how to start a business

Social Media Marketing

Spotlight On: Zero To One


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Spotlight on this awesome book by Peter Thiel, “Zero To One”.

Author Peter Thiel
Author Peter Thiel

Chapter 1 – The Challenge of the Future

“What important truth do few people agree with you on?” Answering this deceptively tricky question is the key to any future of progress—and to building a great business.

Chapter 2 – Party Like It’s 1999

The dogmas created after the dot-com crash continue to haunt us today. The first step to thinking clearly is to question what we think we know about the past.

Chapter 3 – All Happy Companies Are Different

The most successful businesses share one key feature that enables them to innovate at unprecedented scale.

Chapter 4 – The Ideology of Competition

Competition isn’t just seen as a spur to productivity—for many, it’s a way of life. But what if it’s actually holding us back?

Chapter 5 – Last Mover Advantage

Short-term thinking ruins companies. The most important lesson an entrepreneur can learn is to think big but start small.

Chapter 6 – You Are Not a Lottery Ticket

The same question lurks behind every success: was it luck or skill? But builders aren’t backward-looking; they adopt a more definite attitude and engineer a better future.

Chapter 7 – Follow the Money

Apply it correctly, and one simple insight—almost everything is radically less equal than it appears—can change your life.

Chapter 8 – Secrets

Every one of today’s most famous and familiar ideas was once unknown and unsuspected. Lots more secrets remain undiscovered; learn to find them and see your fortune rise.

Chapter 9 – Foundations

The decisions you make today will govern what your business looks like years now. Every entrepreneur has to get a few things right from the start.

Chapter 10 – The Mechanics of Mafia

After PayPal, the “PayPal Mafia” created SpaceX, Tesla, LinkedIn, YouTube, Yammer, Palantir, and Yelp. The incredible story of that team will help you build yours.

Chapter 11 – If You Build It, Will They Come?

The best product does not always win. Great products do not sell themselves. That’s up to you, and the problem is much stranger than it seems.

Chapter 12 – Man and Machine

20 years ago, people feared cheap foreign labor; today, it’s replacement by robots. But the most successful entrepreneurs make products that help humans, not automate them away.

Chapter 13 – Seeing Green

Clean energy is a hugely important sector—and to date it’s been a huge flop, as entrepreneurs neglected to answer the seven questions that every business must get right.

Chapter 14 – The Founder’s Paradox

Founders are contradictory: revered and abhorred, powerful and weak. Just as we need founders in all their peculiarity, founders need to understand a few things to survive.

Conclusion

What will our society look like 20 years from now? 100? It’s up to us. We cannot take for granted that the future will be better, and that means we have to work to build it now.

Social Media Marketing

The 10 Commandments For Entrepreneurs Everywhere


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1. Seven days thou shalt labour + do all thy work, for the startup life knows no sabbath.

That includes holy days. All-night coding sessions, missed meals + triple espressos are the order of the day.

2. Thou shalt not torture thy customers with an endless beta.

To a customer, the “beta testing” label doesn’t mean much. If you keep making mistakes + your buttons don’t work + their password gets leaked, saying that you were “in beta” isn’t going to make them feel better – or stick around.

3. Thou shalt not take thy competitors’ names in vain.

Badmouthing competitors sounds a little too much like gossip. “We’re very careful: we don’t talk about competitors, we don’t slag them, we don’t throw them under the bus,” says Dave Olson, VP Community at HootSuite. The point is to focus on building a better product. “We don’t compete against people; we compete against ourselves,” he explains.

4. Thou shalt practice humility + not compare thyself to Mark Zuckerberg.

If you have to compare yourself to Mark Zuckerberg, you probably shouldn’t be compared to Mark Zuckerberg. Brian Wong, the 21-year-old founder of Kiip, complains about this phenomenon: “This is giving birth to a generation, unfortunately, of extremely cocky, ego-driven young entrepreneurs that think that just because they’re young, they should be paid attention to,” he says.

“I am my own person, I am my own class of entrepreneur, and I will build a company without anybody asking me how I built it compared to someone else. I’m going to build it my way.”

5. Thou shalt confess thy sins with true contrition + then fix the problem.

Otherwise, your customers will be vengeful rather than forgiving masters. Social media has made business more + more transparent, so it’s hard to get away with apologies that don’t admit wrongdoing – “We are sorry if some were offended” – or apologies that skew the facts.

6. Honour thy investors, that their purse-strings may be loosened.

Zvi Band, the CEO of Contactually, recommends keeping in touch with current investors every 2 weeks + potential investors every week.

And while you may not always follow investors’ advice, show some respect + actually take it seriously. Even if they didn’t create your startup, they are helping it grow.

7. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s acquisition.

Holding out your hopes for a $1 billion acquisition like Instagram’s is foolhardy, to say the least. And even profit-hungry investors don’t want to hear about your acquisition fantasies. “If you show me a slide as an early-stage company that mentions your exit opportunities, and in 3 years you’ll sell to Google for that return to me, I’ll just laugh at you – but the laughing means you’re dead,” says Jeff Clavier of SoftTechVC.

8. Thou shalt not steal thy startup’s contact list.

In a recent scandal, one of WakeMate’s cofounders used the startup’s email list and Twitter account to promote his new product, MiLife+, and raise funds on Indiegogo. He claimed it was affiliated with WakeMate, but the other cofounder didn’t know anything about it. Here’s the full story. The Indiegogo project was eventually taken down due to the drama.

9. Thou shalt kill thy startup if thy money is gone + thy customers are few + thy website is ugly.

Closing down a startup may be a painful process + an admission of failure, but it frees you up to move on to the next exciting thing. “You got a lot of good guys running companies that are not doing well, when they could be joining forces and building a lot more value,” says Mohan Belani, the founder of Asian tech blog e27. “I call it a zombie. People don’t want to kill themselves.”

10. Thou shalt practice generosity if thou becomest a gazillionaire.

Virtuous choices including being a mentor or investor, opening an accelerator + donating pizzas to hungry entrepreneurs in your  your community.

And that’s the way to startup heaven.

Thanks for this awesome article Tech.Co!