Hello, my name is Maria and today we’re talking about “Zero to One” by Peter Thiel.
Now, amongst many other things, Peter Thiel is the co-founder of PayPal.
The contents of this book are actually based off a class he taught at Stanford and in his own words is intended to be an exercise in critical thinking.
Zero to One refers to vertical progress and what that means is, building something new as opposed to building upon something that already exists.
Now, conventional wisdom says that monopolies are bad for competition and we have laws in place to prevent them.
However, Thiel argues that actually competition is what’s holding us back.
Now this seems counterintuitive but let’s go over it.
Thiel refers to monopolies as being able to solve unique problems.
Whereas competition has multiple products or services all trying to solve a similar problem.
If you’re a monopoly, that means you’re in your own category.
And so the approach that Thiel encourages is to invent or have a product or a service that is so different and groundbreaking, going from zero to one that it’s in its own category.
That it doesn’t even have competition.
And this is related to the idea of building a monopoly that I just went over.
Because in order to build a monopoly we have to have a specific market segment that we’re going after.
And so Thiel encourages people to target a small group, a small audience and go after that and dominate that specific group before moving on.
And if you think this a weird idea, Thiel actually gives examples of how this was implemented.
Facebook, a company that we’re all familiar with started off only available for students at Stanford and that’s a campus now with about 16,000 students.
So they specifically focused on that market.
They didn’t try and conquer all the universities at once.
They focused on a market that probably at that time was maybe closer to 10,000 students and tried to dominate that.
And within a very short period of time, they had more than 50% of students using Facebook.
And now Facebook has become a huge company, but it all started very small.
Thiel mentions how the proprietary technology of your product or service should be at least 10x better than your nearest competitor.
Thiel argues that if you’re just slightly better customers aren’t going to make big changes in their buying habits based on slight incremental improvements.
You have to differentiate yourself so much and have technology that is so much better, that you’ve essentially created a different market.
You’re not even competing with them.
You have to have quality product and service that is completely blowing other products and services out of the water.
The main thing I love about that this book is that questions everything.
It made me question all the beliefs I had when it comes to conventional wisdom on business.
It’s meant to be an exercise in critical thinking and it’s definitely exactly that for me.
I had to critically think about my approach to business.
Honestly, I have no negatives for this book.
I loved it so much.
It’s my favorite book I’ve read this year in 2017, so I have no complaints about this book at all.
If anything, my only criticism would be that it was too short.
First of all I think high school and university students should definitely check out this book simply because it’s an amazing exercise in critical thinking.
It will make you challenge what you believe to be true.
And give you a better understanding of business.
I also think anybody who’s thinking of starting their own business should definitely read this book because it will help you understand if your product or service has a viable chance of surviving in the market.
And it will help you understand how you should go about developing a business plan.
That’s it, that’s my book review of “Zero to One” by Peter Thiel.
If you have any questions about this book please let me know in the comments below.
And if you’ve read this book I’d love to hear your thoughts on it as well.
If you want to see what I talked about here in a written format, or you want more information on Peter Thiel, please head over to my blog www.promotekdbook.com.
Next week I’ll be back with another book review.
But until then, keep reading and keep learning.
====================================================Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00J6YBOFQ