Zero to One Quotes

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Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel
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Zero to One Quotes Showing 1-30 of 1,106
“ZERO TO ONE EVERY MOMENT IN BUSINESS happens only once. The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. And the next Mark Zuckerberg won’t create a social network. If you are copying these guys, you aren’t learning from them.”
Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
“The best entrepreneurs know this: every great business is built around a secret that’s hidden from the outside. A great company is a conspiracy to change the world; when you share your secret, the recipient becomes a fellow conspirator.”
Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
“Tolstoy opens Anna Karenina by observing: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Business is the opposite. All happy companies are different: each one earns a monopoly by solving a unique problem. All failed companies are the same: they failed to escape competition.”
Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
“Elite students climb confidently until they reach a level of competition sufficiently intense to beat their dreams out of them. Higher education is the place where people who had big plans in high school get stuck in fierce rivalries with equally smart peers over conventional careers like management consulting and investment banking. For the privilege of being turned into conformists, students (or their families) pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in skyrocketing tuition that continues to outpace inflation. Why are we doing this to ourselves?”
Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
“What important truth do very few people agree with you on?”
Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
“The most valuable businesses of coming decades will be built by entrepreneurs who seek to empower people rather than try to make them obsolete.”
Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
“Monopoly is the condition of every successful business.”
Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
“All failed companies are the same: they failed to escape competition.”
Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
“In the most dysfunctional organizations, signaling that work is being done becomes a better strategy for career advancement than actually doing work (if this describes your company, you should quit now).”
Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
“Madness is rare in individuals—but in groups, parties, nations, and ages it is the rule,”
Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Start Ups, or How to Build the Future
“If your product requires advertising or salespeople to sell it, it’s not good enough: technology is primarily about product development, not distribution.”
Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Start Ups, or How to Build the Future
“By the time a student gets to college, he's spent a decade curating a bewilderingly diverse resume to prepare for a completely unknowable future. Come what may, he's ready--for nothing in particular.”
Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
“If your goal is to never make a mistake in your life, you shouldn’t look for secrets. The prospect of being lonely but right—dedicating your life to something that no one else believes in—is already hard. The prospect of being lonely and wrong can be unbearable.”
Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
“Customers won’t care about any particular technology unless it solves a particular problem in a superior way. And if you can’t monopolize a unique solution for a small market, you’ll be stuck with vicious competition.”
Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
“Ralph Waldo Emerson captured this ethos when he wrote: “Shallow men believe in luck, believe in circumstances…. Strong men believe in cause and effect.”
Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Start Ups, or How to Build the Future
“Most of a tech company’s value will come at least 10 to 15 years in the future.”
Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
“Every culture has a myth of decline from some golden age, and almost all peoples throughout history have been pessimists. Even today pessimism still dominates huge parts of the world. An indefinite pessimist looks out onto a bleak future, but he has no idea what to do about it. This describes Europe since the early 1970s, when the continent succumbed to undirected bureaucratic drift. Today the whole Eurozone is in slow-motion crisis, and nobody is in charge. The European Central Bank doesn’t stand for anything but improvisation: the U.S. Treasury prints “In God We Trust” on the dollar; the ECB might as well print “Kick the Can Down the Road” on the euro. Europeans just react to events as they happen and hope things don’t get worse.”
Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
“CREATIVE MONOPOLY means new products that benefit everybody and sustainable profits for the creator. Competition means no profits for anybody, no meaningful differentiation, and a struggle for survival.”
Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
“All Rhodes Scholars had a great future in their past.”
Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
“You should focus relentlessly on something you’re good at doing, but before that you must think hard about whether it will be valuable in the future.”
Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
“When Yahoo! offered to buy Facebook for $1 billion in July 2006, I thought we should at least consider it. But Mark Zuckerberg walked into the board meeting and announced: “Okay, guys, this is just a formality, it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes. We’re obviously not going to sell here.” Mark saw where he could take the company, and Yahoo! didn’t.”
Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Start Ups, or How to Build the Future
“moving first is a tactic, not a goal.”
Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
“Even in engineering-driven Silicon Valley, the buzzwords of the moment call for building a “lean startup” that can “adapt” and “evolve” to an ever-changing environment. Would-be entrepreneurs are told that nothing can be known in advance: we’re supposed to listen to what customers say they want, make nothing more than a “minimum viable product,” and iterate our way to success. But leanness is a methodology, not a goal. Making small changes to things that already exist might lead you to a local maximum, but it won’t help you find the global maximum. You could build the best version of an app that lets people order toilet paper from their iPhone. But iteration without a bold plan won’t take you from 0 to 1. A company is the strangest place of all for an indefinite optimist: why should you expect your own business to succeed without a plan to make it happen? Darwinism may be a fine theory in other contexts, but in startups, intelligent design works best.”
Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
“you’ve invented something new but you haven’t invented an effective way to sell it, you have a bad business—no matter how good the product.”
Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
“In a world of scarce resources, globalization without new technology is unsustainable.”
Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
“Indefinite attitudes to the future explain what’s most dysfunctional in our world today. Process trumps substance: when people lack concrete plans to carry out, they use formal rules to assemble a portfolio of various options. This describes Americans today. In middle school, we’re encouraged to start hoarding “extracurricular activities.” In high school, ambitious students compete even harder to appear omnicompetent. By the time a student gets to college, he’s spent a decade curating a bewilderingly diverse résumé to prepare for a completely unknowable future. Come what may, he’s ready—for nothing in particular.”
Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
“That’s why hiring consultants doesn’t work. Part-time employees don’t work. Even working remotely should be avoided, because misalignment can creep in whenever colleagues aren’t together full-time, in the same place, every day. If you’re deciding whether to bring someone on board, the decision is binary. Ken Kesey was right: you’re either on the bus or off the bus.”
Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
“The road doesn’t have to be infinite after all. Take the hidden paths.”
Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
“the single most powerful pattern I have noticed is that successful people find value in unexpected places, and they do this by thinking about business from first principles instead of formulas.”
Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Start Ups, or How to Build the Future
“First, only invest in companies that have the potential to return the value of the entire fund.”
Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

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