DV Weekend Pickup #45
Peter Thiel was an original founder of PayPal, founder of Palantir, board member at Facebook, and a tech investor with an impeccable track record. He is by all accounts a Silicon Valley legend.
"If you've invented something new but you haven't invented an effective way to sell it, you have a bad business - no matter how good the product."
At first glance you'd think this book is heavily tech focused but you quickly realize it's a challenge to businesses across all industries. Can you go from 0 to 1? As in, can you create something that nobody else is creating?
"Customers won't care about any particular technology unless it solves a particular problem in a superior way. And if you can't monopolize a unique solution for a small market, you'll be stuck with vicious competition."
In theory, this sounds like a dream! In actuality, well know it's damn hard to do! Thiel will claim if you're able to answer these 7 questions...
- The Engineering Question: Can you create breakthrough technology (vs. incremental improvement?)
- The Timing Question: Is now the right time to start this particular business?
- The Monopoly Question: Are you starting with a big share of a small market?
- The People Question: Do you have the right team?
- The Distribution Question: Do you have a way to not just create but deliver your product?
- The Durability Question: Will your market position be defensible 10-20 years into the future?
- The Secret Question: Have you identified a unique opportunity that others don't see?
...then you've got a chance to make something magical happen. "The next Bill Gates is not going to create an operating system. The next Larry Page and Sergey Brin will not create a search engine," says Thiel.
Zero to One is anything but your average take on starting a business, but it is a great read for anyone who wants see business from a different angle. And sometimes, it's amazing what you can see when you simply change your view.
Crush the day!