Reading Peter Thiel’s new book Zero to One right now. I’m almost through the book. It’s a great book to read if you are an early adopter, entrepreneur, or technologist. When asked what the title “Zero to One” actually means by NPR, this is Peter’s answer:
The basic idea is if you sort of think about innovations where there’s someone who builds a first airplane or first home computer or first smartphone that works like the Apple iPhone, these are what I call zero to one innovations. And I think technology involves intensive, vertical, zero to one progress. Globalization involves horizontal, copying, one to end progress. And we’ll need both of these in the 21st century. China is sort of the epitome of globalization. What China does is copy things that work. And it has a very straightforward 20-year plan which is to make itself look more like the U.S. and Western Europe. For the developed world – Japan, Western Europe, the United States – progress is a much trickier thing in 21st-century because to take our civilization to the next level, we need to actually do new things. And so I think the question of how do we develop the developed world is a question that’s not often asked but is worth for us to look about a lot more.
In the following conversation between Marc Andreessen and Peter Thiel, you can learn more about the context of this book.