January 9, 2015

Zero to One by Peter Thiel

About Zero to One: In this #1 New York Times bestseller, Peter Thiel speaks of the great secret of our time: that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create. In Zero to One, Thiel shows readers how they 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 television, computers and mobile devices to notice. Information technology has improved rapidly, but there is no reason why progress should be limited to computers or Silicon Valley. Progress can be achieved in any industry or area of business. It comes from the most important skill that every leader must master: learning to think for yourself.

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Why Cydcor recommends it to future leaders: At its core, Zero to One is a refreshing intellectual exploration into motives behind entrepreneurship. It makes the reader ask the hard questions, which if one wishes to be in business or become an entrepreneur, are critical for being honest and prepared for the industry.

Our favorite part: Thiel suggests that the entrepreneurs who stuck with Silicon Valley learned four big lessons from the dot-com crash that still guide business thinking today:

1. Make incremental advances.

2. Stay lean and flexible.

3. Improve on the competition.

4. Focus on products, not sales.

“These lessons have become dogma in the start-up world; those who ignore them are presumed to invite the justified doom visited upon technology in the great crash of 2000. And yet the opposite principles are probably more correct.”