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?

For a huge col­lec­tion of free cours­es, please see our large and ever-expand­ing col­lec­tion: 1,700 Free Online Cours­es from Top Uni­ver­si­ties.

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