Peter Theil: Zero to One

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“[H]umans are distinguished from other species by our ability to work miracles.  We call these miracles technology.  Technology is miraculous because it allows us to do more with less” (p. 2)

“College students can become extremely skilled at a few specialties, but many never learn what to do with those skills in the wider world” (p. 3).

“Whenever I interview someone for a job, I like to ask this question: ‘What important truth do very few people agree with you on?’  This question sounds easy because it’s straightforward.  Actually, it’s very hard to answer.  It’s intellectually difficult because the knowledge that everyone is taught in school is be definition agreed upon.  And it’s psychologically difficult because anyone trying to answer must say something show knows to be unpopular.  Brilliant thinking is rare, but courage is in even shorter supply than genius.” (p. 5).

“No one can predict the future exactly, but we know two things: it’s going to be different, and it must be rooted in today’s world” (p. 6).

“At the macro level, the single word for horizontal progress is globalization — taking things that work somewhere and making them work everywhere….The single word for vertical, 0 to 1 progress is technology” (p. 7).

“Properly understood, any new and better way of doing things is technology” (p. 8).

“In a world of scarce resources, globalization without new technology is unsustainable” (p. 9).

“New technology tends to come from new ventures — startups…small groups of people bound together by a sense of mission…” (p. 10).

“[B]y ‘monopoly,’ we mean the kind of company that’s so good at what it does that no other firm can offer a close substitute” (p. 25).

“[C]apitalism and competition are opposites” (p. 25).

“Monopoly is the condition of every successful business” (p. 34).

 

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