Book Review 1: Zero to One

Zero to One by Peter Thiel: 5/5. I really liked this book. I have been a fan of Peter Thiel for some time now. This book has a sort of cult following in Silicon Valley circles, and it seems justified. Zero to One in my mind is probably the most profound business book I have ever read. Thiel has a way to make connections between different things and articulate them in a way I can visualize and understand. If someone told me they were thinking about starting a business and sought VC funding, I would recommend this book instantly, it’s just that good.
I think Thiel is a modern-day genius, and this book shows me how he thinks and evaluates a company. He also outlines the many pitfalls that founders need to avoid. I also found the culture sections very informative.

3 notable quotes from this book, in no particular order are:

“Actually, capitalism and competition are opposites. Capitalism is premised on the accumulation of capital, but under perfect competition,all profits get competed away. The lesson for entrepreneurs is clear: if you want to create and capture lasting value, don’t build an undifferentiated commodity business.” Pg 25

“A great business is defined by its ability to generate cash flows in the future.” Pg 44

“But this ‘spray and pray’ approach usually produces an entire portfolio of flops, with no hits at all… this is because venture returns don’t follow a normal distribution overall. Rather, they follow a power law: a handful of companies radically outperform all others. If you focus on diversification instead of single-minded pursuit of very few companies that can become overwhelmingly valuable, you’ll miss those rare companies in the first place.” Pg 85

Link to the book


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