Ended: Sept. 10, 2017
“Here it’s all about having money and no time,” she explains. Garnett, a petite blonde, is also an investor and former software engineer. “If anyone talks about their golf handicap, you’d look at them and say, ‘I’d never invest in you because you spend too much time on the golf course.’
After speeches, Thiel was sometimes asked if he thought there was a high percentage of people with Asperger’s syndrome in Silicon Valley. He dismissed the disorder and its traits as the only ways that smooth-talking socially adept types could describe people they couldn’t understand. He doesn’t even believe in the spectrum, or the range of disorders that could be variations on the social impairments symptomatic of autism or Asperger’s.
But in Silicon Valley, that behavior was Asperger’s Chic. When faced with choosing two engineers with the same skill set, employers would often take the one with the stutter over the smooth talker, any day. Some employers unofficially sought out socially awkward recruits. They tended to be more productive, recruiters felt.
Thiel was never a fan of cocktail party culture. He didn’t like talking about mundane topics such as the weather, or vacations, just to make conversation. His reticence on those subjects led people to think he was awkward. Thiel was certainly capable of talking about the weather; he just didn’t understand why he needed to waste time doing so.
It turned out that many tech CEOs preferred someone who had learned autodidactically rather than from a professor at an Ivy League school. The first issue was that technology was improving faster than educators could teach it.