clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

In 2007, Peter Thiel told me media was dead. Now he's trying to kill it.

Revisiting an old interview.

A decade ago, investor Peter Thiel predicted the death of media.

A little less than a decade ago, I did a 10-minute Flip camera interview with Peter Thiel, the now infamous investor who has been secretly funding lawsuits — including by wrestler Hulk Hogan — all aimed at killing Gawker Media.

At the time, I called him "the man who has become Silicon Valley’s most interesting venture capitalist and all-around great character of late."

Indeed. As I wrote in late 2007: "Thiel has a lot to say about everything from the painfully slow decline of old media (likening them to train companies in a plane world!) to the underhyping of Web 2.0 companies like Facebook (a 10-times-10 valuation from its current $15 billion if the hot social network, in which he was the first investor, keeps up its torrid pace of growth!) to the state of venture capital (needs a shake-up!).

"The shift from old media to new media is a trend so big some people don't even see it," he said, noting that new media like Facebook was going to kill off all others.

My favorite other quote from the interview was: "There's absolutely no bubble in technology."

Thiel is still with the loaded quotes, calling his recent Gawker lawsuit funding "one of my greater philanthropic things that I've done."

Yes. He. Said. That.

But that's why, although I am guessing he will not accept, I have invited Thiel to come to our Code conference next week to talk about his legal actions, including what it means — if anything — to his seat on the Facebook board. (If publishers were scared of the social network before, things just got a lot scarier.) His support of another billionaire who likes to threaten the press (that would be presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump) is another topic I would love to probe.

Hey, Peter, say yes, because we should talk at least once every decade!

Here's the video of that 2007 interview, which took place in San Francisco's Presidio at his now defunct Clarium Capital offices.

(Interesting note: After the camera went off, we went on to have a pretty lively back-and-forth about gay rights issues, in which I advocated for more protections due to sexual preference to get to equal rights, and the libertarian Thiel took a stance that the less government intervention, the better. Of course, one of the Gawker stories that got Thiel so motivated to attack was one that publicly outed him, even though everyone in Silicon Valley pretty much knew his sexual orientation at the time.)

This article originally appeared on