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The quote with which Tolstoy opens Anna Karenina might describe people, but for businesses it's the opposite: All happy companies are different: each one earns a monopoly by solving a unique problem. All failed companies are the same: they failed to escape competition.
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Every monopoly is unique, but they usually share some combination of:
Progress can take one of two forms:
The single greatest danger for a founder is to become so certain of his own myth that he loses his mind.
But an equally insidious danger for every business is to lose all sense of myth and mistake disenchantment for wisdom.
Every startup is small at the start. Every monopoly dominates a large share of its market. Therefore, every startup should start with a very small market.
The perfect target market for a startup is a small group of particular people concentrated together an...
The book draws on Thiel's experience as a co-founder of PayPal and Palantir, investor in hundreds of startups, including Facebook and SpaceX. Thiel cautions the book offers no formula for success. Such a formula cannot exist as every innovation is new and unique....
Why would someone join your company as its 20th engineer when she could go work at Google for more money and more prestige?
You’ll attract the employees you need if you can explain why your mission is compelling: not why it’s important in general, but why you’re doing something important th...
The stark differences between man and machine mean that gains from working with computers are much higher than gains from trade with other people.
We don’t trade with computers any more than we trade with livestock or lamps.
Our task today is to find singular ways to create the new things that will make the future not just different, but better - to go from 0 to 1.
The essential first step is to think for yourself. Only by seeing our world anew, as fresh and s...
The value of a business today is the sum of all the money it will make in the future.
Thiel argues capitalism and competition are opposites.
Capitalism is premised on the accumulation of capital, but under perfect competition all profits get competed away.
Because creating value is not enough, you also need to capture some of the val...
PayPal was in 2001 the only email-based payments company in the world. It employed fewer people than the restaurants on Castro Street (Mountain View, CA), where the Paypal team used to go for lunch. The business was much more valuable than all of those restaurants combined.
Starting a new ...
The best startups might be considered slightly less extreme kinds of cults. The biggest difference is that cults tend to be fanatically wrong about something important.
People at a successful startup are fanatically right about something those outside it have missed.
Positively defined, a startup is the largest group of people you can convince of a plan to build a different future.
A startup messed up at its foundation cannot be fixed.
"The most contrarian thing of all is not to oppose the crowd but to think for yourself.". Is the advice given throughout the book.
Thiel encourages to think different, but most of all to think for yourself.
My interests are many and eclectic. Product guy.
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