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Zero to One Summary.

Updated: Jul 12, 2020

Why companies like Apple and Google are so successful? What did they do differently from their competitors?

And how can you differentiate yourself in


The book is about an investor Peter Thiel who had invested in Facebook and Tesla and earned millions of rupees from them. He shares his idea and thoughts on business, innovation, and investing.

Answers to all the above question are in this book Zero to One

You know the greatest satisfaction comes in business when you know that you have created something that wasn't there previously. Whether it is product innovations or service innovation you know you have created something new, something exciting and that is when you have gone from zero to one.

On the other side, those who have just copied or just followed what leaders in the industry have done without any competitive advantages or innovation than are the ones who go from zero to N.

This is the whole essence of the book: that is to create something new.

And to create something new you need to understand some important things and one of these is the ideology of Competition. According to the author, Competition means no profit and struggle for survival so it is better to avoid it.

Now how it is possible to avoid it ???. Before asking such questions you need to ask yourself why you are competing?? That's true if companies look clearly they will understand that they don't know why they are competing. Like Shakespeare had said, " It's not at all clear why they should be fighting since they have nothing to fight about".

This is shown by Clear rivalry between Microsoft and Google in which Apple took the win.

War is costly in business.

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Another thing in business that everyone should remember is that they focus on the present but on the future. The value of a business today is the sum of all the money it will make in the future.

And last, to build a monopoly start the small first cover the local areas then scale up but not at cost of profit " Scaling without profit is like committing suicide don't challenge large Competitor in the start and remember what really matters is generating cash flow in future so "last would be first".

Another great insight from the book is about Power-law which is a small handful of companies radically outperform all others this is basically for investors and VCs. In a study of 2005 by a firm showed that Facebook returns were more than all other combined companies they had in the list.

So what should we remember from this???

That most startups fail and with that our time and money too. So whether you are starting a business or want to invest, always see that your company has the potential to return the value of the entire fund. Whether it is your efforts or money the value should always be more than what you get.

And last is sales don't think that your product will sell by itself. Without Marketing, no business could stay and that brings us to our next book.


The author has wonderfully written every chapter giving deed insights into different types of monopoly. Apart from it, the author has given suggestion about investing, and the importance of sales in business. In short, a new perspective is shown on how to start a business.


Somewhere you might get confused going chapter wise because the same thing is repeated again and again.

Who should read:

Every person who is or wants to start a business. An engineer should read because many times they underestimate the importance of sales in the success of the business. An investor who is looking for rare companies. And lately, anyone who wants to understand more about the business world.

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