Zero to One, is one of the most thought provoking books I've read in a while.
Thought provoking in that it challenges and structures entrepreneurial activities.
Alternatively this book is about the lies people tell.
'Zero to one' begins a single, simple, question:
"What important truth do very few people agree with you on?"
Generally an easy answer to this question is also a bad answer.
they are not important, not a truth, or already agreed by lots of people.
A good answer is hard to come by, and usually has the form:
"Most people believe in x, but the truth is the opposite of x."
So why is a good answer important?
A good answer is an opportunity.
An opportunity that is presented in the alternate form of the question:
What valuable company is nobody building?
A valuable company in the eyes of 'zero to one' is a monopoly, that can capture monopoly profits.
If you ask a regular company what makes them unique and special, they will generally have an answer.
However, if you ask a valuable (monopoly) company what makes them unique and special, they will generally answer that they are not special. Why they're not a monopoly.
This is because labelling yourself a monopoly is a major problem. It invites attention.
Attention invites competitors, or worse (for the company) regulation. Both of which can limit profitability.
So, will building a monopoly guarantee monopoly profits?
"Superior sales and distribution by itself can create a monopoly, even with no product differentiation. The converse is not true."
What about people?
What will make the 2nd person want to join?
What about the 20th person? 200th? 2,000th?
A simple view by modern entrepeneurs is to provide equity in the company as the enticement for someone to want to join.
However this runs out of power very quickly as more people join.
The alternative option is to entice people with a sense of purpose.
In a new company this can be gained by being an 'insider'. By being someone who is in on a secret.
The beauty here, is that every monopoly business, by its very nature has some secret at its heart.
So what is the next secret?
Zero to One is available from Book Depository
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