Co-Founding Seasteading Institute with Peter Thiel, and the Power of Long-Term Thinking – Patri Friedman


Ten years ago, Patri Friedman set out to found the Seasteading Institute while working at Google.

Their vision? To create floating ‘start-up’ countries in oceans that can self-govern with its own policies. This would involve having a host nation to support their residency and setting up experiments with innovative social, political, and legal systems.

It may sound like a big (if not wild) mission, but the Seasteading Institute has put in a decade worth of mistakes and lessons to bring the vision to life. Patri is also the grandson of Milton Friedman, a Nobel Memorial Prize winner, and a former advisor to President Ronald Reagan, and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

But his grandfather’s inspiration isn’t the only credibility that he brings for the Seasteading Institute. Billionaire and Co-Founder of Paypal, Peter Thiel, helped co-found the Institute, and donated over $1.5M to get started.

What’s important to keep in mind is that the Seasteading Institute is not your typical web startup. It’s not a software application that can be coded up by an individual in months. It takes a complex mixture of massive capital, overcoming regulations, understanding environmental risks, building a team of experts, and much more. They’ve recently announced that their first floating city will be built by 2020.

The journey that Patri has been through is one that any of us can learn from. In this interview, we talk about how he convinced Peter Thiel to become his partner, what he’s learned while building Seasteading, and much more.

Hope you enjoy!

If you enjoyed this episode, you may also want to check out this episode with another pioneer in the nonprofit industry, Scott Harrison, founder of Charity: Water.

What You’ll Learn

  • How to convince powerful and wealthy individuals to work with you
  • How Patri started Seasteading on the side while working at Google
  • Breaking down a massive vision into small, actionable steps
  • How Patri thinks about risk versus reward when selecting new projects
  • What is a Seastead, and why it’s important for a better world
  • How you can live in a Seastead (or get involved)
  • and much more

Topics Discussed

  • Peter Thiel
  • Seasteading Institute
  • Networking
  • Milton Friedman
  • Nonprofit Organization
  • Time management
  • Government Policies

Links Mentioned In The Episode


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Question of the day: What’s the biggest takeaway you learned from Patri and his journey?


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