If you don't like the game, change the game
There is always this question about competition as a form of validation, where we go for things that lots of other people are going for.
It's not that there is wisdom of crowds, it's not that lots of people trying to do something is the best proof of that being valuable. I think it's when lots of people are trying to do something, that is often proof of insanity.
There are twenty thousand people a year who move to Los Angeles to become movie stars, about twenty of them make it. I think the Olympics are a little bit better because you have, you can sort of figure out pretty quickly whether you’re good or not, so there's little less of a deadweight loss to society.
You know the sort of educational experience that at a place, the pre-Stanford educational experience, there is always sort of a non-competitive characterization. I think most of the people in this room had machine guns and they were competing with people with bows and arrows, so it wasn’t exactly a parallel competition when you were in junior high school, in high school.
There is always the question: does the tournament make sense as you keep going?
There is always this question if people going on to grad school or post doctoral educations, does the intensity of the competition really make sense.
There is the classic Henry Kissinger line describing his fellow faculty at Harvard, “The battles were so ferocious because the stakes were so small,” describing academia and you sort of think on one level this is a description of insanity.
Why would people fight like crazy when the stakes are so small, but it's also, I think, simply a function of the logic of a situation.
When it's been really hard to differentiate yourself from other people, when the differences are, when the objectives differences really are small, you have to compete ferociously to maintain a difference of one sort or another. That's often more imaginary than real.
Peter Thiel from the below presentation (Competition is for losers)