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Zero to One

Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
Lu par : Blake Masters
Durée : 4 h et 50 min
4,6 out of 5 stars (148 notations)

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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

Commentaires

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

Ce que les auditeurs disent de Zero to One

Notations
Global
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Interprétation
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    92
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    5
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Histoire
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

a good surprise, and a great book

What did I expected from young billionaires, founder of PayPal and several other flourishing business ? Clearly some BS trying to explain why he did it right with self-centered pieces of evidence that couldn't be proved or disproved. what did I got ? A convincing piece essay on philosophical politic. Yep. This book is less about start-ups than about the current society and how to improve it. There is still a recipe for exponential grow of start-up but it felt that it was here to not disappoint the reader and I believe the main point of this book is much bigger and much more important than "how to succeed in late capitalism". I believe that this book is required to understand the complexity of our society and why the collapse seems inevitable and people that have the power to prevent it won't do anything about it.

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

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

To read with very critic eyes.

A good book, but you shouldn't believe word for word what is said inside. One typical example is the impact of monopoly on market. It is been proven that it is bad (read the wealth of nation for an explanation on how consumers / citizen are the loosers). But very interesting if you are founding a company :)

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

Super interessant! A lire!

Un très bon livre. Je ne m'attendais a pas quelque chose de très original, et j ai été surprise! J'avais un apriori très négatif sur l'auteur, et entendre un point de vue originale et construit m'a fait révisé mes opinion

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • SL
  • 02/03/2019

Insightful book

Clearly structured and full of useful insights about start-ups. Thiel has strong contrarian ideas and opinions backed by philosophy. Sharp advice from someone who really knows what he’s talking about, as a former Paypal co-founder/CEO, Palantir co-founder and Founders Fund VC.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent!

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

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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
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    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

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  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • 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.

187 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • 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.

31 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • J
  • 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.

44 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • COLLIN K CUSCE
  • 13/04/2018

Great stuff, but monopoly analysis isn't correct.

I really like the overall theme of the book, however I believe Peter is incorrect in his analysis of the virtue of Monopoly. is analysis is only correct if you view capitalization as a measure of ethical value. I think times have shown through the monopolies of Google, Facebook, and Amazon, that choice is the better solution to providing a meaningful existence to humanity. by removing competition you remove. By removing choice you remove options. By removing options you remove the will of the consumer. Peter's take is very compelling but ultimately wrong. I believe that competition is Nature's regulation. For those who cry when regulation is put in place to also say that they want more monopolies seems contradictory to me. Without regulation or competition where are the balancing forces placing pressure on organizations to behave ethically and for the betterment of man. This aside the rest of the entire book is fantastic and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in even just understanding what it's like to be in a start-up or a founder of one.

2 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • 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.

39 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • 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 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • 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 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • 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.

12 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • 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.

63 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • 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 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • 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.

27 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 14/02/2019

I still don't know what the book is about

With great arrogance and a few false facts, the author scopes through a range of seemingly unrelated topics. I'm positive I haven't learnt anything from the book. As a side note, great reader.

2 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 08/12/2018

Sehr interessante Gedanken

Das Buch verleiht Motivation, etwas Neues zu gestalten. Kann ich nur empfehlen für alle, die glaube, dass wir noch nicht am Ziel sind.

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • 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 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • 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 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • 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 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 14/09/2020

Composition of notes

I preferred watching some of Peter Thiel‘s videos on Youtube where he takes up some of his points mentioned in the book. He‘s definitely not a great writer and the notes seems rather a random composition of topics he has put in some thought. Some ideas are refreshing and are good food for thought.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Seb+Alex
  • 21/02/2020

mostly great

Most points are really insightful, interesting and helpful for any entrepreneur. I world give 5 stars if it wasn't for the cockiness of the author and the somewhat monotone voice of the reader.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 02/02/2020

nice blabla

good story but too much blabla. too many buzz words. but nice summary about succesful businesses.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • simonp
  • 15/01/2020

Just Notes

I reading alot stuff about you can create and develop a business. Peter Thiel is one of the kings of that business, so I was really looking forward for this. There are some good approaches, but after listen to the book there are not that many new things that I learned. They keptit quite simple.