Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

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If you want to build a better future, you must believe in secrets.

The great secret of our time is that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create. In Zero to One, legendary entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel shows how we can find singular ways to create those new things.

Thiel begins with the contrarian premise that we live in an age of technological stagnation, even if we’re too distracted by shiny mobile devices to notice. Information technology has improved rapidly, but there is no reason why progress should be limited to computers or Silicon Valley. Progress can be achieved in any industry or area of business. It comes from the most important skill that every leader must master: learning to think for yourself.

Doing what someone else already knows how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But when you do something new, you go from 0 to 1. The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. Tomorrow’s champions will not win by competing ruthlessly in today’s marketplace. They will escape competition altogether, because their businesses will be unique.

Zero to One presents at once an optimistic view of the future of progress in America and a new way of thinking about innovation: it starts by learning to ask the questions that lead you to find value in unexpected places.
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About the author

Peter Thiel is an entrepreneur and investor. He started PayPal in 1998, led it as CEO, and took it public in 2002, defining a new era of fast and secure online commerce. In 2004 he made the first outside investment in Facebook, where he serves as a director. The same year he launched Palantir Technologies, a software company that harnesses computers to empower human analysts in fields like national security and global finance. He has provided early funding for LinkedIn, Yelp, and dozens of successful technology startups, many run by former colleagues who have been dubbed the “PayPal Mafia.” He is a partner at Founders Fund, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm that has funded companies like SpaceX and Airbnb. He started the Thiel Fellowship, which ignited a national debate by encouraging young people to put learning before schooling, and he leads the Thiel Foundation, which works to advance technological progress and long- term thinking about the future.

Blake Masters was a student at Stanford Law School in 2012 when his detailed notes on Peter’s class “Computer Science 183: Startup” became an internet sensation. He went on to co-found Judicata, a legal research technology startup.

From the Hardcover edition.
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Additional Information

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Published on
Sep 16, 2014
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Business & Economics / Entrepreneurship
Business & Economics / Small Business
Political Science / Public Policy / Economic Policy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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In The $100 Startup, Chris Guillebeau shows you how to lead of life of adventure, meaning and purpose – and earn a good living.
Still in his early thirties, Chris is on the verge of completing a tour of every country on earth – he’s already visited more than 175 nations – and yet he’s never held a “real job” or earned a regular paycheck.  Rather, he has a special genius for turning ideas into income, and he uses what he earns both to support his life of adventure and to give back. 
There are many others like Chris – those who’ve found ways to opt out of traditional employment and create the time and income to pursue what they find meaningful.  Sometimes, achieving that perfect blend of passion and income doesn’t depend on shelving what you currently do.  You can start small with your venture, committing little time or money, and wait to take the real plunge when you're sure it's successful.
In preparing to write this book, Chris identified 1,500 individuals who have built businesses earning $50,000 or more from a modest investment (in many cases, $100 or less), and from that group he’s chosen to focus on the 50 most intriguing case studies.  In nearly all cases, people with no special skills discovered aspects of their personal passions that could be monetized, and were able to restructure their lives in ways that gave them greater freedom and fulfillment.
Here, finally, distilled into one easy-to-use guide, are the most valuable lessons from those who’ve learned how to turn what they do into a gateway to self-fulfillment.  It’s all about finding the intersection between your “expertise” – even if you don’t consider it such -- and what other people will pay for.  You don’t need an MBA, a business plan or even employees.  All you need is a product or service that springs from what you love to do anyway, people willing to pay, and a way to get paid.
Not content to talk in generalities, Chris tells you exactly how many dollars his group of unexpected entrepreneurs required to get their projects up and running; what these individuals did in the first weeks and months to generate significant cash; some of the key mistakes they made along the way, and the crucial insights that made the business stick.  Among Chris’s key principles: if you’re good at one thing, you’re probably good at something else; never teach a man to fish – sell him the fish instead; and in the battle between planning and action, action wins.
In ancient times, people who were dissatisfied with their lives dreamed of finding magic lamps, buried treasure, or streets paved with gold.  Today, we know that it’s up to us to change our lives.  And the best part is, if we change our own life, we can help others change theirs.  This remarkable book will start you on your way.
In the spirit of Steve Jobs and Moneyball, Elon Musk is both an illuminating and authorized look at the extraordinary life of one of Silicon Valley’s most exciting, unpredictable, and ambitious entrepreneurs—a real-life Tony Stark—and a fascinating exploration of the renewal of American invention and its new “makers.”

Elon Musk spotlights the technology and vision of Elon Musk, the renowned entrepreneur and innovator behind SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity, who sold one of his Internet companies, PayPal, for $1.5 billion. Ashlee Vance captures the full spectacle and arc of the genius’s life and work, from his tumultuous upbringing in South Africa and flight to the United States to his dramatic technical innovations and entrepreneurial pursuits.

Vance uses Musk’s story to explore one of the pressing questions of our age: can the nation of inventors and creators who led the modern world for a century still compete in an age of fierce global competition? He argues that Musk—one of the most unusual and striking figures in American business history—is a contemporary, visionary amalgam of legendary inventors and industrialists including Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, and Steve Jobs. More than any other entrepreneur today, Musk has dedicated his energies and his own vast fortune to inventing a future that is as rich and far-reaching as the visionaries of the golden age of science-fiction fantasy.

Thorough and insightful, Elon Musk brings to life a technology industry that is rapidly and dramatically changing by examining the life of one of its most powerful and influential titans.

Comment construire le futur pour l’homme qui a créé PayPal et investi dans Facebook, SpaceX et Linkedin.
-« Ce livre propose des idées complètement nouvelles et apporte une véritable bouffée d’air frais sur une question vitale : comment créer de la valeur en ce monde. » Mark Zuckerberg, PDG de Facebook
- « Peter Thiel a créé plusieurs entreprises révolutionnaires et dans Zéro à Un, il nous explique comment il s’y est pris. » Elon Musk, PDG de SpaceX et Tesla
- « Quand un spécialiste de la prise de risque écrit un livre, lisez-le. Dans le cas de Peter Thiel, lisez-le deux fois ou pour être tout à fait sûr du coup, allez même jusqu’à le lire trois fois. C’est un classique. » Nassim Nicholas Taleb, auteur du Cygne noir
Écrit à partir de cours donnés à Stanford, Zéro à Un propose une vision radicale et nouvelle sur la conception et le management des start-ups.
Quelques uns de ses principes :
- Le mythe du prochain Facebook, Google...
Chaque instant en business n’arrive qu’une fois. Le prochain Bill Gates ne construira pas un système d’exploitation, Sergueï Brin ne fera pas un moteur de recherche et le prochain Zuckerberg ne créera pas un réseau social. Si vous les copiez c’est que vous n’avez rien à offrir de mieux.
Quelle vérité êtes-vous seul à posséder, quelle est la société que personne ne construit ?
- Vive le monopole. La compétition et le capitalisme sont à l’opposé...
Certes, il est plus simple de copier un modèle que d’inventer. Faire ce qu’on sait mène le monde de 1 à n.
En y ajoutant un élément déjà connu. Mais chaque fois que l’on crée de la nouveauté on passe de zéro à un.Ce livre explique comment y parvenir.
Traduit de l’anglais par Johan Frédérik Hel Guedj
>> „Od nuly k jedničce je racionální, praktickou, břitce napsanou publikací, kterou by neměli číst jen začínající podnikatelé, ale všichni ti, kteří hledají nějakou uvážlivou alternativu k současnému převládajícímu pesimismu, pokud se budoucnosti světa týče.” <<
– The Economist

# O knize

Kopírovat vzory je snazší než vytvořit něco nového. Opakujeme-li již známý postup, přidáváme jen další exempláře staré věci: pokračujeme od jedničky k n. Ale když stvoříme novou věc, postoupili jsme od nuly k jedničce. Každý tvůrčí akt je jedinečný, proto je jeho výsledkem vždy něco nového.

Peter Thiel v knize ukazuje, jak najít cestu k vytvoření něčeho skutečně nečekaného. Pomůže vám zefektivnit rozhodování i zhmotnit originální myšlenku, díky níž se nemusíte obávat konkurenčního tlaku a veškerou energii tak věnovat vývoji, zaměstnancům a své vizi. Autor mj. ukazuje, jak jsou mnohé monopoly užitečné a konkurence škodlivá.

# V knize se dozvíte:

- Proč je v podnikání výhodnější tvořit než kopírovat
- Co nesmí podcenit žádný zakladatel firmy či startupu
- Že konkurence je škodlivá a monopol naopak prospěšný
- O zásadním významu mocninného zákona pro byznys
- Proč je důležité dlouhodobě plánovat
- O lidech a podnikání v Silicon Valley pohledem insidera
- Jak přemýšlejí rizikoví investoři
- Proč jsou zakladatelé nejúspě šnějších startupů podivíni
- Jaké jsou možné scénáře vývoje ekonomiky i civilizace vůbec

# O autorovi

PETER THIEL spoluzaložil firmy PayPal a Palantir, jako první investoval do Facebooku, financoval společnosti jako SpaceX a LinkedIn. Vedle toho založil nadaci Thiel Fellowship, která podporuje mladé lidi v jiném vzdělávání, než poskytuje vysoké školství.

# Více o knize
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