“If you focus on near-term growth above all else, you miss the most important question you should be asking: will this business be around a decade from now? Numbers alone won’t tell you the answer; instead you must think critically about the qualitative characteristics of your business.” 

Peter Thiel, Elon Musk’s PayPal cofounder made the first outside investment in Facebook and funded companies like SpaceX and LinkedIn. In this book “ZERO TO ONE” Peter shares some key insights in how to change the game.

A few excerpts:

“Succesful people find value in unexpected placed, and they do this by thinking about business from first principles instead of formulas”

“Brilliant thinking is rare, but courage is in even shorter supply than genius.”

Lessons from the dot-com crash that still guide business thinking today:

  1. Make incremental advances. Anyone who claims to be able to do something great is suspect
  2. Stay lean and flexible. You should not know what your business will do; planning is arrogant and inflexible. Instead you should try things out, “iterate”.
  3. Improve on the competition.
  4. Focus on product, not sales.

The opposite principles are probably more correct:

  • It is better to risk boldness than triviality.
  • A bad plan is better than no plan.
  • Competitive markets destroy profits.
  • Sles matters just as much as the product.

“If you want to create and capture lasting value, don’t build an undifferentiated commodity business.”

Members who read this book and liked it:

Joost d’Hooghe

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