Book Smart would like to welcome John Paul Schnabel to our team as a Senior Reviewer. With a background in engineering, art, and business, he’s an overall Renaissance kind of guy: with a thousand interests and a great sense of humor. His first review is a business book, Zero to One, by Peter Thiel. His next will be about the benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle, so you see what I mean. In any case, we’re thrilled to have him here, and I know you will be, too.
by John Paul Schnabel
Peter Thiel’s Zero to One, also written with Blake Masters, presents a stunning argument in regard to competition in the marketplace. Arguing that a healthy dose of monopoly in industries leads to an increase in innovation.
Thiel’s arguments stem from his time at Stanford where he met Rene Girard; famous for his work on mimetic theory, also known as imitation theory. Imitation theory states imitators create needless conflict and detract from progress in opposition to original types who seek to enrich the world. Thiel twists this same philosophy in a business sense, claiming companies that seek to create monopolies are the companies that are original types, and everyone else are imitators trying to steal profits.
In his book Zero to One, Peter Thiel boasts about his time with the self-proclaimed ‘PayPal Mafia’ that spawned three billionaires and successfully created their own monopoly in the financial payments sector. Thiel recommends to future entrepreneurs that they seek to create a monopoly in their own rights in order to achieve the type of fame and fortune top business executives in the world have achieved.
Overall, Thiel’s Bestseller offers a different approach to business that worked for the billionaire boys of the ‘PayPal Mafia.’ While this message may persist for fame and fortune, it leaves us, the consumers, wondering about the ethicality of Thiel’s vision for the future of the business world.