« ZERO to ONE - by Peter Theil

Book review of this dot.com era author

  • In the most dysfunctional organizations, signaling that work is being done becomes a better strategy for career advancement than actually doing work 
  • You’ll spend time trying to convince people that you are exceptional instead of seriously considering whether that’s true.
  • Monopolists can afford to think about things other than making money; non-monopolists can’t.
  • In the real world outside economic theory, every business is successful exactly to the extent that it does something others cannot. Monopoly is the condition of every successful business.
  • As a good rule of thumb, proprietary technology must be at least 10 times better than its closest substitute in some important dimension to lead to real monopolistic advantages.
  • Indefinite/definite & pessimistic/optimistic.
  • Every other country is afraid that China is going to take over the world; China is the only country afraid that it won’t.
  • Boomers grew up with great expectations but few specific plans for how to fulfill them.
  • Eroom’s law — that’s Moore’s law backward
  • Making small changes to things that already exist might lead you to the local maximum, but it won’t help you find the global maximum.
  • Long-term planning is often undervalued by our definite short-term world.
  • Founders only sell when they have no more concrete visions for the company, in which case acquirer probably overpaid; definite founders with robust plans don’t sell, which means the offer wasn’t high enough.
  •  You should focus relentlessly on something you’re good at doing, but before that, you must think hard about whether it will be valuable in the future.