Zero to One - Peter Thiel, Blake Masters

Zero to One - Peter Thiel, Blake Masters

Discover how to create an innovative startup and escape the usual market competition by doing something that has never been done.

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The current market is extremely competitive. That's because it's easy to get into a market that already exists. But have you ever thought about creating something totally different from everything that already exists? How about using your innovative ideas to invest in a business that no one else does?

If your answer is yes, this summary of the book "Zero to One" is for you!

Here you will better understand what leads authors to believe that progress comes from monopoly and learn about the secrets of a successful startup, predicting the future and making it a success.

About the book "Zero to One"

The book Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future (2014), addresses the construction of companies that create something new.

The authors present how organizations can better predict the future and take steps to ensure that their startup is a success.

In addition, the book brings Peter Thiel's own personal experiences to support the ideas presented.

About authors Peter Thiel and Blake Masters

Paypal co-founder, Peter Thiel is also an investor for Facebook and several startups.

He is a partner of the Founders Fund, a venture capital firm that has funded startups such as Airbnb and SpaceX, and founded Thiel Fellowship, which encourages young people to put their ideas into practice instead of continuing in college.

Student of Peter Thiel at Stanford Law School in 2012, Blake Masters created detailed notes of his classes that had strong repercussions in the internet. In addition, he is co-founder of Judicata, a search technology startup related to the legal area.

To whom is this book indicated?

The content of this book is strongly recommended for managers, investors, and founders, but mainly entrepreneurs or people interested in starting their own company, but do not want to join the Common Market routine through fierce competition, but to create something new and unique.

If you want to transform the market and build a business from innovative ideas, this book is for you.

Main ideas of the book "Zero to One"

The highlights of the book are:

  • Progress comes from monopoly, not a competition;
  • Doing something we already know takes us from 1 to n. When we create something new we go from 0 to 1 (we will better explain these concepts throughout the summary);
  • Competition means that there is no profit for anyone;
  • Advertising works all over the world, and if you do not recognize it, you are deceiving yourself.

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[Book Summary] Zero to One - Peter Thiel, Blake Masters

Overview: Part One - From zero to one

In this first overview, we are introduced to this concept that gives name to the book and we will understand its importance.

In business, moments are unique. The next Bill Gates will not create an operating system, just like the next Mark Zuckerberg will not found a social network.

There's no doubt creating something from scratch is much harder than copying something that is already done.

The author treats progress in two different ways. The horizontal progress or extensive is to copy something ready. That's what Thiel calls to go from 1 to n.

The other way is vertical progress or intensive. That means doing new things. That's what the author calls to go from 0 to 1. Now the reason for the name of this book does make sense?

From zero to one

The author Peter Thiel teaches some important principles to go from 0 to 1.

  • Better to risk with the boldness than with the triviality;
  • A bad plan is better than no one;
  • Competitive markets destroy profits;
  • Sales matter as much as the product itself.

Overview: Part Two - The Importance of Monopoly

In the second part, we will talk about the differentials of monopoly companies in relation to the others.

Google generates so much flow cash which today is worth more than the three largest airlines in the United States combined! Do you know why?

It is simple. Google has a monopoly on the search market. When there is competition, companies do not have power over the market.

Therefore, they must sell their products by the market-regulated price or they will be massacred by the competition. Since when you have a monopoly, who makes the rules is you.

Another advantage is that monopolists can always innovate because the high profits enable them to make long-term plans and fund ambitious research projects.

Overview: Part Three - Characteristics of the Monopoly

In this part, Peter Thiel presents the characteristics of the monopoly:

  • Proprietary technology: those products that are difficult or impossible to replicate. The rule is that the proprietary technology is at least ten times better than its nearest replacement. This is the case with Google;
  • Network effects: The more people use that product, the more useful it becomes. An example of this It's Facebook. If all your friends use it, it does not make sense to use some other social network that no one else uses;
  • Economics of scale: be scalable is to have the ability to increase your billing without having to proportionately raise expenses. A scalable business has high growth potential. For example, Twitter does not need to add too many features to keep growing;
  • Branding: Build a strong brand. For example, the perception that Apple offers high-quality products has made its products unique.

Remember that success is not defined by chance or luck. You are the master of your life and your future.

Overview: Part Four - Foundations

Here the Peter Thiel and Blake Masters talk about the difficulties of starting a startup.

Thiel's Law tells us that

"A startup with problems in its foundation can not be repaired."

One of the biggest difficulties is choosing your partner. This decision is so important which the author compares to a marriage.

The main sources of disagreement are:

  • Ownership: who legally owns the company's shares?
  • Management: who actually manages the compan y on a day-to-day basis?
  • Control: who formally governs the company?

Therefore, it is important that this division be very well defined.

Overview: Part Five - The Importance of Marketing

In this overview, we will explain why advertising should not be underestimated.

Many people are skeptical of advertising, but ignoring it can be very harmful to your business.

The fact is that advertising, in fact, works! Resist the obvious sales campaigns is very easy. But, the point is that advertising implants subtle messages that stay in your subconscious and leads you to buy later.

Companies should focus on marketing campaigns that will exponentially increase their growth potential.

Overview: Part Six - The Founder's Paradox

In the sixth part, let's talk about the unusual profile of most founders of startups.

The majority of startup founders have extreme characteristics. Some are charismatic and moody at the same time.

In addition, they have strong personality traits. The lesson taken from this is that we need the founders, whether to love them or to hate them.

What do other authors say about it?

In their research, the authors of the book "Built to Last", Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras, found that most visionary companies did not start with a revolutionary idea that made them succeed right at the beginning. In fact, they had a slow start and, over time, managed to dominate their markets.

In the book "The Lean Startup", author Eric Ries says that the true productivity of a startup is measured by the systematic search for the right things to do. In lean startup, every product, every feature and every advertising campaign is understood as an experiment to achieve validated learning.

In "Unshakeable", Tony Robbins gives valuable advice: if you're not careful, taxes can easily eliminate 30% or more of your returns on investments. Therefore, it is important to pay attention only to the net amount that you will, in fact, be able to keep.

Okay, but how can I apply this to my life?

Based on the critical analysis of the book "Zero to One", we learn that:

  • We must question already known ideas;
  • To start a successful startup, you need to start a new business without copying something that already exists;
  • Marketing should not be neglected;
  • When starting your business, choose your partner well.

Did you like this summary of the book "Zero to One"?

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In addition, the full edition of the book is available for purchase in the image below:

Book 'Zero to One'