If you follow tech or politics at all, it’s likely you heard about Peter Thiel (Silicon Valley-made billionaire and “inner circle” aspirant) backing Donald Trump (presidential pretender and professional grifter) to the tune of $1.25 Million USD. We certainly can’t tell you who to vote for in this election, but if you feel conflicted or betrayed that one of the men behind some of your essential business tools is backing a campaign filled with hate and stoking the fire of armed, racist, extremist, pseudo-patriots we can sure as heck help you find other tools to run your business and help you separate yourself from unadulterated misogyny and bigotry.
This post was inspired by Project Include’s decision to leave Y Combinator (a tech incubator) – a decision we applaud. Without further ado, we present some alternatives to companies and products associated with Peter Thiel, so you can continue to do business and help the planet without leaving your conscience in the dirt. Please note, according to CrunchBase, Thiel has directly or indirectly founded and/or invested in over 90 companies in the tech, health, finance, and research arena, so it is sometimes not possible to avoid one of his products.
Peter Thiel was a founder of PayPal. We recommend using Dwolla for your organizational payment needs. Square and
Venmo are also excellent alternatives for more personal, in person transactions. We love Stripe, but recently found it is also a Peter Thiel investment recipient, which made us sad – it’s what we use (we can’t even fully extricate ourselves, is what we’re saying). *updated: PayPal owns Venmo. wompwomp
reddit (yes, that reddit), Facebook, LinkedIn and AdRoll are a bit hard to avoid. Facebook is one that should be deprecated and replaced for a long list of reasons other than Thiel, but no replacement is yet on scene that is equivalent. Expect a longer post about Facebook soon. LinkedIn has become a ubiquitous de facto resume. While you can safely disconnect from Facebook and reddit without losing value in your online presence, disconnecting from LinkedIn may be unwise professionally. AdRoll can be substituted with almost any other social ad service, but you may have to learn a more difficult interface.
There are some Thiel investments that have become embedded in other services by acquisition. One example that springs to mind is Buddy Media, bought by Salesforce in recent years. Since Salesforce has some excellent non-profit alternatives for sales, marketing, and customer management, this becomes sticky, and may be unwise to abandon. Additionally, some of his investments are embedded quietly in other institutions. One example is Palantir Technologies, widely used by governments, universities, and research facilities.
Some media projects have also taken money from Thiel, including popular site The Big Think. You can get excellent information that is more in depth from other sources, such as Brain Pickings, quite easily, however. His health investments are also quite embedded, as are some of his large capital funds.
We highly recommend bookmarking his CrunchBase page for the full list. This way you can check prior to committing to a service, or move from a service you may already have started using if you want to find alternatives and speak out against hate with your wallet. Meanwhile, if you know of alternatives to some of the more ubiquitous tools (or if you are building one), please let us know!
image credit: Vanity Fair