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.
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. In order to go from 0 to 1, you need to create something new and innovative that wasn’t there before.
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; these entrepreneurs 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 percentage 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. I think it’s a good book, but very few people will get any tangible use out of it.
Share your thoughts in the comments section, and don’t forget to leave your own review in the box below.
Zero to One
There are a lot of people who are not going to get that much practical value out of this book because it is so unique. It's ideally suited to a small percentage 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.
Your review is appreciated