Zero to One

Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

If you want to build a better future, you must believe in secrets.

The great secret of our time is that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create. In Zero to One, legendary entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel shows how we can find singular ways to create those new things.

Thiel begins with the contrarian premise that we live in an age of technological stagnation, even if we’re too distracted by shiny mobile devices to notice. Information technology has improved rapidly, but there is no reason why progress should be limited to...

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Reviews and Recommendations

We've comprehensively compiled reviews of Zero to One from the world's leading experts.

Elon Musk Founder/SpaceXPeter Thiel has built multiple breakthrough companies, and Zero to One shows how.” - Elon Mus (Source)

Reid Hoffman CEO/LinkedInRecommends this book

Mark Zuckerberg Founder/FacebookThis book delivers completely new and refreshing ideas on how to create value in the world. (Source)

Ben Horowitz Co-founder/Andreessen HorowitzZero To One is a great book. I learned a lot reading it. (Source)

Eric Weinstein Managing Director/Thiel CapitalIf you really understand something that the rest of the world is confused about, and it’s an important truth, [this book] says here are all the ways you might want to make that work. (Source)

Max Levchin Co-founder/PayPal, CEO/Affirm, Investor[Max Levchin recommended this book as an answer to "What business books would you advise young entrepreneurs read?"] (Source)

Dustin Moskovitz Co-founder/Facebook and Asana[Dustin Moskovitz recommended this book during a Stanford lecture.] (Source)

Nassim Nicholas Taleb AuthorWhen a risk taker writes a book, read it. In the case of Peter Thiel, read it twice. Or, to be safe, three times. This is a classic. (Source)

Sam Altman Partner & President/Y CombinatorRecommends this book

Satya Nadella CEO/MicrosoftRecommends this book

Peter Thiel Entrepreneur, InvestorRecommends this book

Rupert Murdoch CEO/News CorporationEnjoying brilliant, often provocative, Peter Thiel book, Zero to One. Will buy many and distribute to all senior execs. (Source)

Marc Andreessen Co-Founder/Andreessen HorowitzThe Innovator’s Dilemma, The Lean Startup, and Zero To One are the defining trilogy of intellectual thought on the art and science of modern technology startups. Virtually every page of each is open to debate and yet as a whole they provide intellectual scaffolding for our endeavors that I wish had existed when I started in 1994! (Source)

Casey Neistat Founder/368 Creative SpaceThere's a great book by Peter Thiel (I love the book but I don't endorse his political preference). In that book he addresses how hard it is to start a nothing and turn it into something. You start with zero and you get to one. That's the hardest thing you can do. (Source)

Marvin Liao Partner/500 StartupsMy list would be (besides the ones I mentioned in answer to the previous question) both business & Fiction/Sci-Fi and ones I personally found helpful to myself. The business books explain just exactly how business, work & investing are in reality & how to think properly & differentiate yourself. On the non-business side, a mix of History & classic fiction to understand people, philosophy to make sense of life and Science fiction to picture what the future could be like (not always utopian). (Source)

Danielle Morrill Co-founder/MattermarkRecommends this book

Luis von Ahn I love [this book]. (Source)

James Altucher Founder/StockPickrThere’s a lot of business books out there. 99% of them are BS. Read this one. So many concepts really changed my attitude about not only business but capitalism. Thiel, the founder of PayPal, and first investor in Facebook, is brilliant in how he simply shares his theories on building a billion dollar business. I love his story on my podcast what exactly happened in the room when a 24 year old Mark Zuckerberg was offered $250,000,000 and refused it in two minutes. (Source)

John Doherty This book is by Peter Thiel, who while I completely disagree with his worldview has seen thousands of startups both grow and fail. They have some interesting takes on what it takes to make a startup successful and look towards changing the world. (Source)

Chris Oliver For anyone interested in startups, this is a highly recommended book about what it takes to start a business. (Source)

Bill Earner Zero to One by Peter Thiel to understand power laws and why they apply to startups and startup investing. (Source)

Fabrice Grinda I have lots of books to recommend, but they are not related to my career path. The only one that is remotely related is Peter Thiel’s Zero to One. (Source)

Neal O'Gorman [Currently reading] Peter Thiel's: Zero To One. Looking for some insight on how he sees things. Interesting to get his take on the fact that a VC is likely to need any one investment be able to return the size of that VC's fund. (Source)

Henry Medine I promote range and diversity. Thus, I recommend readers to expose themselves to as many different topics as possible. I usually have 2-4 books I refer back to at any given time. They range in topics from management, art, spirituality and philosophy. Trying to get the engineering thing going but don't much of a mind for science. (Source)

Howard Marks I would say the one book for entrepreneurs, there's several books that I recently read. Peter Thiel has a book. Zero to One I read. It was good. (Source)

John Craig In Peter Thiel's book, he asks the question "What important truth do very few people agree with you on?" If you can answer that question it will give you the direction on how & where to grow your life & business to the next level. (Source)

Deepak Chhugani Zero to One really helped me understand that in order to do unique or extraordinary things, you have to think in a very unique way. By thinking like the rest of the world, it’s easy to follow what everyone else does or says and lose the ability to think individually and objectively. (Source)

Robert Hajnal From it I learned that the best way to grow a business is by dominating a small niche and grow from there with an ambitious long-term vision. (Source)

Mircea Scarlatescu Many, but here’s a short list, for both entrepreneurs and team leaders: The E-Myth by Michael E. Gerber Zero to One by Peter Thiel The Lean Startup by Eric Ries Scrum and XP from the Trenches by Henrik Kniberg ReWork – Jason Fried (Source)

Bogdan Iordache There are quite a few good business books on technology, and I'll list below some I find to be a good starting point. Personally, I like biographies a lot and I mostly read biographies of dead people, because those are the most honest ones. So because the computer age is still very young, there won't be a lot of biographies in my list. (Source)

Sean Si Recommends this book

Tommy Bar Av Recommends this book

Yaniv Feldman Recommends this book

Ayush Mittal Started listening to the audio book "Zero to One". It's fantastic! (Source)

Kishore Biyani Captures some interesting perspectives and insights on the way the world and the business organisations are changing and challenging the status quo. (Source)

Mikhail Dubov A few books had affected how I run the company [...] Zero to One. (Source)

Chandini Jain [One of the five books Chandini would you recommend to young people interested in her career path.] (Source)

Alexandra Stroe [I'd recommend] The Lean Startup by Eric Ries, Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur and Zero to One by Peter Thiel when they are in the starting phase of a business that needs to validate its business model. (Source)

Yuriy Zaremba [One of the five books Yuriy recommends to young people interested in his career path.] (Source)

Marie Denis Although it’s not my favorite book it’s a good way to understand the mentality of this industry and get into the swings of things. (Source)

Dominic Steil [One of the five books recommends to young people interested in his career path.] (Source)

Gilles Bernhard In the process of an acquisition of my business by a bigger company, I was reading Zero to One by Peter Thiel, and it helped me understand the meaning behind an acquisition, and what to expect from it. I really enjoyed this book because it is very easy and quick to read, but still has a lot of value. Still today its lessons are keys to how I chose to invest, how I see companies and how I tend to think when working on mine. (Source)

Tee-Ming Chew I would recommend Zero to One by Peter Thiel because it gives different perspectives on how to create value in this world. (Source)

Andreas Zhou Thiel's philosophy of "competition is for losers" rings very true. It's a book that will make you stop and think about what kind of business you're building and what kind of impact you're having before you start. (Source)

Boban Dedovic My favorite business book is Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters. It’s my favorite because it explains lots of important and consequential concepts in a way that makes sense for a normal person. Moreover, the concepts discussed challenge conventional wisdom taught in schools and enforced by society. (Source)

Catrinel Hagivreta Zero to One – Peter Thiel: clear, practical guide about what it takes to build the next successful start up. (Source)

Javed Khatri This book is written by Peter Thiel and I admire him a lot. I was always curious to know about his journey, he clearly presents his views on businesses and startups in this book. (Source)

Liam Martin Zero to One by Peter Thiel because the book perfectly encapsulates what makes a tech startup incredibly successful and I often find myself thinking of his thought process when looking at adding a feature or investing in a company. (Source)

Dean Roller I am paraphrasing here, however when he mentioned make something 10 times better than you competitors products or don't bother at all. It shifted the end result I was looking for in the business I currently run. I changed the whole approach about what the business would offer and how products would be delivered. (Source)

Nelson Chu In his book, he talked about how competition is for losers, and that really changed my mindset. After reading this book, I am able to think strategically on how to build a company that does not need to avoid competition. (Source)

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