or rocket science to be a good or successful idea. There is value in simple communication.

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