What is the best organizational structure for a startup? Who should have equity and how much? Who should make the executive decisions? Structure impacts performance, so how you organize your business at the start is critical. Peter Thiel asserts that you must make the right decisions in three areas—equity, direction, and operation—to cultivate organizational alignment and growth. Here’s how to get your startup structure right at the start.
What sets up a startup business for long-term profitability? What qualities must it have? Why isn’t having a monopoly enough? In his book Zero to One, entrepreneur Peter Thiel presents creative monopolies as the solution to destructive competition, but he also cautions that creating a technological monopoly does not in and of itself guarantee the success of your startup. Thiel measures the worth of a startup by considering how much profit it has the potential to bring in ten or twenty years down the road. He identifies four traits common to startups that achieve long-term success. Keep reading to learn
Is competition good for business? Is there such a thing as “healthy competition”? Entrepreneur Peter Thiel believes that the idea of healthy competition is a myth. But it’s a myth that is so deeply ingrained in our society that it tends to exercise a destructive influence on our business strategies. As such, Thiel spends a chapter in his book Zero to One exposing and debunking the myth. Keep reading for Peter Thiel’s take on why competition is bad.
Which genre does Hannah find to be cringey? What childhood experience sparked her love of YA fantasy? Hannah’s a member of the marketing and SEO team here at Shortform—she writes and edits copy for the blog. She’s from New England, U.S.A. but has a passion for visiting other countries around the world.
What’s the future of the world? What are the main challenges the future holds in store? Peter Thiel likes to ask job candidates what he calls a contrarian question: “What important truth do few people agree with you on?” The best answers provide insight into the future. While most people think that globalization will dictate the world of the future, Thiel believes that technology will. Keep reading for Thiel’s take on the challenge of the future.
What revolutionary truth do you know that no one else agrees with? What discovery could you make if you challenged assumptions? Peter Thiel believes in secrets—truths that no one else has. He contends that there’s more knowledge to be discovered and new opportunities to be explored. But, to find them, we have to believe they exist and look for them. We have to challenge assumptions in order to discover something new. The place to start, he contends, is with the contrarian question. Here’s how Peter Thiel’s contrarian question can help you uncover the secret to success.
Is business success a matter of luck or planning? If success is just a matter of luck, why bother with planning? There is an ongoing debate in the business community about the relative importance of planning versus luck in determining the success of a venture. For example, Warren Buffet, Jeff Bezos, and Bill Gates all attribute their success at least partially to luck. Peter Thiel disagrees. In the chapter titled “You are not a lottery ticket,” he emphasizes the importance of planning and shares four ways of thinking about the future. Here’s why planning should not be underestimated, according to
How do you go from “zero to one”? How do you successfully get your startup on the road to success? According to Peter Thiel, the author of Zero to One, there are seven things you need to achieve startup success: 1) revolutionary technology, 2) unique insight, 3) monopoly status, 4) strategic timing, 5) a great team, 6) effective distribution, and 7) enduring value. He uses the clean tech crash and the rise of Tesla as case studies to illustrate his checklist. Read more to learn these seven principles for startup success.
Are humans and technology in competition with each other? Can computers do whatever humans can do? Will AI take over the world? According to Peter Thiel, the author of Zero to One, humans and technology don’t compete with each other—they complement each other. In the job market, computers don’t eliminate the need for human workers; they just empower human workers to be more productive. And, in the resource market, computers don’t compete with humans for resources, because computers are not consumers. Here’s why the concern of competition is irrelevant.
Why are many successful entrepreneurs so eccentric? What difference does their out-of-the-box thinking make? Eccentric tastes are a common trait of successful entrepreneurs, if not an outright essential one. To create something new and compelling, you need to think outside the box, and there’s a direct correlation between how well you think outside the box and how far outside the “box” of normal conventions your lifestyle and interests lie. Keep reading for a discussion about unconventional leaders.