Palantir Thiel: An If Then Chess Move?

July 22, 2016

I read “The Peter Principle: Why Thiel’s GOP Convention Speech Will Be about Him and Not about Silicon Valley.” Interesting write up but I think the “about” part is possibly incorrect. I think the speech just might have been about Palantir, procurement, and displacing the traditional US government defense contractors. The stakes are not ego; the stakes are hundreds of millions in technology business. Silicon Valley and money. It is possible that some Palantir-think informs the political enthusiasms of Mr. Thiel.

In the write up, I noted this passage.

The eccentric investor is not like anyone else in tech.

That is okay. Just like his chess moves, the expected approach may not disrupt an strong opponent’s game. But for those who are not chess masters, the unusual or less probable maneuver can open some doors.

I also circled this paragraph:

He’s been vocal about that at many political gatherings here over the years, including one where those present said he even freaked Tea Party favorite Rep. Paul Ryan out with his thoughts on the need to tear down government as much as possible. It’s not just regulation that Thiel hates, it’s the whole stinking mess, and he has not been shy about saying so. Thus, most people who know him usually give you an oh-that-guy look, shrug their shoulders and move on to easier topics. And many of those who like him personally and call him a “dear friend” are even perplexed, going as far as not talking to him of late because of his Trump support.

The statement is almost edging toward a motivation which I think may be operating. How is this for a possibility:

Palantir wants to provide systems and software to the US government. Mr. Thiel becomes an insider to Mr. Trump, who, surprising many, becomes the president of the good, old USA. As an insider, Mr. Thiel can bring some pressure to bear on those in the government who do not demonstrate the type of enthusiasm for Palantir Technologies which are warranted. The irrational decision making and the failure to follow procurement rules might become a focal point for a Trump-centric administration. Checkmate, US Army. Palantir wins.

There are many moves in chess. This might be one of them with Mr. Thiel looking four or five moves ahead. Critics of Mr. Thiel just might be overlooking an important driver for his Trump support — Palantir’s financial and procurement future. If Mr. Trump wins in November 2016, then Palantir can try to bring rationality to Palantir procurements by certain Federal entities. Just a thought, gentle reader. Just a mental chimera like opening up lines of attack for a bishop and a queen in chess.

Stephen E Arnold, July 22, 2016


Comments are closed.

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Meta