Zero to One Zero to One 8.4分

Peter’s Ideas on Building a Startup

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Recently I read this Zero to One, by Peter Thiel, the co-founder of Paypal and some other successful startups. Upon reading, I understand why this book is so popular recently: its idea is explained in an easy way with lots of compelling examples; there are few paradoxes that more deep materials involve; encouragement to build sth so new as to be able to change the future excites most readers who open it.

Its vocabulary is on an entry level. Unlike classical reading materials which have to utilize sophisticated words to support uncommon ideas, this book only employs such colloquial words and sentences to the degree that anyone with literacy could easily read one page per one or two minutes. Since this is the first mass popular nonfiction book I’ve read recently, I was deeply impressed by this feature. So I completed it blithely within one week without spending too much time each day for the first read, and carefully studied its phrases and sentences the second time I read it...r>
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Recently I read this Zero to One, by Peter Thiel, the co-founder of Paypal and some other successful startups. Upon reading, I understand why this book is so popular recently: its idea is explained in an easy way with lots of compelling examples; there are few paradoxes that more deep materials involve; encouragement to build sth so new as to be able to change the future excites most readers who open it.

Its vocabulary is on an entry level. Unlike classical reading materials which have to utilize sophisticated words to support uncommon ideas, this book only employs such colloquial words and sentences to the degree that anyone with literacy could easily read one page per one or two minutes. Since this is the first mass popular nonfiction book I’ve read recently, I was deeply impressed by this feature. So I completed it blithely within one week without spending too much time each day for the first read, and carefully studied its phrases and sentences the second time I read it.

Peter’s ideas are relatively concrete and innovative. He is always in a strong position to one side, with a myriad of living cases to support it according to his own experience. For example, he advocates building a monopoly, because any companies other than monopoly need to compete with each other and minimize its profit, and reach nearly zero profit at some end. By this opinion, he almost casts down completely the conventional economic dogma which eulogizes competition as the primitive force to promote better products and services. He lists real life examples to support his ideas from the perspective of a CEO or founder of a startup, making his opinion compelling and powerful, although his reasoning is not rigorous and susceptible to close scrutinization.

Peter believes high technology can change the world and improve people’s life substantially. He advocates building something completely new, instead of improving and perfecting existing techs, that is From Zero to One. He doesn’t believe much in the importance of services and financials. Like his peers in silicon valley, his only faith is in edge-cutting technology, such as the internet and AI. Since I’ve lived in silicon valley for three years, in close contact with tech geeks in my everyday life. I can understand completely about his enthusiasm, which may seem frenzy to outside people. High tech engineers value a culture of geeks. They despise salespersons, exclude people wearing suits and ties. They even value the kind of characters of anti socialization. Outsiders do have a chance to catch a glimpse of the silicon valley culture via this seemly extreme thoughts from tech geeks nowadays.

Besides this criticism from my own part, the book does provide some ideas or lessons on how to build a startup that worth study carefully. After all, it’s rare to happen for someone, especially in a field of high tech, to express his/her own ideas so frankly. I appreciate the opportunity to read sincere thoughts from other’s mind. Thank Peter for sharing.

I will sketch out the important ideas in the book sometime next week.
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