Nov 17, 2021

Book Review: Zero to One by Peter Thiel



 Most of the books I have read so far this year belong to the spirituality/philosophy/self-help genre. I wanted to shift gears and pick up a few books from other genres in the last 2 months of 2021.

Peter Thiel's Zero to One has been on my reading list for a while. It is a concise 200 pager without a lot of unnecessary fluff. As a result, it leaves the reader with a lot of important questions to ponder over related to building a startup

  • bold, new, unique ideas and not incremental improvements
  • importance of having a vision, a plan, and deliberate design to achieve the plan instead of a lean, iterative approach
  • importance of sales and distribution and not focusing only on the product
  • focus on durability and relevance instead of short term growth


The book poses an interesting argument on how monopolists drive progress, both internally as an organization as well as externally for the industry and society at large.


The chapter "You are not a lottery ticket" - one of my favorites - so beautifully explains the importance of shaping the future with a clear intention and purpose. Those who love 2*2 matrices, you'll find an interesting one here!


The author shares a lot of unique perspectives on setting the foundation of a startup right, the initial hires, company culture, and distribution strategy. The seven questions that every business must answer are a useful guide for any startup.


Zero to One is a relevant read for anyone working for technology startups or on the verge of setting up their venture.


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