In 2012, Peter Thiel taught a course at Stanford about starting companies. Blake Masters, then a student, sparked an internet sensation when he posted essay versions of his class notes online. Peter and Blake have revised and expanded on the best ideas from the class to create Zero to One, because there's no reason why thinking about the future should happen only at Stanford, or in college, or in Silicon Valley.
We live in an age of technological stagnation, even if we are too distracted by our new mobile devices to notice. Computers have been the happy exception, but the world needs more than just one innovative industry to have a prosperous future.
Zero to One is about learning from Silicon Valley’s success how to solve hard problems, create new products, and capture lasting value.
Even when conventional wisdom is right, everyone in the world is competing to apply it.
And contrary to conventional wisdom, competition is not healthy: it exhausts individuals’ spirits just as it saps companies’ profits. Zero to One shows how to escape competition and capture value by doing what nobody else can do: think for yourself.
Most companies make horizontal progress from “1 to n,” adding to the world’s stock of stuff that we already know how to make.
The most valuable companies make progress from “0 to 1,” creating new things that have never been dreamed of before. In a world of limited resources, the only way forward is upward, through technological progress. Zero to One shows the way.