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Zero to One – Peter Thiel

  • “The best problems to work on are often the ones nobody else even tries to solve.”
  • “There is no middle ground: either don’t throw any punches, or strike hard and end it quickly.”
  • “True heroes take their personal honor so seriously they will fight for things that don’t matter.”
  • “To succeed, you must study the endgame before everything else.”
  • “Success is never accidental.”
  • “Shallow men believe in luck, believe in circumstances.… Strong men believe in cause and effect.”
  • “Victory awaits him who has everything in order—luck, people call it.”
  • “If you treat the future as something definite, it makes sense to understand it in advance and to work to shape it. But if you expect an indefinite future ruled by randomness, you’ll give up on trying to master it.”
  • “You can also expect the future to be either better or worse than the present. Optimists welcome the future; pessimists fear it.”
  • “To an indefinite optimist, the future will be better, but he doesn’t know how exactly, so he won’t make any specific plans. He expects to profit from the future but sees no reason to design it concretely”
  • “small minorities often achieve disproportionate results.”
  • “what important truth do very few people agree with you on?
    –If we already understand as much of the natural world as we ever will—if all of today’s conventional  ideas are already enlightened, and if everything has already been done—then there are no good answers. Contrarian thinking doesn’t make any sense unless the world still has secrets left to give up.”
  • “What valuable company is nobody building?                                                  –Every correct answer is necessarily a secret: something important and unknown, something hard to do but doable. If there are many secrets left in the world, there are probably many worldchanging companies yet to be started.”
  • “In order to be happy, every individual needs to have goals whose attainment requires effort, and needs to succeed in attaining at least some of his goals.”
  • “If your goal is to never make a mistake in your life, you shouldn’t look for secrets. The prospect of being lonely but right—dedicating your life to something that no one else believes in—is already hard. The prospect of being lonely and wrong can be unbearable.”
  • “Very few people take unorthodox ideas seriously today, and the mainstream sees that as a sign of progress.”
  • “Whenever an entrepreneur asks me to invest in his company, I ask him how much he intends to pay himself. A company does better the less it pays the CEO.”
  • “Bob Dylan has said that he who is not busy being born is busy dying”
  • “From the outside, everyone in your company should be diferent in the same way.”