ZERO TO ONE by Peter Thiel3 min to read this review

The great secret of our time is that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create. In Zero to One, legendary entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel shows how we can find singular ways to create those new things.

Fast read
Simple language
To the Point
Balanced Views
Perspective shift

1. For whom is this book?

  • For founders, startups and students who want to bring something new into the market and want to escape competition.

2. How would you describe this book to a friend?

This book helps founders think in larger context and question some of their core beliefs about the market and entrepreneurship.

3. What blew your mind?

Competition does NOT empower innovation, it rather removes incentives for a creative environment. Monopoly is the real engine of innovation and therefor is not by definition bad.

4. What are the core concepts

  • We are unaware that we mostly still live in an old world where only telecommunication and computing has grown exponentially. Other fields are lagging behind therefor there is enough to discover.
  • In the West we are living in an Indefinite Optimistic mindset which does not promote zero to one thinking. We believe most important things have been discovered and do not have the belief/audacity to tackle the remaining “impossible” huge problems.
  • There are no protocols or systems to follow to be innovative and the only pattern the writer has discovered that something new only happens in unexpected places and to find those places you must look. This ties to the definite optimism mentality.
  • Competition will only lead to incremental improvements. Try to bypass thinking in these terms. Find a niche to dominate and do not try to think only in terms of disruption.
  • Contrary thinking is the base for going from zero to one. This means that you need to think for yourself to define what core belief you hold that the rest of the world might find crazy. Always think from first principle.
  • To launch a successful company, you need to answer 7 core questions positively about engineering, timing, monopoly, people, distribution, durability and secrets.

5. What other books would you recommend on these core concepts?

“THE DIP” by Seth Godin is also a great book that helps entrepreneurs to think things through when they are on the starting block.

6. What are the key take aways?

To add something new to the world one must NOT focus on what is already there but try to search in the nooks and crannies of their idiosyncratic beliefs/viewpoints to find their contrarian truths and make sure you can answer the seven questions affirmative

7. Who should’t read this book?

  • Writer is a libertarian therefor a conservative might not agree on his premises.
  • The book is founder oriented and therefor employees might not get the most out of it.

8. What left you unsatisfied about this book?

  • More handles or tools on how to become a key player in a niche market.
  • More thought exercises or other tips on how to search for the leftover secrets of the world.

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