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Blake Masters      

Entrepreneur & Lawyer, President of The Thiel Foundation and Principal at Thiel Capital

After graduating from Stanford in 2008, Blake started his career in Silicon Valley working at Box, as the company’s third salesperson. The next year he went to law school, and after summer gigs at law firm O’Melveny & Meyers and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona, he received his JD from Stanford Law in 2012.

After school, Blake co-founded Judicata, a software company that makes legal research and analytics tools for lawyers. In early 2013, having raised $7.8M in funding and built out the team, he pitched Peter Thiel on writing a book based on Blake’s blog notes from Peter’s 2012 Stanford class on startups, which had circulated widely on the internet.

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Create the Future was published in September 2014. It quickly became a #1 New York Times bestseller in the U.S. and the #1 best-selling book in China, and went on to sell more than 1.75 million copies worldwide.

Blake joined Thiel Capital as Principal in 2014, where he works with Peter on various strategic initiatives. In 2015 Blake also became the President of The Thiel Foundation, Peter’s private non-profit foundation.

Blake lives in San Francisco with his wife and two boys, ages 6 months and 2-and-a-half. When he’s not busy changing diapers or playing with Brio trains, he’s also working on a new startup called SPAR.

Speech Topics

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

The great secret of our time is that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create. In Zero to One, legendary entrepreneur and investors Peter Thiel and Blake Masters show how we can find singular ways to create those new things. They begins with the contrarian premise that we live in an age of technological stagnation, even if we’re too distracted by shiny mobile devices to notice. Information technology has improved rapidly, but there is no reason why progress should be limited to computers or Silicon Valley. Progress can be achieved in any industry or area of business. It comes from the most important skill that every leader must master: learning to think for yourself.

The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. Copying others takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But when you do something new, you go from 0 to 1. Tomorrow’s champions will not win by competing ruthlessly in today’s marketplace; they will escape competition altogether, because their businesses will be unique.

Zero to One presents at once an optimistic view of the future of progress in America and a new way of thinking about innovation: it starts by learning to ask the questions that lead you to find value in unexpected places.

Computer Science 183: Startup


Zero To One: How Blake Masters Went From Being Peter Thiel's ...
In the spring of 2012, Peter Thiel taught a class called CS 183: Startup, at Stanford. One of the students in Thiel's class, Blake Masters, posted detailed notes on ...

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