Any Peter Thiel in Singapore?
Peter Thiel, a seasoned Venture Capitalist in Silicon Valley, got into a lot of heat once again with his very public support of Donald Trump. The man intends to put in USD 1.25 M into the Trump campaign that at the current point, is unlikely to bring him to the White House.
For the Silicon Valley Amish, Peter Thiel is a self made billionaire who was the first institutional investor into Facebook. He made most of his money when Facebook IPO-ed in May 2012 and he sold his stakes in the public markets. He is Number 246 in Forbes list of Top 400 Wealthiest Individuals, co-founded huge companies like PayPal and Palantir and if you drop out of college, he will give you USD 100,000 to do whatever you want (kidding it has got to be a start up).
The man is also an immigrant born to German parents and came out in 2007. Looking through just his basic bio, it is difficult to find similarities between what he represents and what Trump represents. On the contrary, Thiel is albeit a representation of almost everything the Trump campaign attacked (until Donald became more Presidential in his speeches). And to give more weight to this point, Silicon Valley as a community has been more pro-blue state.
The media is rife with different reasons why a successful Venture Capitalist will support a candidate that prove unpopular with the community. You can read a good one here. It is currently still in the realms of speculation, so it will be interesting to know what his real intention is in supporting an alternative candidate.
Yet whether Thiel admits it or not, he definitely would have considered the potential impact of his public political support on his career. One thing is for sure, Thiel will be aware that EVERYBODY (at least in the Valley) will be talking about him once made public. He would have considered how to benefit from the free coverage and visibility, much like this post talking about him. I am of the opinion that Founder’s Fund may have an upcoming big announcement and Thiel is partly doing this to in hopes of getting more media attention when the time arises.
Such guerrilla marketing is high risk and i wonder if anyone in Singapore has an appetite for this. I pondered long and hard about a controversial candidate in Singapore who may be very much like Trump. Singapore may have one in Kenneth Jeyaretnam. This is the Secretary General of the Reform Party, an opposition party in Singapore, who said this in the 2015 General Elections:
“And if he (Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore) is so confident (of winning), why did he have to call snap elections? [The elections were] so snap, that we didn’t have time to print posters!” Source.
Kudos to him for letting us know he is not prepared.
Now, is there any Venture Capitalist in Singapore willing to publicity support him?