Zero to One (by Peter Thiel) Summary - Chapter 2

The following is a summary of Zero to One: Notes on Startups or How to Build the Future. I do not claim to own any of the book's original work, the following is simply a bulleted summarization with a few direct quotes. All copyrights and trademarks belong to their respective owners. Chapter 2 - Party like it’s 1999:
  • Thiel tells the (long) story of the 90’s dot com bubble:
    • How Paypal came out of it
    • How the bubble popped
  • Post-bubble business ideas are still commonplace today (bad):
  1. Make incremental advances
  2. Stay lean and flexible
  3. Improve on the competition
  4. Focus on product, not sales
  • Opposite of these ideas is probably more true (good):
  1. It’s better to risk boldness than triviality
  2. A bad plan is better than no plan
  3. Competitive markets destroy profits
  4. Sales matters just as much as product
  • Ideas opposite of the norm are not automatically true
    • Instead ask: how much of what you know about business is shaped by mistaken reactions to past mistakes?
    • Most contrarian thinking is to think for yourself
  If you've liked this summary, I highly recommend you get the full book here: Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future < Previous Chapter | Overview | Next Chapter > - Alec Kriebel