The brilliant and controversial business mogul Peter Thiel was Donald Trump's most visible and richest supporter in a place that heavily favored Hillary Clinton: Silicon Valley. Thiel -- who created PayPal and invested in Facebook, LinkedIn, SpaceX, Hulk Hogan and too many more to count -- is used to being a contrarian. His take on entrepreneurship and what's necessary to be a breakout unicorn might be best contained in this quote from Jonathan Swift: "When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him." In Thiel's superb book on entrepreneurship -- Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future -- he reveals that he always asks, in a Swiftian manner, interviewees this question: "What important truth do very few people agree with you on?"
As he proved again with Trump, Thiel knows how to back a winner. And Thiel certainly has Trump's ear, a fact that may assuage environmentalists concerned about the President-elect's climate change vacillations. In Zero To One, Thiel argues that the world will need to advance its technology to survive. He writes: "If every one of India's hundreds of millions of households were to live the way Americans already do -- using only today's tools -- the result would be environmentally catastrophic." Thiel doesn't say "might be." He says "would be." On climate change, given the evidence, Trump may end up following this other sagacious Thiel assertion: "The most contrarian thing of all is not to oppose the crowd but to think for yourself."The BEST SALES on Amazon NOW ]