Peter Thiel's new book Zero to One is excellent, highly recommended. You may know, I worked for Peter for a while, back in the early days of PayPal, and he's as interesting and insightful as ever. You might enjoy this talk and Q&A he recently gave about the subjects in his book.
Some takeaway quotes:
- All happy companies are different. Most unhappy companies are the same.
- Favorite question: "Tell me something that’s true that very few people agree with".
- Or something that most people think is true that isn't.
- Courage is in far shorter supply than genius.
- If there's no competition you get a monopoly, leads to success.
Google hasn't had competition since 2002
- People who have monopolies pretend not to have them.
- Companies with monopolies talk about bigger markets.
- Companies without monopolies talk about smaller markets
- Globalization is distinct from technological progress
- Entrepreneur isn't a line item on your resume
- Start a company because it's the best way to solve a problem
- Bitcoin is flip side of PayPal
- PayPal built a payment system, wanted to create a new currency
- Bitcoin has created a new currency, wants to build a payment system
- Build friendships as you build a company
- Prehistory of a company is important: friends not just colleagues
- Business ideas: “Find someone I trust, give me a recommendation”
- Politics is broken and important
- Start a new country – make it very differentiated to others
- Business failure is like airport luggage – probability goes up until it goes to zero
- Consensus and being right doesn't get you very far
- Skeptical that there's a lot to be learned from failure
- Failure is often over determined, too many reasons to parse
- Social Network movie backfired
- Universities are just as corrupt as the Catholic church
Peter is most definitely one of a kind :)