Zero to One

There is no question Peter Thiel is an interesting guy. Zero to one is basically his thoughts on startups and business. While it is organized by chapters, they don’t necessarily flow like a normal book would. It’s super short and can be read in a few days. I thought it was extremely interesting and well worth a read.

Thiel likes to ask questions like “What important truth do very few people agree with you on ?” or “What valuable company is nobody building?”. He goes way deeper than basic business strategy. Like he says in the book, he’s only looking for billion dollar companies. If the projection or best outlook is not in the billions, he’s not interested.

He preaches the critical components of being a monopoly but uses the term in a different tone. He believes in “creative” monopolies. The type of monopoly that can change society or the world for the better. He uses examples like Google and believes they are the key to driving progress. He also thinks competition is the devil where no one makes money. The myth of competition being healthy is squashed in Thiel’s opinion.

Being one of the founders of Paypal, he uses a lot of examples from his time there and mentions of key players like Elon Musk quite a bit. He goes against the grain on common business assumptions and makes you rethink your perception. He also provides great tips and best practices from the startups he’s worked with. I really enjoyed the challenging of assumptions which is exactly how these unicorn companies get created.

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