Peter Thiel and Elon Musk

A source who spoke to both men said that Thiel thinks Musk is “a fraud,” and Musk considers Thiel “a sociopath.”

3 thoughts on “Peter Thiel and Elon Musk

  1. shinichi Post author

    Peter Thiel thinks Elon Musk is a ‘fraud,’ and 6 other unexpected details about the billionaires’ love-hate relationship

    by Dorothy Cucci

    Peter Thiel anh Elon Musk have known each other for decades, all the way back to when they combined their respective online banking companies, Paypal and X, in 2002.

    Since then, their relationship has seen plenty of ups and downs and their networths have grown by billions of dollars. In his book, “The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley’s Pursuit of Power,” Max Chafkin takes a closer look at the complicated history of the two men, who are in many ways polar opposites.

    Here are seven surprising details about Musk and Thiel that provide a glimpse into their long and often-fraught relationship.

    1. A source who spoke to both men said that Musk thinks Thiel is “a sociopath,” and Thiel considers Musk “a fraud.”

    Musk and Thiel, while longtime collaborators, are fundamentally opposites: Musk is considered an outgoing, eccentric risk-taker, and Thiel is known as a cautious introvert.

    “Whereas Thiel could be comically secretive, even among close friends, Musk was incapable of censoring himself,” wrote Chafkin. “Whereas Thiel tended to think in terms of limiting risk, Musk was perpetually going for broke.”

    2. Musk crashed his $1 million McLaren with Thiel in the passenger seat.

    Soon after the PayPal-X merger, Musk and Thiel were on their way to a meeting with investors when Musk totaled the car while trying to show off its acceleration, “sending the McLaren flying into the air.” Thiel wasn’t impressed, seeing his business partner as “reckless.”

    “The experience shook Thiel,” wrote Chafkin, “who came to see Musk as reckless; Musk saw Thiel as a money guy who cared about technology primarily as a means to profit.”

    3. PayPal and X, Elon Musk’s own online banking platform, merged in 2000 because Thiel was “terrified of losing the business.”

    As PayPal took significant losses in its early years, Musk stepped in. He’d caught wind that his competitor might make a deal with Yahoo and didn’t want X to be squeezed out — so, he convinced Thiel to combine their two companies.

    But while Musk would be CEO, Thiel strategically placed loyal confidantes (members of his so-called “Paypal Mafia”) in the top positions.

    4. Thiel and his allies conspired and overthrew Musk as PayPal CEO while he was on his honeymoon.

    While Musk and his wife left on a two-week vacation, Thiel loyalists — fed up with what they saw as an endless list of disasters caused by Musk’s failed leadership — threatened to quit if the board didn’t agree to make Thiel CEO.

    Musk told Chafkin that he eventually decided to forgive Thiel, but implied that he couldn’t fully trust him again.

    5. The two billionaires each spent all or part of their childhoods in South Africa before landing at Stanford University.

    Before they took over Silicon Valley, the two men came from similar roots. Musk was born in South Africa and lived there until college, and Thiel’s family relocated there for a few years when he was a child. 

    Musk originally planned on getting a PhD in physics at Stanford, “but dropped out to start Zip2, a business directory on the web that functioned as an online version of the Yellow Pages.” Meanwhile, Thiel studied law, dreaming of a Supreme Court clerkship — but was ultimately rejected after interviews with Anthony Kennedy and Antonin Scalia.

    6. Musk said that Thiel refused to invest in Tesla partially because of his skepticism about climate change.

    When Musk was trying to get his electric car company, Tesla Motors — worth over $800 billion by 2020 — off the ground, Thiel said no to investing. “He doesn’t fully buy into the climate change thing,” said Musk.

     Musk isn’t know for taking rejection well, Chafkin said, and Thiel’s refusal worsened their already-tense relationship.

    7. Thiel was instrumental in SpaceX’s success.

    Even though their relationship was on the rocks following the PayPal coup and Tesla investment refusal, Thiel supported Musk’s aerospace company — albeit reluctantly — in its early stages.

    His $20 million investment helped keep the company afloat after a third botched rocket launch in 2008. One month later, SpaceX reached orbit.

  2. shinichi Post author



    ピーター・アンドレアス・ティール(Peter Andreas Thiel、1967年10月11日 – )は、アメリカ合衆国の起業家、投資家。PayPal、OpenAI、Palantir共同創業者。Meta(Facebook)最初期投資家。「ペイパルマフィア」の中では「ドン」と呼ばれ、「影の米大統領」の異名を持つ。ドナルド・トランプ元政策顧問。保守系動画サイトRumble支援者。ビルダーバーグ会議運営委員メンバー。Palantir取締役。自由至上主義哲学者。Meta(Facebook)最初期投資家でもあるが、Meta取締役を2022年2月8日に辞任した後、CEOのマーク・ザッカーバーグを敵対者リストに加えた政治家候補を支援している。また、イーロン・マスクとはPaypal時代からの友人であり関係が深い。

  3. shinichi Post author



    イーロン・リーヴ・マスク(Elon Reeve Musk, 1971年6月28日 – )は、南アフリカ共和国のプレトリア出身の、同国並びにカナダ、アメリカ合衆国国籍の起業家。PayPal、スペースX、テスラ、ボーリング・カンパニー、OpenAI、xAI等を共同設立。スペースX、テスラのCEO、X Corp.(旧:Twitter)の執行会長兼CTOを務めている。

    新たな決済サービスを作り出したほか、電気自動車、宇宙開発、太陽光発電などのビジネスで成功を収め、当時没落していたそれらの業界を再興させた。「影の米大統領」の異名を持つピーター・ティールやYouTube創業者のチャド・ハーリーなどと共にペイパルマフィアの一人としても語られる。2012年にはスペースXが国際宇宙ステーションに宇宙船を打ち上げ、テスラはEV 「モデルS」 を発売した。これによってマスクは宇宙と自動車というまったく別の業界で偉業を成し遂げ、スティーブ・ジョブズに例えられる存在になった。映画アイアンマンのモデルでもある。

    フォーブスの長者番付によると2021年時点で3200億ドル (約41兆円) の資産を有する。また、世界で初めて資産が3000億ドル (約34兆円) を超えた人物。(詳細は資産を参照)



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