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'Zero to One' is one of my all-time favorite books. Peter Thiel discusses how successful companies are built around a strong foundation, secrets, and monopolies. This book is for aspiring entrepreneurs and investors who want to build a valuable business that creates new things, rather than develop on existing ideas.

Zero to One

Zero to One

by Peter Thiel, Blake Masters

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467 reads

Every moment in business happens only once

  • Successful people find value in the most unexpected places. They think in terms of principles, not formulas.
  • Refining an existing idea moves the world from 1 to n, but to move from 0 to 1, we must create something new.
  • Progress comes from Monopoly, not competition. 

Why Start-ups?

A start-up is the largest group of people you can convince of a plan to build a different future. 

  • Big organisations are risk adverse
  • A brilliant loner does not have the means to create a new industry

It takes multiple people to create new technology, but a...

The first and most crucial decision is whom to start it with.

  • Ownership: who will run the company's equity
  • Possession: who will run the company's routine
  • Control: who will govern the company

Monopoly Characteristics

  1. Proprietary Technology: 10x Better than next best alternative.
  2. Network Effects: Provide immediate value to early adopters.
  3. Economies of Scale: Cost per unit declines as production increases.
  4. Branding: A reputation that differentiates itself from competitors and guaran...

Lessons of the Dot-Com Bubble

  1. It's better to be bold than inconsequential
  2. A Bad Plan is better than none
  3. Don't Compete: competition destroys profits
  4. Sales Strategy matters as much as product

The Power Law

Small changes have disproportionate results.

"The secret in venture funding is that the top investment equals or exceeds the rest of the fund combined." 

  • One market will bring the greatest success
  • One distribution strategy will outperform all oth...

Finding Secrets

The best place to find secrets is to ask questions no one is asking and look where no one else is looking. 

  • "What important truth do few people agree with you on?"
  • "What valuable company is nobody building?"

The best entrepreneurs know this: every ...

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