Peter Thiel’s masterpiece – Zero to One – is a must read for anyone thinking about starting a tech company.
He opens by asking readers to respond to:
“What important truth do few people agree with you on?” (5)
Next, he reviews some lessons we learned from the dot-com bust while stressing that risk taking is necessary to create new technology.
“Lessons learned from the dot-com bust:
- Make incremental advances
- Stay lean and flexible
- Improve on the competition
- Focus on product, not sales”
- It is better to risk boldness than triviality
- A bad plan is better than no plan
- Competitive markets destroy profits
- Sales matters just as much as product”
Third, he gives advice to startups:
“Every startup is small at the start. Every monopoly dominates a large share of its market. Therefore, every startup should start with a very small market. Always err on the side of starting too small. The reason is simple: it’s easier to dominate a small market than a large one. If you think your initial market might be too big, it almost certainly is.” (53)
Thiel also drills the importance of a founding team, the partners, and their relationships.
Overall, Zero to One is a great read.