adrift on a cosmic ocean

Writings on various topics (mostly technical) from Oliver Hookins and Angela Collins. We currently reside in Sydney after almost a decade in Berlin, have three kids, and have far too little time to really justify having a blog.

Micro book review: Zero to One

Posted by Oliver on the 5th of February, 2020 in category Thoughts
Tagged with: Books

Another book completed from the never-ending list: Zero to One by Peter Thiel. Not sure how this ended up on the list but I guess it's a seminal text when considering tech startups, which have featured pretty solidly in my career.

Zero to One cover

I probably saw it on the shelf at one of the companies I worked, and thought it deserved a read. In any case, I expected something more about founding and running startups, and discovered more of a book about competition and economics (in a way). It features many stories and anecdotes about monopolies and competition that were new to me and genuinely intesting. Thiel gives his list of rules for founding a successful company, but they are more about the conditions under which success has a better chance than a howto for running a tech company.

He's clearly coming from a position of authority, being part of the small group of people responsible for Paypal, Elon Musk included, although I understand he's something of a divisive character. I enjoyed the book although it wasn't really along topics I normally would aim for, and it certainly contained ideas I hadn't considered or thought before. If I find myself considering founding a startup (although that's unlikely) I'll probably give it another, closer read.

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