Clarium Capital president Peter Thiel considers Facebook the “least overvalued” of the major Internet giants, which include Google, he said at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco today.
Facebook, already valued at $30 billion, would be his choice over a company like Google when deciding when to go “long” — or invest in the company for an extended period with the expectation that it will continue to grow.
“I think Facebook is still insanely focused on building a product. It’s in part driven by [Facebook CEO Mark] Zuckerberg who in many ways is like Steve Jobs,” Thiel said. “As long as he stays involved in the company, it will be about really building a great product.”
Thiel said that Silicon Valley had not yet reached a level of valuation similar to the last dot-com bubble that spurred the 2001 recession, but some of the major companies were stifling innovation due to their massive valuations.
Thiel likened the growth of the tech giants to the growth of the automotive industry in between the 1920s and the 1950s — from when cars had not yet reached mainstream adoption to when they became the status quo. Technology is still in its budding stage, even with giants like Google, Intel and Oracle, he said.
Zuckerberg was largely sensationalized in the soon-to-be-released Facebook movie, “The Social Network,” and far from the “evil genius” TechCrunch reporter Sarah Lacy described in her interview with Thiel, Thiel said.
“The movie’s an accurate description of Hollywood,” he said. “But it’ll be good to the extent it encourages young Americans that they can start great companies that will dominate everything.” (Here’s a video excerpt of the end of the interview below).