The Startup
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The Startup

14 Things I Learned from Peter Thiel’s -Zero to One by Arun Raina

1: Go from 0 TO N

Always know the difference between what we know and what we don’t. Doing things what others have done, might be good for your business but it will be a small-time value for your business, but doing things that never have been done i.e. going from o to n would be an asset and the result of that would be something fresh, whether it’s a startup idea or a marketing plan or a new feature.

2: Look for vertical progress not horizontal

Horizontal progress is easy to imagine as it just copying or doing the same things as others are doing but vertical one intensive means doing something new. Vertical progress is harder as no one has else done, so you don’t know anything about it

3: A startup most important strength is new thinking. If you aren’t thinking something new, then days will come soon that you will die.

4: Party Like It’s 1999

“Madness is rare in individuals
— but in groups, parties, nations, and ages it is the rule.”
— Nietzsche (before he went mad)

· Make incremental advances. Small incremental steps are the only safe path forward

· Stay Lean & Humble ( Treat entrepreneurship as agnostic experimentation)

· Don’t start new marketplace just start with an already existing customer, so you should build your company by improving on the products offered by other competitors

· Focus on product not sales (Technology is primarily about product development, not distribution)

· A bad plan is better than no plan

5: Entrepreneurs are always biased to understate the scale of competition but that’s the biggest mistake a startup can make.

6: Progress comes from Monopoly

Monopoly is the condition of every successful business (Every business is successful exactly to the extent that it does something others cannot)

Characteristics of Monopoly:

· Proprietary Technology ( A product difficult or impossible to replicate )

· Network effects ( Is powerful but you will never repeat until you make your product valuable for its very first users when the network is very small). Facebook started very small with just Harvard students. It was designed just to get all his classmates signed up on Facebook not to attract all people on earth

· Economics Of Scale ( A good startup should always have the potential for great scale. it should not need to add to any features in order to acquire users and no reason in order to stop growing).

· Branding ( Creating a strong brand is powerful to claim a monopoly-like apple)

7: Rivalry causes us to overemphasize old opportunities and slavishly copy what’s has worked in the past. If you can’t beat a rival, it may be better to merge.

8: Greatness means the willingness to fight for the reasons as thin as an eggshell: anyone would fight for things that matter.

9: Think or Die!

Don’t focus on near term growth, just always ask the question will your business survive around a decade? Numbers alone won’t tell you the answer; instead, think critically about the qualitative characteristics of your business.

10: Scaling up

Once you create & dominate a niche market then you should gradually expand into related and slightly broader markets. Eg Amazon started with books then expanded into other related markets


11: The last will be the first

Being the first mover you can capture significant market share while competitors will scramble to get started.

But what really matters is generating cash flows in future, so being the first mover doesn’t do any good if someone else also comes along but it’s better to be the last moves, i.e. making the last great development in a specific market

12: You can expect the future to take definite form but if you expect an indefinite future ruled by randomness, you will give up trying to master it.

· Indefinite optimism -the future will be better than the present if you plan and works to make it better ( eg USA)

· Definite Pessimistic (Believe the future can be known, but since it will be bleak he must prepare for it ( Eg China)

· Indefinite Pessimistic (bleak into the future but has no ideas what to do about it (Europe)

13: Believe in Power of Law

This law is just not important to an investor rather its important t everybody because everybody is an investor. An entrepreneur makes a major investment by just spending his time working in as startup so he must think about whether his company is going to succeed and become valuable

14: The best interview question you can ask

“What important truth do very few people agree with you on?”

A good answer takes the following form: “Most people believe in x, but the truth is the opposite of x.”

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Arun Raina

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Arun Raina

Arun Raina


Building @Nojoto | Product Management | Analytics | Growth