Book review Zero to One: Notes on Startups
The book was published in 2014 by Crown Business. The author Peter Thiel is the founder of PayPal and Palantir Technologies. He is also an investor in hundred of startups. The content of this book was first taught at Stanford University where one of his student Blake Master took a very detailed notes and spread it on the internet and attracted great attention.
The content of the books talks about how to build an original business that make new things into the world, not just makes the world different but make it better. The kind of startups that create products with 10x improvement or completely novel. This book is not for incremental improvement business.
The book talks about the foundation and characteristics of a great startup, emphasizing the founders, hiring and investors. It also discusses the delusion that founders can be trapped in such as the uniqueness of the business and the market potential.
Good startups should have secrets and pursue its mission with totally dedication, hoping to have monopoly profit in the future which is one of the key messages in the book. Monopoly profit is what a great startup is chasing and only get it when the startup meets all criteria as owning proprietary technology, target niche market and expand deliberately, right timing, attain economies of scale etc.
The author notes that all startups that failed are those could not escape the bloody competition. He advises that startups should avoid competition or make competitors irrelevant, and the only way to do it is when the startup does something others cannot.
Startup not just makes great products, it must pay equally attention to distribution including marketing, advertising, selling and branding.
It is a great book, stretching our mind about starting a great business.