Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future is a 2014 book by the American entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel co-written with Blake Masters.
Zero to One Summary
Peter Thiel is a highly successful entrepreneur and venture capitalist. He currently has a net worth of $2.5 billion and was ranked no. 328 on the Forbes 400 in 2018. He is one of the co-founders of PayPal alongside Elon Musk and other successful business people.
Additionally, he is a co-founder of Palantir Technologies and Founders Fund. Born in Germany, Peter moved with his parents to the US at a young age and now lives in California with his own family.
Peter Thiel has an impressive record of creating successful teams that breed personal innovation. In Silicon Valley, the first business team he built has been given the title of the “PayPal Mafia.”
Thiel’s first team has subsequently founded, co-founded, or invested in some of the world’s most successful tech companies. Together, they founded PayPal and sold it for $1.5 billion in 2002. Since then:
- Elon Musk has become one of the richest men in the world. He has founded SpaceX, Tesla Motors, and Neuralink
- Reid Hoffman co-founded LinkedIn
- Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim founded YouTube together
- Jeremy Stoppelman and Russel Simmons founded Yelp
- David Sacks co-founded Yammer
- Thiel co-founded Palantir
All of these companies are now worth more than $1 Billion each. The culture of this team was strong enough to excel after the sale of PayPal. Zero to One will outline how this level of success was possible.
“Indefinite attitudes to the future explain what’s most dysfunctional in our world today. Process trumps substance: when people lack concrete plans to carry out, they use formal rules to assemble a portfolio of various options.
In middle school, we’re encouraged to start hoarding “extracurricular activities.” In high school, ambitious students compete even harder to appear omnicompetent. By the time a student gets to college, he’s spent a decade curating a bewilderingly diverse résumé to prepare for a completely unknowable future.
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