Saturday, November 29, 2014

From Zero to One: Peter Theil speaks at U.T.


"No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; or else the new piece pulls away from the old, and the tear is made worse. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins."
Mark 2:21-22

Peter Theil spoke recently at U.T; we didn't attend, but our friends at Emergent Order produced this fantastic video of the talk:



Highlights:
  • There's no real formula for success.
  • Each moment in business only happens once.
  • Courage is in shorter supply than brilliance; you need both.
  • As an entrepreneur, aim for monopoly.
    • Find something no one else is doing and develop a niche.
    • The people who have monopolies generally don't talk about it.
  • There's a natural tendency to imitate what's worked for others that often shows up in business.
    • "Catching the last wave."
    • In a military context, Generals tend to fight the last war.
  • Most fields are not "complete."
    • New discoveries still exist.
    • Frequently, "you can get to the frontier relatively quickly."
  • There's a difference between copying things and doing new things.
  • Disruption is a "chronic buzzword."
    • "When you set out to disrupt, you're already taking your bearings by existing industries."
  • The goal you should have as an entrepreneur isn't to destroy old things but to create new things.
  • Focus on some combination of short term and long term with less on the medium term.
  • Tech companies don't go public until much later in the game than they used to....
  • Monopolies become bad in a static, unchanging, world.
  • At first: Pick a small market, take it over, and scale it.

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