Zero to One by Peter Thiel

zerotoone_peterthielZero to One, written by  famed businessman Peter Thiel, is the essential guidebook to aspiring entrepreneurs everywhere. Short and concise, this handbook explains all aspects of problems in the business world, along with the key ingredients to create successful startups.

What sets this book apart from the dozens of other “guides to success”? The answer is its simplicity. Most books promising instant success provide convoluted plans for making money and small tricks for manipulating the business world. However, what Zero to One emphasizes is that there are no easy roads to success. There isn’t one formula or business model to instantly attain success. Instead, this book shows how to find a niche in the market and ensure a long term business strategy.

What’s more, Thiel doesn’t just explain this in a mind numbing and inapplicable way. For every single concept introduced, Thiel provided an example. When talking about long term strategies, hewrites about the Cleantech Bubble. For a short period of time, it seemed the entire world was focused on finding renewable sources of clean energy. Dozens of solar energy companies bloomed, only to be crushed in a few years. With the discovery of fracking, and the lack of innovative clean technology, nearly 40 solar companies went bankrupt in one year. Of course, successful companies are also displayed in this guide. Thiel highlights the winning moves by each startup, and the similarities between them. He also shares past experiences on starting his company, PayPal, and the difficulties he met along the way.

Even if you don’t plan to be an entrepreneur, Zero to One is still a very good read. It offers a quick but comprehensive view at where the future is headed. It shows how to find the balance between the idealistic and realistic for the most successful startup. Every startup company takes effort to run, but the hardest part is starting it—from zero to one.

– Philip X., 10th grade

Zero to One is available for check out from the Mission Viejo Public Library and Overdrive.

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