Zero to One

“A great company is a conspiracy to change the world.”

“Darwinism may be a fine theory in other contexts, but in startups, intelligent design works best.”

“Computers are compliments for humans, not substitutes. The most valuable businesses of coming decades will be built by entrepreneurs who seek to empower people rather than try to make them obsolete.”

“Strong AI is like a cosmic lottery ticket: if we win we get utopia, if we lose, Skynet substitutes us out of existence.”

How can you not love these quotes from Zero to One, Notes on Startups or How to Build The Future, the best-selling book by my favourite eccentric libertarian billionaire, Peter Thiel and one of his Stanford students, Blake Masters.

Zero to One is one of those books everyone in business needs to read. It’s a succinct study on how to make a business that makes money; another one of those rare little books full of not-so-common common sense.

In that way, Zero to One reminds me of Economics in One Lesson, (a book that should be on every junior-high school syllabus) but written for the corporate class rather than public policy.

The book opens with a question, what profound truth to very few people agree with you about? 

The question is constructed to reveal the opportunities and threats in the world around us that could be solved with a “Zero to One” business idea.

My answer to that question is “Most people believe the way to solve the big problems, such as automation, artificial intelligence and the “great job displacement”, income inequality and wage gaps between various minorities is with MORE GOVERNMENT – more welfare, a UBI, more rules and regulations, more centralisation of power. I believe the opposite. I believe that only self-sovereignty and decentralisation will save civilisation from itself amidst the rise of machines.”

I guess the business solution arising from my answer would involve blockchain, although far smarter minds than my own – like the ones over at BitNation – are already hard at work solving that very problem for us.

But that’s just me.

I recommend you read the book and answer the question for yourself.

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