Peter Thiel, the tech entrepreneur and investor, has been much in the news since he went all in on his support of Donald Trump. He’s also known as a contrarian investor, a libertarian and a mentor of the PayPal Mafia. Most recently he’s also been in the news for saying that Apple’s best days are behind it – which I totally agree with but more on that later!
Let’s start with a review of the book, Zero To One: Notes on Start Ups or How to Build The Future. It was written in 2014 but it’s still an absolute must-read for anyone involved in business, start-ups, new product development and technology. It provides a fascinating look into the mindset of Silicon Valley entrepreneurship. The book is a quick read (200 pages), succinct and on-point although I wasn’t fully immersed until about 30 pages in – and then I couldn’t put it down.
Here are the 5 points that especially resonated with me.
Strive to create a product that is clearly 10X better than the competition. If not, you will be an also-ran and face endless, debilitating competitors. This is an especially important consideration when evaluating Apple 2017 vs. Apple 2007 – and why I agree with Thiel that the age of Apple is over. None of their recent launches from watches to Beats to iPhone 7 with its inconvenient dongle are 10X better (Apple Pay, however, I LOVE.) This past year saw year-over-year iPhone sales decline for the first time and CEO Tim Cook got a 15 percent pay cut.
Read on below for points 2-5: