Found in 9 comments on Hacker News
dilippkumar · 2019-02-14 · Original thread

Follow up reading: Peter Thiel’s “Zero to One”

11001100 · 2018-12-31 · Original thread
Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel

spuiszis · 2018-03-09 · Original thread
As a Ruby/Rails dev, the OP makes a good, directionally correct point: "I don’t believe that simply being better than Rails is enough to displace Rails."

However, he's off by a bit. It's going to take another framework to not just be "simply better". This framework will need to be an order of magnitude better to get me to switch from the amazingly productive Rails ecosystem. The framework/language marketplace is crowded and you are going to really need to standout to get any serious adoption to compete. For me, the cost of switching all new development projects to Hanami seems to out-weight the benefits (this also assumes Rails is the correct tool for the job of course, which it often isn't).

That said, a Rails/Hanami/Sinatra framework built on the Crystal language, which looks almost exactly like Ruby but gives you C performance, appears like it might be that order-of-magnitude to 100x game-changer that could get me to switch stacks. [0]

Whether you like him or not, Peter Thiel has some good thoughts when it comes to innovation and I think this argument perfectly encompasses this Rails/Hanami discussion:

"As a good rule of thumb, proprietary technology must be at least 10 times better than its closest substitute in some important dimension to lead to a real monopolistic advantage. Anything less than an order of magnitude better will probably be perceived as a marginal improvement and will be hard to sell, especially in an already crowded market. The clearest way to make a 10x improvement is to invent something completely new."[1]

[0] [1] Zero to One -

w1ntermute · 2016-07-23 · Original thread
It's one of those buzzwordy terms currently in vogue in the tech industry. It's a hipper way of saying "not creative/disruptive". The b-school equivalent would be "thinking inside the box". For example, here's sama (president of YC)[0]:

> Very rare and extremely powerful combination: the ability to think both clearly and very non-linearly. Most people lucky to have one.

An example of nonlinear thinking by sama[1]:

> the company wanted to come visit our offices so they could make sure we were a 'real' company. At that time, we were only 5 guys. So we hired a bunch of our college friends to 'work' for us for the day so we could look larger than we actually were. It worked, and we got the contract.

As you might expect, Peter Thiel prefers to be a contrarian and use his own term for it: Zero to One[2].




striking · 2015-10-21 · Original thread
For the question "What are some of the best books to learn from that you recommend for a young startup founder?", I decided to transcribe the answers.


"Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future" -

"Republic" - (classic, feel free to grab a PDF)

"The Principia : Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy" - (classic, feel free to grab a PDF)

"Thinking, Fast and Slow" -

"Molecular Biology of the Cell" - (different edition, forgive me; free through NCBI, thanks jkimmel!)

"Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age" -

"The Supermen: The Story of Seymour Cray and the Technical Wizards Behind the Supercomputer" - (note: "that one's particularly good")

"Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage: Stories" -

"The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership" -

"The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time" -

"The Constitutional Convention: A Narrative History from the Notes of James Madison" -

"The Art Of War for Lovers" - (fixed! sorry about that...)

"Hold 'em Poker: For Advanced Players" -

"Solution Selling: Creating Buyers in Difficult Selling Markets" -

"The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition" -

"Winning" -

I wish he had answered in text. That would have made things easier :) However, I'm still very happy to have some new additions to my reading list!

joshdance · 2014-09-19 · Original thread
He has a book out. Standard book marketing.
gy3b · 2014-09-19 · Original thread
Yes certainly. Peter Thiel actually talks about people with Asperger's possibly having an advantage in his new book.

api · 2014-08-17 · Original thread
I too have had this impression.

For a long time I've been very curious about how this kind of king-making occurs and what the underlying political machinery looks like. I don't buy that it's random or organic.

Being a middle class hick from the American Midwest and having attended a regular-tier non-coastal school, it's a bit outside my domain... though I did live in Boston for a while and work a lot around the MIT/Harvard orbit. That gave me a definite sense that there's a caste system at work but not exactly how it works or how one goes about gaining entry (or is tapped for entry). Being admitted to the Right School seems to usually be a prerequisite, though there are exceptions.

I'm not saying Taleb is a fool. He's certainly very interesting, but he's not the only thinker in this field by any stretch of the imagination. People have been talking about this stuff since back in the 60s when it was called cybernetics. Then they called it complexity, dynamical systems, evolvable systems, and so forth. Taleb might have added some things, but he did not found the field any more than Stephen Wolfram founded the study of cellular automata.

I'm not comparing Wolfram and Taleb. Actually I think they're opposites. Wolfram has a lot of money and a big ego (probably bigger than Taleb's), and he certainly is very smart, but his work doesn't seem to have received the nod of the establishment while Taleb's obviously has. Wolfram is more like a tycoon trying to buy his way into a circle that... well... <sniff sniff>... those who are truly in the club would never stoop that low.

Who makes these decisions?

If you look at Taleb's background, he certainly has gone through or at least been affiliated with all the right schools. The top-tier (Ivy League if you're in the USA) academic network is (in my opinion) the most powerful aristocratic network in the modern world.

I think what fascinates me the most about the aristocratic networks that run through the top-tier universities and their corporate and governmental orbits is how silent they are. You can make kings with millions in paid PR too, but that's noisy and conveys at least some impression that the PR is indeed being "driven." The real power networks of society seem able to make kings with a wink and a nod and it looks completely organic, often giving the impression that these individuals rose to prominence on pure merit and hard work.

Again not saying these individuals don't have merit or that they don't work hard-- I'm sure they do both. But so do millions and millions of other people, and they never get the kind of success the "tapped" or "knighted" see.

P. S. You'd probably find Peter Thiel interesting. He's known for being a skeptic of the whole "fooled by randomness" line of thinking. Search for his name on YouTube and select ">20 minutes" length and you can find many interesting talks. I'm looking forward to his book:

I don't always agree with Thiel, but even when I don't he's one of those people who always makes me think.

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