This is hands down the best entrepreneurship book I've read this year. Below are my notes on Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters. Yes, I realize I've taken notes on a book based on the notes that someone else took: Blake was a student in Thiel's Stanford CS183 class and took such extensive and helpful class notes that his site and notes got a lot of attention on the web. It is the lessons from that class that form the basis of this book.
I really enjoyed Thiel's "Competition is for Losers" article in the WSJ, which was effectively chapter 3 of his book. It provides a great taste of Peter's contrarian and thought-provoking ideas. I can easily see Peter giving a TED talk about the concepts in this book as they are so different from the conventional wisdom I hear repeated everywhere and really makes me question a lot of assumptions about what a good business really is. Also, as a magician, I especially loved the sections about searching out secrets (of the universe and of people) because those are the things that are the seeds of valuable opportunities.
About Max Mednik
Max is an avid entrepreneur, engineer, investor, magician, and student of life. He is a founder of AMA Capital. He graduated from Stanford and UCLA Anderson. He lives in Los Angeles with his family and spends his free time enjoying his many hobbies and interests.