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Zero to One - Peter Thiel Contrarian Thinker + Disruption - AZ TRT S04 EP50 (213) 12-17-2023

AZ Tech Roundtable 2.0

Release Date: 12/22/2023

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Zero to One - Peter Thiel Contrarian Thinker + Disruption

AZ TRT S04 EP50 (213) 12-17-2023

 

What We Learned This Week

  • Contrarian Thinking – think for yourself and differently than everyone else
  • Innovation great companies have unique products that go from Zero to one, vertical
  • Founders are important and challenge the Status Quo to change the world
  • Competition is for losers, strive for a Monopoly
  • Secrets – What Great Company is No One Building?
  • Disruption in Business & Tech World - How to Handle The Innovator's Dilemma

 

 

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future (c- 2014)

 

 

 

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “This book delivers completely new and refreshing ideas on how to create value in the world.”—Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta

“Peter Thiel has built multiple breakthrough companies, and Zero to One shows how.”—Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla

The great secret of our time is that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create. In Zero to One, legendary entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel shows how we can find singular ways to create those new things.

Thiel begins with the contrarian premise that we live in an age of technological stagnation, even if we’re too distracted by shiny mobile devices to notice. Information technology has improved rapidly, but there is no reason why progress should be limited to computers or Silicon Valley. Progress can be achieved in any industry or area of business. It comes from the most important skill that every leader must master: learning to think for yourself.

Doing what someone else already knows how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But when you do something new, you go from 0 to 1. The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. Tomorrow’s champions will not win by competing ruthlessly in today’s marketplace. They will escape competition altogether, because their businesses will be unique.

Zero to One presents at once an optimistic view of the future of progress in America and a new way of thinking about innovation: it starts by learning to ask the questions that lead you to find value in unexpected places.

Book on Amazon: HERE

 

 

Zero to One Book Summary: HERE

 

By XDEV 200 from 8/2020

 

 

Notes:

 

Seg. 1:

 

Zero to One - Rethinking the Future

 

Zero to One - 0 to 1

The idea that new innovation goes vertical or up, technological progress

If you just make a car that goes a little faster, that is horizontal progress (1 to n),

like globalization, copying existing ideas and then improve a little

 

Founders are Important, and challenge the Status Quo

 

Competition is over-rated, and you should strive to be a Monopoly.

 

Innovation is based on Secrets

 

Startups, Cults, & The PayPal Mafia

 

There Has been Little Progress…

 

 

Contrarian Thinking

 

Thiel believes contrarian thinking can change the future.

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

 

 

Innovation

Easier to copy a model than to make something new. Doing what we already know how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But every time we create something new, we go from 0 to 1. The act of creation is singular, as is the moment of creation, and the result is something fresh and strange.

Thiel’s approach for this question stems from a phrase that he used, “Brilliant thinking is rare but courage is in even shorter supply than genius.”

Mark Twain: “If you find yourself on the side of the majority its time to pause and reflect.”

 

Build a hyper niche company with a product 10x better than predecessors

 

Go from Zero to One and truly innovate to change the world.

 

 

Founders

The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. And the next Mark Zuckerberg won’t create a social network. If you are copying these guys, you aren’t learning from them.

There is no entrepreneur roadmap. It’s all different and unique than before.

 

You have to think for yourself and create your own path.

 

Founders have vision and know how to build a startup team that believes in them so much – like a cult. Founders are not like everyone else. They challenge themselves, their team and the status quo. 

 

 

 

Seg 2:

 

Competition

Per Thiel - ”All happy companies are different: each one earns a monopoly by solving a unique problem. All failed companies are the same: they failed to escape competition.”

 

He asks the difficult question: “What valuable company is nobody building?

Your company must be unique and serve a niche to create value, and not be a commodity.

 

You are looking for Blue Oceans with little competition vs a Red Ocean with business’ eating away at each other and no profits.

 

Thiel explains the differences between a Monopoly (inherently not evil) vs. a Perfect Competition (arguably dangerous for businesses vitality).

Oddly, Monopolies try to act like they are not dominant, while competitive business act as if they are unique.

 

Examples:

Firm A — disguised as a monopoly: Google has a monopoly on search but emphasizes the small share of global online advertising, and other miscellaneous business models.

 

Firm B — disguised as a perfect competition: A local restaurant tries to find fake differentiators by being the “only British restaurant in Palo Alto” yet they are using inaccurate metrics. The real marker would be “restaurants” not “Restaurant type”

 

Business and MBA students obsess over competition and use the Art of War for metaphors.

 

Thiel, asks a challenge question: “Why do people compete?

 

1.    Marx model: Since we are inherently different and possess distinct goals, and

2.    Shakespeare model: All competitors are more-or-less similar (ex: Montague vs Capulet)

 

This distracts companies to focus on the competition and not their core goal of good products and customers.

 

For example, while Microsoft and Google were obsessively competing with each other Apple emerged and surpassed both.

 

What defines a monopoly?

1.    Proprietary technology (10 times better than any existing solution),

2.    Network effect (start with a hyper-niche market. If you think its too big it is),

3.    The economy of scale (SaaS vs employee labor-intensive), and

4.    Excellent Branding (Apple Branding to stay continual trend).

 

How can we build a monopoly?

1.    Actively attempt to seek a hyper-niche target market that has little to no competitors. Serve them, and do it well (all that matters == customer: “Anything You Want”),

2.    Once you have dominated the market expands to the nearest adjacent market. Similar to Amazon selling CDs, DVDs then everything else,

3.    Do not disrupt current giants. PayPal worked with Visa. Everyone won, and

4.    Attempt to make the last great development in a specific market and reap all the benefits of a mature ecosystem.

 

 

 

Secrets

 

Companies are based on secrets, and when the secret is revealed, the company could change the world. Thiel questions what secrets are left, and are companies even looking for secrets?

 

Q: What happens when a company stops believing in secrets?

 

Companies can lose their dominant position by not innovating, but resting on past success.

 

Hewlett-Packard Example:

1.    1990 company worth $9Bn

2.    2000 after a decade of inventions (first affordable color printer, first super-portable laptops) worth $135Bn

3.    2005 worth $70Bn (failed merge with Compaq, failed consulting/support shops)

4.    2012 worth $23Bn as a result of an abandoned search for technological secrets.

 

Every great business is built around a secret that’s hidden from the outside. Inner workings of Google’s PageRank algorithm, Apple iPhone in 2007, etc…

 

 

 

Seg. 3:

 

Replay Clip from Seg. 2 of 3/6/2022 Show –

 

BRT S03 EP10 (109) 3-6-2022 –

Topic: Best of Host Matt on Business Topics – McDonalds, Apple, Disruption, 80/20

 

MB on Disruption in Business & The Innovator's Dilemma book by Clayton Christensen

Clayton Christensen’s book, “The Innovator’s Dilemma”

Tech Disruption – technology changes and a small company startup can up-end big tech companies. Hence,  disruption - the power of disruption, why market leaders are often set up to fail as technologies and industries change and what incumbents can do to secure their market leadership for a long time.

Innovator’s Dilemma – how can big companies stay up with tech changes and pivot without hurting core business? All businesses (including tech companies) have trouble with disruption.

 

Example: Blockbuster – rented movies, DVDs, lost market share to Red Box (vending movie rental), then both disrupted by streaming movies.

Music industry went from records to cassettes to CDs to streaming (Napster).

MySpace taken out by Facebook in social networks.

Yahoo search taken out by Google (controls 75% of the search market)

Kodak afraid to get out of film business and passed on digital film, lost market share.

 

To solve the Innovator’s Dilemma, big companies acquire smaller tech companies; have in house R&D to be ready for next tech wave.

Steve Jobs of Apple was very influenced by  Innovator’s Dilemma  and took this idea seriously.

If you do not try to put your company out of business (w/ disruption / new tech), someone else will.

Jobs was not afraid to innovate, and cannibalize his own company and products to stay relevant.

Apple created iPhone, and now computer is in your pocket

Peter Thiel – “Zero to One” book - Great innovation is not A to B to C, it is vertical, jumps curves.

Current smart phones have more computing power than a computer 20 years ago.

Guy Kawasaaki (former Apple) Talk - “12 Lessons From Steve Jobs”

 

Full Show: HERE

 

 

 

Best of Biotech from AZ Bio & Life Sciences to Jellatech: HERE

 

Biotech Shows: HERE

 

AZ Tech Council Shows: 

https://brt-show.libsyn.com/size/5/?search=az+tech+council

*Includes Best of AZ Tech Council show from 2/12/2023

   

‘Best Of’ Topic: https://brt-show.libsyn.com/category/Best+of+BRT

 

  

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AZ Tech Roundtable 2.0 with Matt Battaglia

The show where EntrepreneursTop Executives, Founders, and Investors come to share insights about the future of business

AZ TRT 2.0 looks at the new trends in business, & how classic industries are evolving

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