Peter Thiel’s Stanford Course on Startups: Read the Lecture Notes Free Online

peter thiel

Peter Thiel has many claims to fame in Silicon Valley. He co-founded PayPal in 1998, before selling it to eBay for $1.5 billion in 2002. He later launched various hedge funds, and made early investments in Facebook. He’s an unabashed libertarian, a proponent of Seasteading and Singularity, a critic of the American university system, and the creator of the annual Thiel Fellowship, which pays promising college-age students to “stop out” of school for two years and launch business ventures instead.

Finally, Thiel is also now the bestselling author of Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the FuturePublished in mid-September, the book received a pretty rave review in The Atlantic, where Derek Johnson calls it “a lucid treatise on capitalism and entrepreneurship” and perhaps “the best business book I’ve read.”

The book itself is actually a distillation of thoughts Thiel presented in a course he taught at Stanford in 2012. And it just so happens that the notes from that course — CS138 Startups — are freely available online. They come courtesy of Blake Masters, a student in Thiel’s class, who later helped the entrepreneur write Zero to One.

Below, you can find the lecture notes for 19 classes, which, when originally published on Masters’ site, became pretty popular in the tech community.  Links to these lectures will be permanently housed in our collections of Free Online Business Courses and Free Online Computer Science Courses. Other Stanford courses on entrepreneurship can be found here: Start Your Startup with Free Stanford Courses and Lectures.

Lectures Notes: CS138 Startups

Class 1: The Challenge of the Future

Class 2: Party Like it’s 1999?

Class 3: Value Systems

Class 4: The Last Mover Advantage

Class 5: The Mechanics of Mafia

Class 6: Thiel’s Law

Class 7: Follow The Money

Class 8: The Pitch

Class 9: If You Build It, Will They Come?

Class 10: After Web 2.0

Class 11: Secrets

Class 12: War and Peace

Class 13: You Are Not A Lottery Ticket

Class 14: Seeing Green

Class 15: Back to the Future

Class 16: Decoding Ourselves

Class 17: Deep Thought

Class 18: Founder as Victim, Founder as God

Class 19: Stagnation or Singularity?

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