- Successful people find value in unexpected places and they do by thinking about business from first principles instead of applying formulas.
- Peter Thiel’s mandatory interview question – “What important truth do very few people agree with you on?”
- Going from 1 to n is horizontal progress. An example is globalization where you take something that works at one place and replicate it elsewhere in the world.
- Going from 0 to 1 is vertical progress or ‘technology’.
- A startup is the largest group of people you can convince of a plan to build a different future. Its hard to do it alone and impossible to do it in big organizations.
- “How much of what you know about business is shaped by mistaken reactions to past mistakes?” A lot of people took away the wrong lessons thanks to the dot-com bubble.
Competition v/s Monopoly
- Creating value is not enough – you also need to capture some of the value you create. For example, Google creates less value than airlines (monetarily) but airlines capture very little of what they create and Google captures a lot.
- Competition destroys profit. Aim for monopoly. Capitalism and competition are opposed.
- Both competitive companies and monopoly players are incentivized to bend the truth. Competition players will frame their market as an intersection of several markets to make them seem more relevant than they are. Monopolies will frame their market as a union of several markets to make them seem smaller than they actually are.
- The competitive ecosystem pushes people towards ruthlessnes or death. Paypal and X.com decided to merge because they were losing a lot of energy competing as opposed to building what they wanted to.
- In business, money is either an important thing or everything. Monopolists can afford to think about things other than money. Non-monopolists can’t.
- All happy companies are different (they found monopoly in a different way). All failed companies are alike – they failed to escape competition.
- “All Rhodes scholars had a great future in their past.” Refers to how competition destroys individual potential.
- In business, if you recognize competition as a destructive force, you are already more sane than most. Use the clear head to build a monopoly.