product innovation.

Key takeaways of "Zero to One" by Peter Thiel

This is quite a short book, you can probably read it in a few days, but it does have a few powerful ideas that can help any person/business. There are plenty of summaries of the book on the internet, I chose to focus on a more psychological viewpoint. My main takeaways can be separated into 2 categories.

For Startups

Most tech-oriented companies start without a sufficient focus on sales and marketing. Using the Jungian Shadow metahpor, we can say that most engineers and "geeks" have developed their technical and scientific sides more than their social, negotiation and story-telling ones.

That means that the former is their Persona ('an element of the personality which arises “for reasons of adaptation or personal convenience.”' - Carl Jung) and the latter is their Shadow ("the sum of all personal and collective psychic elements which, because of their incompatibility with the chosen conscious attitude, are denied expression in life" - Aniela Jaffe).

Most people can do with a good Persona, if you want to go beyond (aka be a real entrepreneur and lead a meaningful life) you should develop and integrate your Shadow. There's a simple way of doing this: ask yourself what you don't like about others, and then start learning about those traits and developing them in tourself.

For everyone

This is about how you view the future: definite VS indefinite, optimistic VS pesimistic.


For better results think of the future as definite (you can change it by applying hard work to good plans) and optimistic (it can be better than the present). This is where the "10x Better, not 10%" quote comes from: if you have sufficient faith in the fact that the future can be determined to become a better place, you should go for big improvements, not small, incremental ones.

Actionable advice: develop the parts of your personality that you have ignored (this means sales/marketing for engineers AND tech/scrience for those coming from a more humanist background) + make big plans and stick to them.

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