If you have been following me here on the blog, you know that I enjoy reading a lot of books. If you are a heavy reader like I am, you also know, that it can be difficult to choose, what to read next.
I have become a manic reader this last year. I have gotten it into my head, that I want to write for a living some day. So I read many smart lines from many smart people, and I suspect, that there might be a day, where I would like to go back, and check out some of the best golden nuggets I have collected through the years. So I save all of my favorite quotes.
If nothing about our society changes for the next hundred years, then the future is more than a hundred years away
Peter Thiel is one of the original members of the so called Paypal Mafia, who’s advice on start-ups everyone must take seriously.
He has written this great book called Zero to One, which is a quick and easy read, yet still jam packed with useful advice.
The main message is, you should never bother starting a company that isn’t truly unique.
Starting an unoriginal company, is only going to let you participate in fierce competition, and still only see very small profits.
Creating something that didn’t exist before, is going from 0 to 1. Making more of what already exists is going from 1 to n, and that is not the way to change the world.
Thinking in these terms, is how Peter Thiel believe we should continue making the world a better place, as there are still many great inventions left out there to be discovered.
You should never believe all secrets about the world has been uncovered yet.
Basically, you can discover secrets in two realms of reality.
You can discover secrets about nature and people.
Discovering secrets about nature is mostly left up to specialist and scientist, who should uncover secrets, and capitalize on them, in their own particular field.
Discovering secrets about people, is something everybody can do, like finding out people also want a social network, just for sharing pictures (Instagram). I remember thinking myself, that we already have facebook for pictures?
It all comes down to articulating a universal truth, that you are able to see, that nobody else is.
This mindset is summed up nicely in one question, that Peter Thiel lets you know, he uses in the beginning of all his job interviews:
What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
When you have discovered a certain truth, you start your company out by dominating a small niche of the market, whereafter you expand to the broader population. Like Amazon started out by focusing on selling books, and Paypal initially focused on facilitating money transfers related to auctions on Ebay. Both of them ended up expanding heavily to broader markets later on.
In the end, the author gives you his well educated guess on, what the future is going to bring us all.
He says that everything is possible; also that a positive outcome is a possibility. As long as we plan for it, and make smart choices along the way, which is true for both ourselves on a micro level and countries at a macro.
If you can identify a delusional popular belief, you find what lies hidden it: the contrarian truth