Zero to One by Peter Thiel with Blake Masters
Zero to One came from the college notes of Blake Masters.
Masters was taking a college course, with Peter Thiel as the lecturer, and he took very detailed notes. The notes became very popular and were later turned into this book, Zero to One.
What is Zero to One about?
In a nutshell, this book is the questions that you need to ask yourself if you want to succeed in the business of creating new things.
That’s the whole idea of going 0 to 1. You create something new and innovative that wasn’t there before. Whereas if you simply make an improvement on a product/service/software that already exists, then that would be described as going from 1 to 1.1 or 1.2.
Thiel and Masters uncover what it is that allows start-ups to make that transition from 0 to 1 and why the companies that achieve this have the potential to take over and/or change the world – think of Google, Facebook, PayPal, and Tesla.
Yes, this book is about start-ups, but it focuses on how you can determine if that start-up has the potential to make a huge global impact.
It’s important to note that this book is prominently for entrepreneurs in technology and/or engineering. It wouldn’t apply so much to those that are looking at running brick and mortar businesses, they wouldn’t get the same amount of value out of this book.
I found this book extremely hard to review because it is like nothing else I have ever read before, and as you can see from this blog, I’ve read quite a lot of books!
There’s no actionable content in this book, no step-by-step or checklist, but it’s not that type of book. Instead, it’s thought-provoking and made to make you think differently.
I especially enjoyed the chapter where Thiel and Blake compared companies that operate in competitive markets to those that operate as a monopoly.
My overall thoughts
As you’ve probably guessed, this book has left me a bit stumped.
Because it is so unique, there are a lot of people who are not going to get that much practical value out of it, except for the joy of reading something interesting.
It’s ideally suited to a small percent of entrepreneurs (the 1% of the 1%) who have the potential, skills, creativity, drive, and determination to go from 0 to 1 – AND have a business idea that they think could change the world.
Second, it could be of use to large investors who are on the lookout for the next big thing (Facebook, Uber etc.) This book will help illustrate what qualities in a start-up they should be looking for.
Have you read Zero to One?
If you have read this book then please help me out here!
I have never struggled to review a book as much as I have this one.
If you scroll to the top of the page, you can use the Reader Rating bar to give the book your own score out of 10. If you do this, please leave me a comment below letting me know your thoughts.
I look forward to reading your opinion on it.