Zero to One – Peter Thiel and Blake Masters

The Best Highlights From Zero to One


By Peter Thiel and Blake Masters


As a good rule of thumb, proprietary technology must be at least 10 times better than its closest substitute in some important dimension to lead to a real monopolistic advantage.


The perfect target market for a startup is a small group of particular people concentrated together and served by few or no competitors.


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.


A startup is the largest endeavor over which you can have definite mastery. You can have agency not just over your own life, but over a small and important part of the world. It begins by rejecting the unjust tyranny of Chance. You are not a lottery ticket.


If you focus on near-term growth above all else, you miss the most important question you should be asking: will this business still be around a decade from now? Numbers alone won’t tell you the answer; instead you must think critically about the qualitative characteristics of your business.


As you craft a plan to expand to adjacent markets, don’t disrupt: avoid competition as much as possible.


The biggest secret in venture capital is that the best investment in a successful fund equals or outperforms the entire rest of the fund combined.


The most contrarian thing of all is not to oppose the crowd but to think for yourself.


Creating value is not enough—you also need to capture some of the value you create.


The first step to thinking clearly is to question what we think we know about the past.