Zero to One Book Summary by Peter Theil

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Zero to One Book Summary

Topic : Zero to One Book Summary by Peter Theil

Lets starts Peter Theil with Blake Masters Book Zero to One

In Business Everything happens at once only Next Bill gates will not make a Operating system. Next Lary page or Sergey Brin Will not make a search engine or next Mark Zuckerberg will not make a Facebook. If you are copying these person than you can\’t learn from these people. These book written by Peter Theil with Blake Master these zero to one book Summary helps you to understand what the Peter say about startups and how to grow your startups.

Peter Theil make a Paypal with Elon Musk and he sell Paypal for 1.5 Billion dollars to Ebay and Peter Theil is also the first investor who invest money in Facebook.

The Challenges of Future

If you make a new product then you are going zero to one and if you are improving existing product then you are going from 1 to N. The people who make Bullock Cart to Car, Car to Aeroplane Either Telephone to Mobile so these people gone zero to one which we called as technology but if you take a typewriter and sell 2000 typewriters in a world then you are going 1 to N means you done a Globalization.

China is the practical example of globalization whose work is to copy  world developed successful product.

 Peter Theil says that \”You can start a successful business by going zero to one\” it means taking a unique idea for a large business is hard because in successful business implement the new strategy is risky but alone person can\’t go from zero to one. these possible only for startups.

Peter Thiel Says that startup is a group of such people whose you can convince to make a future and startup biggest strength is unique ideas.

 Friends Further in these zero to one summary we will see that successful startup started buy which Foundation.


All Happy Companies are different

If you want to start a startup then you must have opposite energy of convictional thinking. A question every time we want to ask our self As any valuable company exist which can\’t open by anyone?  these question is looking little bit hard but in reality its more harder than you are thinking because it happens that you are providing more value to the customer, but you can\’t own capture that value. To create value or to capture value is a different thing for e.g US Airlines business every year they provide billions of value to their customer but In 2014 the one Airplane ticket cost is around 178 dollars behind every passengers the Airline earns only 37 cents. In 2012 Airlines done a business of 160 billion dollars. If you compared these by Google than Google only done a business of 50 billion dollars but then also Google earn 21 percent profit. If you take all the Airlines business company and compared to Google then also Google earns more than 3 times profit these happens because all Airline business company compete with each other but Google is a monopoly whose different from others.

In every perfect competition company copy to each other make a same product that’s why they want to sell their product in a market value. If there is a profit in the market then new firms come and they sell that product in a low price and many firms come to the market because of these price become low. In perfect competition no one can earn profit but monopoly keep a complete control in the market because there is a no competition that’s why they earn maximum profit. Monopoly save every time by saying lie. If any company accept their monopoly then it means that company earns maximum profit of that market and government make a regulations for that company.

If we talk about Google so Google not say any time that they are monopoly. If Google say that Google is a because In 2014 According to all the search engines there is more searches on Google as 68% while Google closest competitor Microsoft Bing searches is 19% and Yahoo searches is only 10% Google also entered in Oxford English dictionary as a verb but Google say Google as a advertising company. US searches advertising market is a billions of market. The US whole advertising market is 150 billion dollar and whole world advertising market is 495 dollars. Now Google can say himself as a small player in a whole competitive world but the non-monopoly also saying lie to make differentiate.only search engine than government understand Google is a monopoly

Take an Ex You are opening a Restaurant business then you can say that these is not done by anyone. we are opening our restaurant in North India as a South Indian food but these type of lie we are saying to our self and our investor because we are in competitive market and we can\’t become monopoly but the question arise is we have to open our startup as a monopoly or as a competitive enviornment. If a startup can make a monopoly in the market then these is the most beneficial thing for that startup. If we talk about Google than Google not take stress about their competitors else Google worry about their workers and about their product improvement and innovation which impact all over the world but to do such activity in competitive market is impossible.

 The Ideology of Competition

In  monopoly new product built which give their owners regular profit but in competition profit is less. In these competition company owner has to struggle to sustain there company. If we compete more with each other then we get more loss but the biggest problem is our education system also work on these theory only. Marks make compete between one student to another student. we explain every student same thing but the student who go ahead in these convictional system we give that student more respect but these student again in their life compete with anyone and very less people do meaningful in their life.

Peter say’s that he also start their career in such ways he is very sharp in study as one time he is much sharp that in 8 std his friends says that within next 4 years take admission in Stanford and within 4 years Peter take admission in Stanford Law School and in Stanford also he compete with other students Now his final goal is to go in supreme court but he can\’t achieve his final goal Peter says that if I achieved my final goal than i make a business deals for other peoples but when he started he started his company Paypal than he don\’t want to compete with peoples but he want to be different. He want to go from zero to one .His and his team member dream is to transfer the money be E-mails. In 1999 there is a big problem to transfer the money from one place to another and all of them want to solve these problem and with these mentality he make 1.5 billion dollar company.

Last Mover Advantage

Who want to safe from competition that person only create monopoly. IF you compare Newyork-Times with twitter than both have 1000 of employee and both vision is to aware people about news but In 2013 Twitter launch in public than the value of Twitter is 24 billion dollars as compared to Newyork-times it more than 12 times. In 2012 the NewYork-Times earns 133 billion dollar as that time twitter is in loss. These is a stupidity and we can ask why ? So these answer is CashFlow. Any company today value depend on that tomorrow how much the company will earn you had listen many times that first movers has more advantage. If you start business first then you can take large market share but Peter says\’s that Last mover Advantage is more larger by observing other product you can make such product which create monopoly anyone can not copy your product then only you can create Entry Barrier and take advantage of Monopoly. But the question arise that in monopoly business which factor is mostly seen.

1.Proprietory technology

If you can create such product that is very hard to copy by anyone than you can create monopoly for these you have to improve existing technology 10 times. In 1995 when Amazon was launched at that times Amazon known as world biggest bookstore because if you compare Amazon with other bookstore you will get 1 lakh book in other bookstore but Amazon take a book list from suppliers Amazon only buy yhe books from supplier when he get order from customers, these is much effective that Bench Noble case on Amazon and say Amazon says that Amazon is a bookstore but Amazon is a Bookbroker.

 2.Network Effect

Network effect make your product useful for the customer. if your friends not using facebook then its very low chance that you also use the Facebook Now today your every friends use Facebook then you will also use the Facebook only. If you use another social site then your friends thinks that you are mad.

 3.Economic of Skills

A one strong monopoly business can create if you scaleup your business. To scaleup service business is very difficult for e.g You are running yoga classes then you can serve your service to a limited people but if you have a software startup than the software startup advantage is they can fastly scaleup their business because to make software copy and to sell that copy is almost charge zero dollars.


To make a strong famous brand helps to create a monopoly. Apple buy every material very safely for their product either its iphone or ipad. Apple product give customer such good result that people understand Apple every product is good only. Now next question is to create monopoly business there is any process?

3.Technology and 4.Network Effect beyond these whenever you start a startup first analyse the market and than start expanding your business.

Step 1

Start a small business and make a monopoly whenever you start a business. Start a small business because to capture the small market and to create monopoly in that market is easy but in large market it is difficult because a large players not allow you to do such activities in their existing market. when Peter Theil started Paypal he don\’t want to make exist e-wallet system in every market. Peter offer his product to EBay existing seller because these seller pay their money by cheque and these process takes much time and because of these market for big players is small that’s why these player don\’t give attention to these market and within 3 months Paypal convert 25% peoples to Paypal customer.

Step 2

To scaleup your business when you dominate a small market than slowly slowly you can dominate other market also. If we talk about Amazon than Jeff Bezos Amazon founder started from selling books while a shop seller can\’t buy a low selling books. Amazon become a world source where world any books we can get these happens because Amazon can\’t sell their own books but other book seller book also listed to his site when customer give order then only Amazon sell that books when Amazon created monopoly in book market after that he started selling Software, CDs, DVD and like these slowly other categorised product also started listing Amazon that’s why today Amazon is called as world largest online store and Jeff Bezos known as world richest person.

Step 3

In starting don\’t disrupt any large business. Newly Startup don\’t have much funding than also he challenge to the large company and compete with that company if you make these mistake than very soon you will get out of these business. you are a lottery ticket many peoples have question that success get from luck or skills so the answer is success gets from lucky breaks. Warren Buffet himself called as the member of Lucky Sperm Club. Jeff Bezos credited his success to his hard work and his right time. Bill gates says that he born with the skills that’s why he achieve such things in his life. Remember one statement that Success will get from skill then only  you will wok hard and shape your future but you think that your future is on luck than you don\’t work hard.


If we think that we understand world and we know everything than we can\’t go from zero to one. Peter says that in world there is 3 types of idea


Conventional which known’s everyone and everyone understand these if we work on these idea than you can\’t make monopoly business for e.g If you are in 18th century then you can say that I want to research the world I want to check out what behind the sea then it is possible that you will get a new country but today if you go for these research then you get nothing because whole Earth plotted. Other ideas which we called as mystery and to solve these mystery is very difficult for e.g Scientist they use String theory to explain universe but we can\’t do experiment on it to solve these is almost impossible to work on these ideas is also stupidity. the third ides come between conventional and mysteries ideas these ideas Peter called as Secrets .Secrets are those ideas which can’t understand by common people easily, but to understand these ideas is also possible. If we want to create 0 to 1 business than we have to find secrets now the question arise that why people can\’t find the secrets first reason is our incremental mentality which programmed by our childhood if you do a new thing in your school which is different from syllabus then you can\’t get benefit from that but if you do such things which is in syllabus then you get credit you will be appreciated by everyone because of these reason In further life people can\’t try for new things.

 2.Risk aversion

People have fear that they can\’t be wrong because secrets can not accepted by normal people that’s why to work on these secrets people fear. if you have fear to take risk than you can\’t find secrets.

 3.Sharp minded

Sharp minded people joined the college and the professors says them that you had join prestigious college and now your life is set because of these people who can find the secrets then can\’t even try also to find the secrets.


We are asking these question to our self many times that if secret exist then other people who are more intelligent and hard working as compared to us why they are not finding secrets and work on it, because of these doubts the people can’t try to find the secrets.

 How to find the Secrets

If you want to start unique company then ask yourself 2 question

1.Which secrets the nature are not providing to you?

2.Which secrets the people are not providing to you?

 Peter says that working with Physics Phd people is very hard because these people knows every basic principle of nature because of these they think they know everything .

For Paypal one time peter takes Physics phd interview and the person says to Peter that I know what you will ask from me but in real he didn\’t know about it at that time Peter rejected him so find your secrets where no one Finding. Mostly peoples are finding there secrets as they guided in school and colleges. But you ask yourself the one which field the school and college not guided to for e.g If we find secrets in physics so Physics Subject syllabus is in every college.

In these field you will be difficult to find the secrets but if you will see the Physics opposite Astrology Subject Astrology can’t provide more value to people but if you see Nutrition than Nutrition matter to all Top scientists chooses subject like Physics According to Nutrition today also we know about Nutrition that only as we know before 40 to 50 years. In these type of subject you can get the secrets.

When you get Secrets after that what to do

Peter says that if you get any secret than you have 2 option Either you can say to anyone or you can keep it with yourself. These idea is not much good that you share your secrets with other you have to share your secrets with your team member only because startup is the conspiracy to change the world and every best business depend on the secrets.


Peter say these statement every time because of these statement Many people say him Thiel Law. “A startup whose foundation is bad in starting only then to make that company sustainable is very difficult.” for e.g You started your business with wrong partner than to stable that business is very difficult. As a founder of startup it is your duty that in starting all the things are perfect because with the bad foundation you can\’t create best company for choosing co-founder is like marriage. Peter says that Luke who is the co-founder of Paypal and also he is a smart business man but before starting Paypal Luke start a startup with someone else. In that startup Peter also invested money.  Every time there is misunderstanding between Luke and his co-founder because of there misunderstanding Luke company has been closed and Peter got loss from his first investment thatswhy Peter says that whenever I invest money in a company before investing I see that how much bonding have in between that company co-founder.

Peter says that whenever any business man request Peter to invest money in his business than Peter ask one question that How much salary he gives himself? If a company CEO gives himself a less salary than that company succeed chances increases.

Peter says that you can improve your startup success by answering these seven questions.

1.The Engineering question

Can you launch any product in the market which is 10 times good than existing product?

 2.Timing question

Is these time is right to start your business?

 3.Monopoly question

Are you starting your business from big shares of small market?

 4.People question

Are you have write team?

 5.Distribution question

Are you have a skills to make a product and also to sell that product?

 6.Durability question

Are you continue these after 20-30 years?

 7.Secret question

Are you find such type of opportunity that other people are missing?

If you have these seven question answers then you can successfully built a startup

Peter says that Tesla motor is a company which is the best example and these company have all the seven question answers.

1.Can you launch any product in the market which is 10 times good than existing product?

Ans. Tesla technology is so much good that other companies depend on Tesla for e.g Mercedes Benz used the Tesla power. Toyoto used the Tesla motors.

 2.Is these time is right to start your business?

Ans. In 2009 USA people thinking that for electric car clean technology  Government will give subsidy but Tesla see it in a one time opportunity and take 465 billions dollars subsidy After 1.5 Years In 2010 Obama Government politicize these subsidy and the subsidy closed.

  3.Are you starting your business from big shares of small market?

Ans. Tesla first make an electric car and in starting Tesla sell his car to big actors first time Tesla sell only 3000 car but with these cars  Tesla got research money with these he launch the Sedan cars for middle class and In 2012 Tesla sells 20,000 cars.

 4.Are you have write team?

Ans. Tesla CEO ELon Musk is a very good engineer and salesman and his time also like him perfect. Elon says that Tesla team is like special force.

 5.Are you have a skills to make a product and also to sell that product?

Ans. Tesla take his sales very seriously at second side the company like Hyundai and Ford makes their car by own but for selling it depend on others.

 6.Are you continue these after 20-30 years?

Ans. According to the rate of Tesla car improvement it is very hard to beat Tesla for electric cars. Customer prefers Tesla only. These types of company can make a monopoly for many years.

7.Are you find such type of opportunity that other people are missing?

Ans. Tesla know that the rich people believe that to travel in a electric car is a status symbol. The people also believe that car owners make the environment clean. So this concludes the topic for Zero to One Book Summary by Peter Theil.


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