Zero to one Peter Thiel
Every time we create something new, we go from 0 to 1
Unless they invest in the difficult task of creating new things, American companies will fail in the future no matter how big their profits remain today.
Humans are distinguished from other species by our ability to work miracles.
We call these miracles technology. Technology
The paradox of teaching entrepreneurship is that such a formula necessarily cannot exist; because every innovation is new
I have noticed is that successful people find value in unexpected places, and they do this by thinking about business from first principles instead of formulas.
“What important truth do very few people agree with you on?”
courage is in even shorter supply than genius.
Future can take one of two forms.
I. Horizontal or extensive progress means copying things that work—
Horizontal progress is easy to imagine because we already know what it looks like. globalization
II. Vertical or intensive progress means doing new things—going from 0 to 1. technology.
If you can identify a delusional popular belief, you can find what lies hidden behind it: the contrarian truth.
The first step to thinking clearly is to question what we think we know about the past.
A bad plan is better than no plan.
Under perfect competition, in the long run no company makes an economic profit.
All failed companies are the same: they failed to escape competition.
Simply stated, the value of a business today is the sum of all the money it will make in the future.
- Proprietary technology
- Network effect (more useful as more people use it)
- Economies of scale (the cost to produce an additional unit is marginal)
“disruption” was a term of art to describe how a firm can use new technology to introduce a low-end product at low prices, and eventually overtake even the premium products offered by incumbent companies using older technology.
“you must study the end game before everything else.”
The philosophy of the ancient world was pessimistic: Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, and Lucretius all accepted strict limits on human potential.
Eroom’s law—that’s Moore’s law backward—observes that the number of new drugs approved per billion dollars spent on R& D has halved every nine years since 1950.
Biotech startups are an extreme example of indefinite thinking.
progress without planning is what we call “evolution.” Darwin himself wrote that life tends to “progress” without anybody intending it.
the power law—so named because exponential equations describe severely unequal distributions—is the law of the universe. It defines our surroundings so completely that we usually don’t even see it.
“spray and pray” diversification
Is better to focus on outperforming
This implies two very strange rules for VCs.
First, only invest in companies that have the potential to return the value of the entire fund. This is a scary rule, because it eliminates the vast majority of possible investments.
And once you think that you’re playing the lottery, you’ve already psychologically prepared yourself to lose.
You can’t find secrets without looking for them.
“Thiel’s law”: a startup messed up at its foundation cannot be fixed.
Democratic republic. All power resides in “the people,” who elect representatives to serve them in government. If you’re a citizen, you’re a part owner of
Most conflicts in a startup erupt between ownership and control—that is, between founders and investors on the board. The potential for conflict increases over time as interests diverge:
A board of three is ideal. Your board should never exceed five people, unless your company is publicly held. (Government regulations effectively
In no case should a CEO of an early-stage, venture-backed startup receive more than $ 150,000 per year in salary.
the best way to create productivity is “to get rid of people.” Forbes captured a more anxious attitude when it asked readers: Will a machine replace you?
The most valuable businesses of coming decades will be built by entrepreneurs who seek to empower people rather than try to make them obsolete.
People compete for jobs and for resources; computers compete for neither. computers are tools, not rivals.
they won’t be substitutes for humans: they’ll be complements.
The Central Intelligence Agency is run by spies who privilege humans. The National Security Agency is run by generals who prioritize computers.
Every entrepreneur should plan to be the last mover in her particular market.
what will the world look like 10 and 20 years from now, and how will my business fit in?
a great founder can bring
out the best work from everybody at his company.
Singularity, an attempt to name the imagined result of new technologies so powerful as to transcend the current limits of our understanding.
Ray Kurzweil, the best-known Singularitarian, starts from Moore’s law and traces exponential growth trends in dozens of fields, confidently projecting a future of superhuman artificial intelligence.