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In business, we don’t get the panacea methodology to deliver a market-dominating business or monopoly, and the methodology for the next big thing likely hasn’t been defined yet. We need to look at each business from multiple perspectives and I do believe Peter Thiel provides another unique perspective – not a replacement perspective but an additional one. The research shows that disruptive innovation typically comes from new start companies and they tend to dominate a new market niche until they grow dramatically or are acquired. Iterative innovation in specific markets tends to be dominated by the incumbents, which are usually large multinational companies if the market is lucrative. So I agree with Peter Thiel, that new start businesses need to consider an order of magnitude value step change over existing solutions, to succeed, which is the zero to one transformation.
"Doing what we already know how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But every time we create something new, we go from 0 to 1. The act of creation is singular, as in the moment of creation, and the result is something fresh and strange."
Zero to One suggests a very different method from the lean-agile approach proposed by Steve Blank and Eric Ries in The Four Steps to the Epiphany and The Lean Startup respectively. They suggest that Customer Discovery, Validation, Creation and Building are the cornerstones of the startup approach.
I believe we need to start with a vision of what a successful business would look like, and we need to see that it will be significantly different (10x) from existing competitive solutions. How do we get there? By understanding and executing a market entry path that is iteratively to build, test & learn. I would also question Thiel’s suggestion that only technology enables that step change. In the cited case of Facebook, there were multiple solutions offering social media platforms and it appears the leadership and marketing of Facebook, were more the decisive factors. We could even argue that Facebook is an example of the Eric Ries approach.
The example of Paypal and Thiel’s insights into the economy and the investment community around the DotCom boom and bust were very interesting. The investor expectations are a constant challenge as I’ve heard from one investor that he wouldn’t get out of bed if a company wasn’t turning over €40million in 3 years and another saying if you showed me figures like that I’d think I was working with idiots with their heads in the clouds.
After the main point of vertical innovation is made, the book rambles and while the discussion points are interesting you often wonder what this has that to do with the main premise of the book. The book does feel a little unstructured and elements seem to be included as they were part of a lecture series rather than an integral part of a framework for achieving that 0 to 1 impact.
I would recommend reading this book as it may encourage and inspire you to consider where you want to go with the company and its core solutions. It does, however, need to be tempered with the knowledge that other approaches exist and Peter Thiel may be wrong, at least in parts.
The book gives a completely new perspective on how businesses should be run or rather on what basis one should even start a company. Discusses mostly about monopoly - and a definition for it. I have come across this measure of monopoly for the first time. The author emphasizes the importance of salesmen. Says the real selling is when customers are not even aware that the selling is happening. And goes on to sell his product, his current investment to the readers - not sure how many realised this. At the end, there was too much focus on trivial and uninteresting things like how founders are eccentric - may be he wants to show the audience that how cool he is. No credit was given to Sean Parker who introduced Zuckerberg to Thiel - the first major outside investment in Facebook. Instead Parker was portrayed as a villain who didn't know what he was doing. It ends with a philosophy called Singularity where there is infinite hope for the future. And according to the author, technology is the only thing that is capable of achieving it - with so many helping move the current scenario from 0 to 1. Other factors like psychology, spirituality, and other unknown realms are completely discounted by the author
this book is ok, but like many others I was disappointed that it didn't live up to all the hype. The author writes quite arrogantly at times, you get the impression he thinks he is an expert in many fields other than business (e.g. philosophy). The book is written mostly for a US audience, and as such, it may be less helpful for those of us who don't live in the USA. That said, there are some interesting concepts and overall it is worth a read.
In the beginning the author did sound too sure of himself which put me off...but upon giving the book a second try, I realised that he is actually very well credentialed to write the book mainly due to his real life practical experience founding/being part of world changing companies. Very glad that I stuck with the book, learned some amazing things about economics, and most importantly the author gave me PERSPECTIVE on the industry of business and economics as a whole which I am very thankful for.
Would recommend at the least underlining and recapping between readings. Very versatile book to as it caters to not only those who are starting out trying to think of a business idea, but also to those who have a business and are trying to build teams as well as anyone in business who wants to grow.
I have a degree, though with this book I learnt some amazing solid principles about economics and how the world works. What prompted me to give with 5 stars in stead of 4 is that for the majority, the author gave substantial evidence (often real life) to back up his theories and thus I really can't dismiss the book.
This is one of those must-read books for everyone, especially for Startups and Entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship cannot be taught, but this book does put light on the fundamentals of starting a business.
make you think, the next big stocks will be those that can scale and solve hard problems.
also like the chapters on why we either do easy things in life but rarely the very hard stuff, and why folk go 2 ways either go for the easy way, eg rubbish job, or other spectrum become hippes,religious cults and believe in stuff noone can prove right or wrong, so they are just as bad as the lazy ones that take the rubbish jobs.
makes you realise why some middle east /african, third world,countries that are backward are so religious cos they have to have something to believe in to make their lifes worthwhile,to get them out off bed in morning, but they dont have any decent inventors, businessmen,fantastic companies, cos that takes effort which these countries dont have any off.
the best guys are those trying to do difficult jobs, problems, but they are solveable ones !!!
dont try and try to travel to the next galaxy at the speed of light, impossible, try to get to mars instead, possible , but hard.
A good read to challenge some of your ideas before rush into doing something you might regret. Not exactly a guide or "how to" book. I personally do not agree with some of the stuff he said about the future economy. And there is some point which you probably already know, "technology is to enhance human performance", "globalization vs monopoly". But it does shed some new light on what is necessary to consider when building a team/company or spotting a unique opportunity.
Peter Thiel has a rather interesting view of the world: this book covers his opinions regarding politics, philosophy, and economics, and attempts to relate them to the area of technology start-up.
I do not always agree with Thiel's views - they're often borderline wacky, outlandish, and present what I would consider to be an overanalysis of the state of the world that tries to find meaning in places where perhaps there is very little. This also leads to contradictions in strategy that may be confusing to the novice start-up founder.
Regardless, Thiel's views provide excellent food for thought and sprinkled throughout the book are frameworks that are indeed useful when analysing the place of high-growth startups in society, as well as the growth potential of specific enterprises.
As a practical handbook for starting a business, this book falls down - however that is not entirely its purpose. If you are looking for an engaging and thought-provoking read that will make you consider the value and virtue of different types of businesses from new perspectives, this is well worth a read.