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 :)
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Aperio's Mission = Automating Pathology
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji
Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
the big day
solving bongard problems
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
where are the desktop apps?