The Danger in Being Brilliant at One Thing

• ~200 words • 0.8 minute read

In reading this entry regarding Peter Thiel on Daring Fireball I was reminded of another piece John Gruber had written about him just a couple weeks ago. He links and quotes from a larger New York Times article profiling the Silicon Valley entrepreneur and former PayPal founder who's been at the center of some interesting headlines the past couple years.

I think Gruber hits it on the head here:

Like I said: Peter Thiel may well be smart, but he’s also dangerously foolish and solipsistic.

It reminded me that the danger is being brilliant at one thing is that it gives you overconfidence in other areas of your life. What was Bobby Fischer without his chess prowess? Stripped of those abilities he's a model for no one and nothing at best, despicable and tragic more likely.

Being absurdly rich has a way of unjustly validating all your other decisions. That's Peter Theil and, frankly, Silicon Valley in a nutshell. A class of rich kids who never even had to bear the responsibility of creating something that could earn the wealth they've been given back. The privatized entitlement class.