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Sixth & I

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Peter Thiel

Sep 23, 2014 • 7:00 pm ET
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The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. And the next Mark Zuckerberg won’t create a social network. If you are copying these guys, you aren’t learning from them.

If you do what has never been done and you can do it better than anybody else, you have a monopoly — and every business is successful exactly insofar as it is a monopoly. But the more you compete, the more you become similar to everyone else.

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future is about how to build companies that create new things. It draws on everything Peter Thiel has learned directly as a co-founder of PayPal and Palantir and then an investor in hundreds of startups, including Facebook and SpaceX.

The single most powerful pattern Thiel has noticed is that successful people find value in unexpected places, and they do this by thinking about business first from principles instead of formulas. Ask not, what would Mark do? Ask: What valuable company is nobody building? Book signing to follow.