- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group (16 September 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780804139298
- ISBN-13: 978-0804139298
- ASIN: 0804139296
- Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 2.2 x 21.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 358 g
- Customer Reviews: 4,413 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future Hardcover – 16 September 2014
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- The Economist "An extended polemic against stagnation, convention, and uninspired thinking. What Thiel is after is the revitalization of imagination and invention writ large..."
- The New Republic
"Might be the best business book I've read...Barely 200 pages long and well lit by clear prose and pithy aphorisms, Thiel has written a perfectly tweetable treatise and a relentlessly thought-provoking handbook."
- Derek Thompson, The Atlantic "This book delivers completely new and refreshing ideas on how to create value in the world."
- Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook "Peter Thiel has built multiple breakthrough companies, and Zero to One shows how."
- Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla " Zero to One is the first book any working or aspiring entrepreneur must read--period."
- Marc Andreessen, co-creator of the world's first web browser, co-founder of Netscape, and venture capitalist at Andreessen Horowitz "Zero to One is an important handbook to relentless improvement for big companies and beginning entrepreneurs alike. Read it, accept Peter's challenge, and build a business beyond expectations."
- Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO, GE
"When a risk taker writes a book, read it. In the case of Peter Thiel, read it twice. Or, to be safe, three times. This is a classic."
- Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan
"Thiel has drawn upon his wide-ranging and idiosyncratic readings in philosophy, history, economics, anthropology, and culture to become perhaps America's leading public intellectual today"
"Peter Thiel, in addition to being an accomplished entrepreneur and investor, is also one of the leading public intellectuals of our time. Read this book to get your first glimpse of how and why that is true."
- Tyler Cowen, New York Times best-selling author of Average is Over and Professor of Economics at George Mason University "The first and last business book anyone needs to read; a one in a world of zeroes."
- Neal Stephenson, New York Times best-selling author of Snow Crash, the Baroque Cycle, and Cryptonomicon "Forceful and pungent in its treatment of conventional orthodoxies--a solid starting point for readers thinking about building a business."
- Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Peter Thiel is an entrepreneur and investor. He started PayPal in 1998, led it as CEO, and took it public in 2002, defining a new era of fast and secure online commerce. In 2004 he made the first outside investment in Facebook, where he serves as a director. The same year he launched Palantir Technologies, a software company that harnesses computers to empower human analysts in fields like national security and global finance. He has provided early funding for LinkedIn, Yelp, and dozens of successful technology startups, many run by former colleagues who have been dubbed the "PayPal Mafia." He is a partner at Founders Fund, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm that has funded companies like SpaceX and Airbnb. He started the Thiel Fellowship, which ignited a national debate by encouraging young people to put learning before schooling, and he leads the Thiel Foundation, which works to advance technological progress and long- term thinking about the future.Blake Masters was a student at Stanford Law School in 2012 when his detailed notes on Peter's class "Computer Science 183: Startup" became an internet sensation. He is President of The Thiel Foundation and Chief Operating Officer of Thiel Capital.
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As I've read more and more books across business and tech, there's three criteria that I judge these books on. I know I'm going to love a book if it:
> Introduces me to new ideas
> Makes me question long held assumptions
> Balances big picture thinking with practical tactics
For me, this book delivers strongly on all three.
I don’t agree with all of Thiel’s opinions. But if you like thinking about the future you’ll probably like this book. 👍👍👍
The preamble of the book states “It’s easier to copy a model than to make something new: doing what we already know how to do takes the world from 1 to n”, but for any founder or investor to achieve exponential growth, he states “Every new creation goes from 0 to 1. This book is about how to get there.” Peter Thiel has reinforced this message throughout the book and supported it with good examples.
He strongly argues that starting up an undifferentiated commodity business will wipe away profits and leave the start-up struggling for existence. He argues in favour of “creative monopoly”; a monopoly that encourages creativity in developing new products such that the society as a whole will benefit from such monopoly. These monopolies invest their monopoly profits in long-term projects and research; competitive companies cannot invest long-term because they spend more time struggling to earn and keep their existing profits. He thinks we need more creative monopolies to power the world. Such messages seem to fly in the face of established economic theory; but the presentation of the content makes a compelling read.
There are intelligent nuggets all over the book that are very inspirational and useful. He ends the book with a key thought “We cannot take for granted that the future will be better, and that means we need to work to create it today.”
The book is written in easy, lucid style in layman’s language. The book captivates the imagination; I read it twice in succession to imbibe the philosophy presented by the book. The book gives an insight into why some start-ups are more successful than others. That makes this book more relevant to today’s world than ever before. If you are a start-up or are planning one, you must read this book. For the rest of us, it makes a very absorbing read nevertheless.
Top international reviews
"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.
Book: Feels original, not a digital copy. But paper quality makes it doubtful.
Content: Author express the huge requirement of new ideas and uniqueness. Including success stories of Mark and Musk makes it interesting and inspirational to read.
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.
Entrepreneurship cannot be taught, but this book does put light on the fundamentals of starting a business.
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.
Easy reading and some out of the box perspectives on thinking about big ideas and successful companies.
some of the opinions are stated as fact, eg technology is not competing with people... which would be contestable based on history.
High level and does not feel sufficiently rounded to cover all key topics
Can tell it is notes from a series of lectures as opposed to an in-depth approach