Zero to One Book Cover
This book has been written by Peter Thiel, an entrepreneur and investor. He previously co-founded Paypal. Paypal was built in order to replace currencies and improve online payment. Paypal has scaled when Ebay used them to manage their payment method.
Book Summary: 7 questions every startup should answer to go from zero to one:
- The Engineering Question: Can you create breakthrough technology instead of incremental improvements? In fact, create a product that is 10x better than the competition will make the difference, 20% improvement is not enough.
- The Timing Question: Is now the right time to start your particular business? Timing is crucial, what was done before cannot be done again at the same scale. What Facebook did 10 years ago will not work right now in 2016. The product would need to be different to make the exact same impact.
- The Monopoly Question: Are you starting with a big share of a small market? It is better to be solving a specific problem for a small community instead of focusing to solve everyone’s problems. Narrow your market is key.
- The People Question: Do you have the right team? For Thiel’s, investors believe that if a CEO is wearing a suit it will be a red flag for them. This means that the person will be looking at seeking investment only successfully but not being able to create a good product that could be sold.
- The Distribution Question: Do you have a way to not just create but deliver your product? Having a great product is not enough. Even building the best product will not make it a business. So, it is required to find one distribution channel in order to succeed. If you do not have any distribution channel, your company will inevitably fail.
- The Durability Question: Will your market position be defensible 10 and 20 years into the future? Ask yourself if the service or product you are now building is likely to exist in 10 or 20 years.
- The Secret Question: Have you identified a unique opportunity that others don’t see? Every company need to have a secret in order to succeed. It is important to keep this secret and only share it with people that require this information in order to perpetuate the business in a long run.
If your answer is yes for all of the 7 questions, then your company have some high probability to succeed and you will be likely to go jump from zero to one. If you can answer yes to less than 5 questions you have a lower risk to make it