Zero to One
by Peter Thiel
Zero to One is Peter Thiel’s first book and though it has received extremely high praise in some corners of the internet (The Atlantic: Peter Thiel's Zero to One Might Be the Best Business Book I've Read), I found the material to be repackaged business advice which doesn’t stand up to close scrutiny or provide nearly enough practical advice to be truly helpful.
In fact, advice that founders should start in markets they can build miniature monopolies in before tackling larger markets runs counter to the situation the examples of Facebook and Google found themselves in; both companies were founded in spaces cluttered with competitors. The edge these companies had was in their ability to priorise features or algorithms and execute more effectively—hardly surprising as the real question is how startups can do this. Thiel doesn’t answer this question.
Ultimately, I found the book to be lacking clear, practical advice and is comprised almost entirely of repackaged conventional wisdom. Not recommended.