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Description

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.

It's easier to copy a model than to make something new: doing what we already know how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But every time we create something new, we go from 0 to 1. The act of creation is singular, as is the moment of creation, and the result is something fresh and strange.

Progress comes from monopoly, not competition.

If you do what has never been done and you can do it better than anybody else, you have a monopoly - and every business is successful exactly insofar as it is a monopoly. But the more you compete, the more you become similar to everyone else. From the tournament of formal schooling to the corporate obsession with outdoing rivals, competition destroys profits for individuals, companies, and society as a whole.

Zero to One is about how to build companies that create new things. It draws on everything Peter Thiel has learned directly as a co-founder of PayPal and Palantir and then an investor in hundreds of startups, including Facebook and SpaceX. The single most powerful pattern Thiel has noticed is that successful people find value in unexpected places, and they do this by thinking about business from first principles instead of formulas. Ask not, what would Mark do? Ask: What valuable company is nobody building?

©2014 Peter Thiel (P)2014 Random House Audio

Critiques

"This book delivers completely new and refreshing ideas on how to create value in the world." (Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook)

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Global

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent!

Excellent book for would be entrepreneurs or anyone who wonders how to harness innovation and channel it into a viable business.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

Interesting audiobook!

Very interesting point of view and lots of examples coming from an inside view of real companies.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A good cultural testimony (the startup spirit)

but not an acedemic worthy enough viewpoint : question it and it becomes actually good

0 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

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  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mark Brandon
  • 31/10/2014

Seems Insightful Until You Think A Little Deeper

What made the experience of listening to Zero to One the most enjoyable?

I am a fan of Peter Thiel, and have read the notes from the Stanford course upon which this book is based. The course notes are better because they expound better on the broad concepts. In the end, the audiobook is certainly worth the price of purchase, but I fail to give it 5 stars because I know from these notes that Thiel can do better.

To summarize two broad concepts, businesses should pursue monopoly because that is where the lion's share of profit is made. Think about Google's monopoly in search (see my comment below about this), or Microsoft's former monopoly in operating systems. Thiel artfully demonstrates how profits flow in a Power Law to these types of firms. Good enough. I agree wholeheartedly with this concept, and Thiel does a better job of explaining it than a dry Econ 101 textbook, but at its heart, it's not new thinking.

The second broad concept is that a series of Power Laws dictate a range of commercialization activities, from the aforementioned profit flow to fundraising success to income to hollywood hits to you name it. This bears repeating because so many entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking that markets they are entering are more linear.

Both of the concepts are intertwined, and this is where Thiel could do better (he does do better in the course notes).

First of all, monopolies don't become such until one is made, and until that point, it is utterly non-obvious to the vast majority of others. Google's search monopoly, which isn't really a search monopoly but an advertising monopoly, was so unapparent that at the time of Google's founding, most of the smart money had decided that portals were the wave of the future. Only Google decided that building a better search engine was the way to go, and even they did not conceive of their advertising monopoly until many years later. Today, it appears obvious, but it discounts the incredible risks, the incredible execution, and yes, an incredible dose of luck to make it happen.

Second, the book glosses over (again, the course notes don't) another startling fact, which is that there are more powers laws at work to execute the creation of a monopoly. Some of these are:

1) Raising money. I know from experience that raising money requires years of nurturing contacts, and just appearing on an investors' doorstep to say, "I have a vision for a monopoly I want to create" will get you thrown out more often than not. Only a small number of people who are starting out have the ability to cross the chasm between getting funded and not. I would contend that having money to build out your monopoly is one of the prime factors to creating a monopoly. It's a chicken and egg problem.

2) Talent. The best talent wants to work with the best team, but how do you become the best team without having the money (see #1) or the yet-unborn monopoly? Thiel mostly discounts the role of luck, and I found that disingenous. Just take Thiel's own experience. How lucky was it that the two most formidable competitors in payments in 1999, headed by transformational leaders (Thiel and Elon Musk) were located within a few blocks of each other, making them capable of merging and becoming Paypal? How many payments companies might have rivaled Paypal if they were located next door to Elon Musk (not to mention Reid Hoffman and the rest of the mafia)?

3) Geography. Expanding on the concept of #2, there is a Power Law at work for people who are able to get into and afford Stanford Law? Without this, would Thiel be where he is today? Not to mention the founders of Yahoo, Google, Cisco, et al?

4) Buzz. Another chicken and egg problem is that of building buzz. Journalists only want to cover hot companies, but how do you become hot without building buzz? Only a small number of companies are able to cross this chasm.

In the course notes (but not the book), Thiel talks about 11 facets of building a company. You can miss on two or three of them. Otherwise, you are toast. It's threading about 8 needles at a time. These are the concepts that should have been expanded upon. To be fair, this would probably require a multi-volume set.

Thiel discounts the Gladwellian notion that any outlier success can be traced to some fortuitous events. Though I agree that these events are only obvious in hindsight, I'm not convinced.

To me, instruction about crossing these multiple chasms would be more helpful to those of us outside of the valley bubble. Not even "Crossing the Chasm" does a good job of that.







What about Blake Masters’s performance did you like?

He did an admirable job for not being a trained voice actor

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

My review tells the story. I was unsatisfied.

132 sur 146 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jessie
  • 11/11/2014

Gives you ideas on how to make a start-up

What made the experience of listening to Zero to One the most enjoyable?

I enjoyed listening to this book because of all the insight it had on what are start-ups and how can you keep them going. Very interesting.

What did you like best about this story?

What I loved best about this story was how it described a lot of the main companies, for example google, and provided details how they interact in today society.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

What moved me the most from this book was that the person who made this book was a co-founder of Paypal which gave this book a lot more credibility.

7 sur 7 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • 23/09/2014

In my top 3 favorite Startup books

Where does Zero to One rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Of roughly 100 business, startup, marketing, tech books I'm listened to, this is a top 5 for sure. Between inspiration and wisdom, philosophy and experience, examples and challenges, this book is great for the first time or the many timed entrepreneur. Peter is a clear authority in the space, and this book is a summary of much of what he's learned.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Zero to One?

Explaining some of the beginnings of Paypal, and opportunities he sees available to future businesses.

Have you listened to any of Blake Masters’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I don't recall listening to Blake Masters before, however I would gladly listen to books narrated by him in the future. Calm voice, perfect for the wisdom based material in the book.

What did you learn from Zero to One that you would use in your daily life?

It has helped alter the way I will hire in the future. It's validated some theories and challenged other theories. It has me already looking for Zero-One type concepts vs horizontal product improvements in the fields I work in.

Any additional comments?

Just a thank you to Peter Thiel for writing this. Peter doesn't need the income from book sales, nor is he trying to force his way into becoming an authoritative figure in startups because he's already there. This is a gift. This is basically like getting a evening of the best cocktail conversation advice and stories from one of the hall of fame start up allstars.

29 sur 35 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 24/09/2014

Awesome Content. Hard to listen to.

What did you love best about Zero to One?

The content is awesome! The lessons broken down into subjects and themes like a college course really makes this book easy to follow and easy to get the overall message.

How could the performance have been better?

The narration was dull and soft spoken. Blake Masters is a super smart dude, just not the greatest audiobook narrator.

Any additional comments?

I highly suggest finding Blake Masters notes on Peter Thiel's class and reading those along with this book.

39 sur 48 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Richard
  • 03/11/2014

Gems to be found but...bad choice on the reader;-(

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

The first 1/3 of the book was...well horrible. I found most of the early writing to be grandiose and without clear objectives. It made me wonder if it was a book on start-ups or a poorly written Philosophy text. The last portion of the book offers some great insights into business , mistakes, best practices and road signs to success.

Who was your favorite character and why?

This isn't a novel...

What didn’t you like about Blake Masters’s performance?

I'm sure Mr. Master's is a successful businessman but he needs to stay away from reading audio books. He took a pretty good book and made it painful to get through the audio version. Blake--All really great authors HIRE someone to read their books. Why? Because being a good writer does not make you a good reader.

The fact Mr. Masters or Mr. Thiel didn't realize this...well...just shows you can be talented in one area and not very clever in another.

Please guys...if you write any more books do reader auditions and decide on someone who does reading for a living.

Could you see Zero to One being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No.

Any additional comments?

Hang in there when listening to this audio book. The authors provide some great insights into making a successful start up.

9 sur 11 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • John C. Derrick
  • 28/10/2014

Full of insightful information and concepts

What did you love best about Zero to One?

I especially loved the various business and startup concepts/examples presented. Many of them are really paradigm shifting ideas that struck a cord with me - definitely was eye opening.

What did you learn from Zero to One that you would use in your daily life?

How to apply various business techniques to our own startup(s) that will give us a better path to success. I could relate to many of the examples and stories he shared having learned the hard way on many of them with my own startups -- but so many other concepts, which he put very bluntly and candidly, really opened my eyes to what had not been so obvious before. A really great book with great information for budding entrepreneurs.

2 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rob Phillips
  • 17/09/2014

The importance of contrarian thinking

This book is itself contrarian in comparison to all other startup books out there. It does an amazing job of forcing you to destroy the foundations upon which you've built so many of your assumptions in the startup world, thereby revealing the truth of how to build something valuable in a world of copy & paste entrepreneurship.

All the real, non-bullshit, subconscious lessons that many successful entrepreneurs have either intuitively known or learned the hard way are concisely stated in this book.

I think I'll likely listen to it a few more times in order to untrain all the other thinking that's been ingrained in my head.

38 sur 51 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Gaganpreet S. Shah
  • 19/09/2014

Though provoking & inspiring

If you see yourself as someone with intentions to create something valuable for the world in your lifetime, this book is for you. It will give you a perspective on what being a contrarian and a founder actually means. It helps differentiate the popular myth attached to the words competition, capitalism, lean, disruption & puts them in the right context.

tl;dr In the valley? Need inspiring new ways of looking at the world? Listen to this book.

21 sur 28 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Andrew Zygarewicz
  • 24/09/2014

Make a difference

What did you love best about Zero to One?

The book goes fairly deep into some key points to consider when bringing a start up team together. A good way to avoid conflict is to assign a single task to every team member.You have to stop hoping success will fall in your lap like a winning lottery ticket. You must choose your future and become the driver not the passenger while on this world.

What did you like best about this story?

HP stopped innovating and eventually was purchased, you notice similar patterns with other companies that Peter mentions in the book. To compete in today's market place you have to stay on your toes and innovate or pull over into the slow lane.

Have you listened to any of Blake Masters’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

no

What insight do you think you’ll apply from Zero to One?

Go big or go home is the general consensus. You have to put work into starting something, so aim big, like 10 times bigger.

4 sur 5 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
  • D. Berzack
  • 21/10/2014

Mostly worthless drivel

This is your typical pop business book, slapping together the same tired examples to make some loosely related points, each either trivial yammering or overblown, unsubstantiated hype. The first hour is dedicated to zealous defense of monopolies, based on an extended false dichotomy with perfect competition.

If you're reading it to gather talking points for golf course or water cooler schmoozing, you'll get your money's worth. If you're interested in an exploration of the mechanisms of innovation in business, as the book promises, you'll be sorely disappointed.

60 sur 84 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

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  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Thorsten Reitz
  • 18/11/2014

Pointless Ramblings of a Rich American

Was wäre für andere Hörer sonst noch hilfreich zu wissen, um das Hörbuch richtig einschätzen zu können?

I expected this audio book to provide a little more insight into how investors think and work. In the end, this book didn't deliver. It presents a very one-side view. Any founder reading this should understand it's written from an American investor's perspective, who wants to get the absolute maximum out of his investments and thus packages statements as absolute truths that from his view encourage the "right" behaviour. Also, he rants a lot about all kinds of sectors (Biotech, Cleantech) and areas of the world (Europe - lazy boring people, China - copycats) and basically states that only white geek-driven software is a good sector to be in. Actual content ("the seven questions every startup must answer") is thin and has been covered in other books much better.

22 sur 27 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Felix
  • 27/11/2016

What makes the world go around?

I read the book shortly after it came out. At that time it was still heavily marketed on the audible website. Usually I don't go for books that have just recently been published and that I feel are heavily pushed. However, listening to the audio sample convinced me that this was my type of book. I frequently listen to books that can broadly be classified as business books, so if you enjoy these too, please continue reading.

Why 5 stars? The book exceeded my expectations, as simple as that. Please note that this may have been due to my expectations not having been very high to begin with. I say this, because, although the book is a quick listen, there were stretches I found not so convincing. However, overall the book contained some golden nuggets and new perspectives that were compelling enough for me to listen to the book again.

In "What the Critics Say" Mark Zuckerberg is being cited with the following statement: "This book delivers completely new and refreshing ideas on how to create value in the world." I agree with Mark Zuckerberg for the most part, however, I would scratch "completely" from his statement.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Vijay
  • 09/07/2015

Game changing perspective

Peter Thiel provides an excellent explanation of what drives startups, and businesses in general, to success. Some of these views might be controversial,

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Aditya Raman Bahl
  • 05/05/2015

Concise analysis and Great Examples

As an entrepreneur myself, I found the book quite informative and more importantly, thought provoking.

I specially appreciated the structured layout from idea, team, distribution and scale up (just paraphrasing). They forced me think about "defining" the market for my venture and balancing the "grand vision" with pragmatic moves (strategic and/or tactical).

I am hearing it now for the 2nd time to consolidate the key lessons and insights. A great experience!!!

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tereza
  • 12/09/2018

Very good book & easy to listen to

I liked this book quite a lot. The author speaks about several very smart ideas. Though I have to admit, that there were moments, where I was thinking "typical american"! Saying, that Europeans are obsessed with holidays is truly funny. There are 52 weeks in a year. I would not call taking 4-5 weeks of holidays (9% of the year) obsession.

I also do not agree, that monopolies are the only way which allows true innovation. And that monopolies are not bad. They are not bad for the owner or a CEO of the monopoly. They are very bad for the consumers of the products produced by these monopolies. In the same time I know several companies which became monopolies and instead of being more innovative, they were extremely scared of innovation. They did not wanted to do anything which would endanger their position on the market.

But hey, what fun it would be if all the opinions voice by the author would be identical to mine :-)

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Guy Malachi
  • 10/07/2018

one of the very best book I've heard

this book is fool with information and examples and theories and it blow my mind away. this needs to be heard several times or get the hard copy.
I loved also the easy flow.
defiantly one of the best startup books

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 21/05/2018

solid

did not like the narrator at the beginning but in the end it was perfect!

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • lquenti
  • 08/05/2018

awesome thoughts on monopolys

takes an unusual but interesting approach to monopolys and why they don't have to be bad

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 20/12/2017

Just read it

Not too long, thought provoking.
Taken mostly from Peter Thiel's experience and observation in the period from the Internet bubble to 2014.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Julian Eibinger
  • 30/08/2017

a very new way of thinking

this audiobook is one of my favorite in my library. the way how Peter Thiel see some things is very eye opening for me, of course I don't agree in every point, but many points of his thinking I can confirm in 110%