Tag Archives: book

Book Summary – Zero to One

19 Sep

Peter Thiel is the Founder & CEO of Paypal where he sold to eBay at 2002 for $1.2B.
In this book, Thiel shared 3 major keys on building a billion business.
1. Bet on a Contrarian Truth – A truth about how people will act in the future
– The Contrarian Question: “What important truth do very few people agree with you on?”
Steve Jobs – bet that people would want to use a keyboard-less smartphone, where during that time only a few people agreed with him.
Airbnb & Uber –  bet on traveller would want to stay in a stranger house & get into a stranger car.
“All failed companies are the same they failed to escape competition.”
Besides asking the contrarian truth question, you also need to make sure that whatever business you’re starting up it falls into the RIGHT TIME?
Even your hypothesis is correct about the Contrarian Truth, but if you start the business on the wrong timing (technology or human behaviour not yet mature, your business would fail either).
2. Start by Dominating a Small Market:
Amazon – wanted to start an everything online store, but Jeff Bezos did not start Amazon with that. He begins with a bookstore, which is much easy to operate & less costly. While he accumulated many loyal customers and cash flow, he then explores the adjacent market (CDs & DVDs). Slowly and steadily Amazon is dominating one market segment at a time and now become the everything store.
=> Don’t try to get 1% of a billion market, instead get 80% of a million market.   
“Whoever is the first to dominate the most important segment of a market with viral potential will be the last mover in the whole market.”
3. Strike to a Monopoly
If you can scale fast and big enough, then you can play the monopoly games and dominate the market and generating massive profits.
But wait, isn’t a monopoly is something evil?
Google is a search engine monopoly, they made so much money from their business. But at the same time, they are also a company that funded many social responsibility projects like a self-drive car, free tools available and even free internet to some part of the world.
  • a business need to make enough profit in order to stay in business
  • use excess profits to give back to society
The 4 Monopoly Methods:
  • Brand Associate – Apple (if you think of a fashionable electronics, Apple always come into our mind. Apple has a strong brand associate in customer’s mind while others are hard to compete)
  • Technology Advancement – Google (the search result is 10x better than competitors)
  • Network Effect – Facebook (high switching cost, since most of your friends, are already on FB, it make it so much harder for other competitors to compete with you)
  • Scale – Amazon (Amazon can offer a free shipping on a sofa while other will need to charge you a $50 shipping fees, how Amazon able to do this? Amazon has a very high leverage & margin on the product sales due to their economies of scale, which they operation cost & breakeven point of the company is low. They have no problem paying the shipping cost while still generating massive profits)
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reading target 2013

20 Sep

my reading target for 2013 is 15 books by this Dec, and for up to date i have accomplished 18 books. with the continue of such reading pace i should able to hit 20 books by this Dec.

below are the list of books i read this year, many of them are highly recommended… —feeling accomplished.

 

books