Business plan? What would Peter Thiel do?

Last updated on June 10th, 2023

Pardeep Kullar
Pardeep Kullar

I don’t know how you feel about the guy but one thing I’ll thank him for is his 10 in 6 months quote.


Here are some quotes by Peter Thiel, one of the Paypal Mafia, early FB investor and lots more besides.

“If you go back 20 or 25 years, I wish I would have known that there was no need to wait,” Peter Thiel

Can’t disagree with that. It’s amazing how much we think is off ‘in the future’ that we will build up to. We don’t need to wait to get it started.

“Take your 10-year life plan and ask, Why can’t I do this in six months?” Peter Thiel

This is the killer quote for me.

Sit down and have a serious think about that.

In fact, forget about 10 years, think about 5 years or even 2 years. Let’s say you are a startup aiming to generate 5 million in ARR.

What would you really do to get there? What would you have to change? All the nonsense goes out the window.

It’s all a story we tell ourselves

The way I’ve been thinking about Upscope marketing so far is ‘So, we need to generate X traffic, it will take this many people, this long and then hopefully we’ll get to Y in revenue, then we just keep going.’

“Sometimes, you have to actually go through the complex, 10-year trajectory but it’s at least worth asking whether that’s the story you’re telling yourself, or whether that’s the reality?” Peter Thiel

Change the story

Why am I following this ‘get traffic’ story line? Why is it get X traffic and in Y months? Who made this damn target? Why? It’s just made up!

We all need something of course. We need some sort of target and sometimes we don’t know any better but there are other storylines out there. Shifting that, changes both emotions and what I thought of as rationality.

The storyline can change and often because of necessity.

Higher targets test your storyline

I was sitting there churning out content and had a serious think about what we would really need to do to get to $100k+ MRR for one of our companies.

As soon as I did that, all my content production became nonsense. All the product plans became nonsense.

It was all guessing, nothing felt on the ball. You can see that in my evolving understanding of SEO strategy.

We need to up our game in both product and marketing

Higher targets mean all the nonsense is cut out. We need to up our game in terms of both the product road map and in terms of the quality of our marketing.

Our marketing needs to focus on the top 10% of highly practical and useful content.

What can you do now?

Sit down and think through your 10 year plan and how to do it in 6 months.

What would you focus on?

Are you really going to hit that financial target?

Do you have the resources to realistically hit that target? What do you need? How are you going to get it?

What would your day have to be like?

What would you have to be like?

I try and remind myself of this every few weeks though we’ve attempted to formalise learning by scheduling weekly meeting as you can see in this article:

What would Elon Musk do?

Yeah, that guy.

Pardeep Kullar
Pardeep Kullar

Pardeep overlooks growth at Upscope and loves writing about SaaS companies, customer success and customer experience.