A Start Up Must Read: Peter Thiel’s Zero To One

Peter Thiel's Zero To One

If you’re thinking of establishing your new start-up project and you’re not really sure what needs to be done, Peter Thiel’s Zero to One is a great place to start your entrepreneurial journey. Thiel is a world-renowned entrepreneur, one of the founders of PayPal and one of the first investors involved in Facebook. There are so many great takeaways from the book and I’ve found myself continuously referencing it and recommending it, which is why I have classed it as a must read for any Wantrepreneurs.

“Brilliant thinking is rare, but courage is in even shorter supply than genius.”
― Peter Thiel, Zero to One 

In his book, titled Zero to One, Peter offers us a great insight in the world of start-ups from different points of view, but also offers solutions for the problems that a young entrepreneur might encounter on his road towards his first successful start-up. Moreover, Peter explains that in today’s technologically advanced society the options are virtually limitless.

Peter Thiel zero to one quote

The book has a contrarian voice to it, starting off with the idea that even though we live in a technologically advanced society, there’s currently a technological stagnation happening all around the world. He points out that technological advancement shouldn’t be obtained and contained within the limits of Silicon Valley, mentioning that every young entrepreneur should master a very important skill before beginning a new start-up: the ability to think for himself. Furthermore, he explains and debates the differences between horizontal and vertical progress, and what each type of progress relates to current times.

“We cannot take for granted that the future will be better, and that means we need to work to create it today.”
― Peter Thiel, Zero to One 

The principal: Zero to One

Later in the book he explains that creating or improving something that has already been done, just to create market competition and revenue is an action that will bring the world from 1 to none. That’s because creating something that people are already familiarized with doesn’t bring enough novelty in the game. However, if you were to create something new, that’s never been done before, you would bring the world from 0 to 1, hence the title of the book. He adds that the next big tech names, like Larry Page, Bill Gates, or Sergey Brin once were, will definitely not re-invent something that’s already been on the market for many years. Moreover, he explains the differences between competition and monopoly on certain markets.

“As computers become more and more powerful, they won’t be substitutes for humans: they’ll be compliments.”
― Peter Thiel, Zero to One 

The book takes an optimistic approach to the future of technological progress in the United States of America and around the world. One of the main values that each entrepreneur should remember is that innovation is the only way to truly make progress. Furthermore, Peter offers insight on how current society works in relation to technology but also tries to take a glimpse into the future. Examining major companies that have a well-established name in the tech domain, he tries to show how each company managed to create new values, while tackling old problems with new approaches.

Peter’s book has long list of take-home messages for young entrepreneurs. One of the most important of them being that you should always strive to create something innovative. Try to think of something that will be long-lasting on the market, even if it means it will take a longer time to develop.

Peter Thiel Meme

After you’re satisfied with your idea, Thiel exclaims to find traction you should try to monopolize a smaller market first, and move on from there – much like the evolution of facebook, initially starting on university campuses.

Another important take-home message is that you should always try to attract people who are interested in working towards the final goal of your company. Doing so will maximize the efforts of the team and will get your start-up closer to success.

All-in-all, Peter Thiel’s book is a definite must-read for enthusiastic young entrepreneurs or digital nomads who want to make a change in the world and influence for the better. Its an enjoyable read, easy to digest and delivers a firm understanding of the evolution of silicon valley and how the current business landscape lies.

About the author

Virtually Nomadic

Virtually Nomadic is a Digital Nomad Travel Blog founded by Tim and Paul. Two online entrepreneurs on a mission to grow and excel in their online businesses while visiting the top 100 Wonders of the World.

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