- Zero To One = Creating something NEW vs. copying things that work
- How to build and scale a business that will thrive for decades
Key Takeaway #1 – Build a creative monopoly instead of trying to compete
- Capitalism = profits get competed away, Monopoly = keep profits
- If you want to create a business that will stand the test of time, don't build an undifferentiated commodity business (e.g. mortgage company)
- Creative monopoly = new products that benefit everybody and sustains profits for the creator.
- Competition = no profits for anyone, no meaningful differentiation, and struggle for survival.
- Four characteristics of a monopoly:
- Proprietary technology (PayPal)
- Network effects (Facebook)
- Economies of scale (programmers versus yoga instructors)
- Branding (Apple)
Key Takeaway #2 – Find the perfect market
- The perfect market = small group not served by competitors
- Scale into slightly broader markets
- Don't disrupt – avoid competition
- Last mover advantage – if you make the last great development in a market, you'll enjoy a long sustainable profits
- If you focus only on near-term growth and profits, you'll miss the most important question which is: will this business still be around decades from now.
Takeaway #3 – Every business must answer these seven questions
- The engineering question – can you create breakthrough technology instead of incremental improvements.
- The timing question – is now the right time to start your business?
- The monopoly question – are you starting with a big share of small market?
- The people question – do you have the right team?
- The distribution question do you have a way to not just create but deliver your product?
- The durability question – can your market position be defensible decades to come
- The secret question – have you identify the unique opportunity that others don't see?
- Innovate or die – Zero To One.
- Dominate, don’t compete.
- Put a lot of thought into the beginning – 3 characteristics of a monopoly and 7 questions of successful businesses.