I recently read a very interesting book written by Peter Thiel, an American entreprenuer and investor. The book is named Zero to One and sheds light on, and I’m not kidding when I say this, how to build the future. Big words. But true. This post discusses ideas in this book to help you develop your ideas.

The premise

There are two types of businesses – one that go from 0 to 1 and the other which go from 1 to n.

0 to 1 businesses are those which create something out of nothing (the single word is technology)

1 to n businesses are those which replicate something that worked somewhere in a different market (the single word is globalisation)

The basic premise of this book is:

  1. In the future, businesses that rely on new technology, which go from 0 to 1, will be the ones which survive and take progress forward.
  2. In a world of scarce resources, Globalisation without new technology is unsustainable. India cannot follow the same consumption patterns as America – the result will be catatrophic. Going from 1 to n will essentially leave business in highly competitive markets, struggling to survive for dwindling margins.

Examples of products and businesses which have gone from 0 to 1 include Google, Microsoft, Apple, Airbnb, Facebook, etc.

Clearly, we have come a long way in communications and computing, but not so much so in other fields. Hence, there is immense scope for innovating and going from 0 to 1 in tons of other fields which have not seen as much growth and progress (nutrition being a good example).

How do I go from o to 1? 

Here are some guidelines that I have extracted from the book which I’m going to keep applying on myself till they become a part of my bones.

1. Courage is key

“Brilliant thinking is rare but courage is in even shorter supply than genius”, writes Thiel.

If you want to do something unique, you will need courage (the ability to take risks). Without courage, everything else will fail. So courage.

2. Startup thinking will lead to new ideas

A startup is essentially a small group of people on a mission. In larger organisations, there is more bureaucracy and an aversion to take bold risks. On the other end, individual geniuses might create classic works of art but rarely can they build successful companies. You need teams to get stuff done.

To be continued – This browser tab has been open for the last 4 days without any signification writing/editing being done. So I will continue this post once I’ve collated more notes and insights from the book.

General Update: 

So now that I have shifted back from Surat, from the world of printing and packaging, I have been contemplating on my next move and will be planning a venture in the skill development space.

Please do subscribe and keep coming back here for updates on how I’m going to start. I will keep it interesting and relevant.