Facebook's first venture investor says The Social Network could encourage college students into a life of dropout web hacking much as the 1987 picture Wall Street encouraged them into investment banking.
The investor, Clarium Capital's Peter Thiel, said at TechCrunch Disrupt that Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher's sexed-up Facebook drama The Social Network could prove as influential among ambitious young viewers in the 2010s as I-Banking saga Wall Street was in the 1980s and 1990s. Intended as a cautionary tale about moral corruption, Wall Street in many cases served as an inspiration to young men who aspired to be more like the movie's main character, dark hearted banker Gordon Gekko.
Thiel hopes to turbocharge any such effects with a new initiative he's launched that would offer $100,000 to up to 20 young people who drop out, or "stop out" in Thiel's preferred terminology, to start new ventures.
If the all too implausible groupie sex in The Social Network isn't enough to encourage college kids into a geeky life of web applications, the seed capital Thiel has pledged to should help do the trick. A hundred thousand dollars, after all, seems like plenty of capital to many outside Silicon Valley. (Pay no attention to the performance of Thiel's more recent investments, idealistic young ones.)
Above, a video excerpt showing Thiel's thoughts on The Social Network and his new initiative. You can find his full comments at TechCrunch.