Wake Up, DCGS: Peter Thiel Alert

November 11, 2016

I read a LinkedIn special write up titled “Peter Thiel to Join Trump Transition Team.” The main point of the write up was that Silicon Valley icon and founder of Palantir Technologies has allegedly just hopped on the Trump Transition Express. I learned:

Peter Thiel has agreed to join Donald Trump’s presidential transition team, according to multiple sources close to the situation.

I love those “multiple sources.” Verification is great especially when anonymized.

It strikes me that if the news is on the money, there are some interesting consequences of this decision. Let me pop several out of the microwave which is heating my Bob Evans sausage, egg, and cheese every day classic breakfast.

Image result for bob evans microwave breakfast

I start my day the health way: A Bob Evans microwave meal and news about the impact of a new technology voice in the new administration of the new president. Yummy.

First, based on my limited experience in the Washington presidential transition Beltway hoedowns, there may be an opportunity or two to chat up those involved in managing certain large defense and intelligence related projects. Now the conversations are informal, premature, fuzzy, and for sure non binding, but there just might be a few words exchanged about reducing billions in government waste with regard to certain high profile, contentious, over budget, and fractionalized projects. Maybe the Distributed Common Ground System will come up? Maybe providing Gotham to the entire transition team? Who knows? But a taste of Gotham’s manna may be just what the hard working commuters on the Transition Express need to perk up and open their eyes to what technology really can do.

Second, the hinges on the Alphabet Google special door to President Obama’s outfit may be wearing out. Palantir, which Mr. Thiel founded, has Google-type bright lads and lasses who can out Google the Google when it comes to heavy duty information analysis. War fighting “trumps” selling ads for Garcinia- Cambogia.


Some of Mr. Thiel’s inputs may rely on Palantir Gotham for data relevant to a decision taken by Transition Express fellow travelers. If Palantir’s approach shows answers, the Google results list looks — how can I phrase it? — dowdy, lame, old fashioned. Imagine the efficiency of the the new president’s advisors generating knock out visualizations for budgets, action items, and timelines with Gotham. Exciting, no? Yes?

Third, the established outfits like the Beltway outfits which have methods of communicating and influencing now have to rethink getting on the radar of the transition team. Those juicy, rock solid indefinite cost, open ended pipelines of money may have to make some navigational adjustments in real time. But what if Mr. Thiel just is involved in calculating the azimuth? How does a Beltway Top 100 firm make up for lost US government “to be” revenue? My answer, “With alacrity tinged with freneticism.”

If Mr. Thiel is on the transition team, there will be some capture teams worrying about [a] their bonus, [b] their new business plan, and [c] their résumés. The latter will be just super for LinkedIn’s secret job search service too. Who knows? Maybe some of these folks will post anonymous LinkedIn rumors which we enjoy here in Harrod’s Creek.

Stephen E Arnold, November 11, 2016


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