Peter Thiel's “Startup” Course at Stanford

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Frank Voisin
Apr 19, 2012
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Peter Thiel is the president of Clarium Capital, a global macro hedge fund, managing partner of a venture capital firm, and the co-founder of Paypal. He recently taught a course at Stanford called Startup that is described by the university thusly:

Conception, launch, scaling, and growing of a successful tech company. Bridging the subjects of engineering, science, business, finance, and world history, topics will include: the technology revolution of the 20th century and prior eras; the economics of business; founding a startup; the importance of team vision and passion; long-term strategic planning; building a successful founding team; financing and the VC perspective; secrecy vs. openness; recruiting, managing growth, marketing, regulation and other operational topics. Assignments are designed to explore key concepts at greater depth, using real-world and hypothetical example companies. Inner accounts from the early days of startups including PayPal, Google and Facebook will be used as case studies. The class will be taught by entrepreneurs who have started companies worth over $1B and VCs who have invested in startups including Facebook and Spotify. Students can expect to be proficient in the core skills critical to the founding and growing of a tech company upon completion of this course.

Prerequisites: Introductory calculus and statistics ( Math 41 and ENGR 155C, or equivalents); basic modeling skills in students preferred coding language (e.g. C++, Java, Matlab, Excel).
For those of us not at Stanford, one especially charitable student, Blake Masters, has put his class notes online. These arent just chicken scratch point form notes; Masters wrote in full, proper sentences and appears to have covered everything. We are all indebted to him for the effort he put in and for sharing his notes (not something law students are known for!).

Below are the links to the notes, which I highly recommend reading. It seems like a great class and I would love if the lecture videos were put online so that we could see Thiels enthusiasm come through.

Thanks Blake!

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