It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what tech billionaire Peter Thiel is most famous for. Co-founding PayPal with Max Levchin? Launching Clarium Capital or Palantir Technologies? Early-stage investments in notable startups like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Tesla? Or perhaps it’s his contrarian views on education, science, and technology.
No matter which of his accomplishments you deem most note-worthy — they have certainly solidified Thiel as one of the greatest entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and original thinkers of our time.
General Assembly is thrilled to welcome Thiel to our New York City campus on Monday, February 9th for a discussion on his business philosophies and new book Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future. The event will be live streamed for free around the world.
For a taste of his innovative thoughts on the future of tech and business, we’ve gathered our top 10 favorite quotes from Zero to One:
1. “Brilliant thinking is rare, but courage is in even shorter supply than genius.”
2. “Monopoly is the condition of every successful business.”
3. “The most contrarian thing of all is not to oppose the crowd but to think for yourself.”
4. “Customers won’t care about any particular technology unless it solves a particular problem in a superior way. And if you can’t monopolize a unique solution for a small market, you’ll be stuck with vicious competition.”
5. “Today’s “best practices” lead to dead ends; the best paths are new and untried.”
6. “In a world of scarce resources, globalization without new technology is unsustainable.”
7. “First, only invest in companies that have the potential to return the value of the entire fund.”
8. “If your product requires advertising or salespeople to sell it, it’s not good enough: technology is primarily about product development, not distribution.”
9. “Tolstoy opens Anna Karenina by observing: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Business is the opposite. All happy companies are different: each one earns a monopoly by solving a unique problem. All failed companies are the same: they failed to escape competition.”
10. “Every moment in business happens only once. 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 these snippets have left you wanting more (or maybe scratching your head), we invite you to hear from Peter Thiel himself.