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A concise, thought-provoking summary of a masterpiece

Product management is as close to entrepreneurship as it can get. As the saying goes 'Every Product Manager is a mini CEO or a lousy one' I think this book has quite a lot to offer to product managers and leaders regardless of the industry.

Mudassir Mustafa
Mudassir Mustafa
2 min read
A concise, thought-provoking summary of a masterpiece
Photo by Surja Sen Das Raj / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Zero to One by Peter Theil is among the finest books out there for entrepreneurs, leaders, startups, and if you think product managers too. I have read it some time ago but thanks to readwise for bringing up some exciting notes that I took last time around, I re-read it.

Here are the 4 quick lessons I have learned and applied recently that you can now too.

Create a monopoly - Avoid the cutthroat competition

Competition isn't good for business. It reduces the profit margin and starts a never-ending race. Instead, create a monopoly and take the majority of that pie. Learn Blue Ocean Strategy for this in detail. Think like Google, they are the best in the game. So good that no one is competing with them. They dominate the entire domain. And it's so easy for them to keep launching new products without worrying about competition - why? because the user base is gigantic now.

Photo by Robert Linder / Unsplash

Optimism is the key to success

Think long-term. It's good to have a vision. But, without execution vision is nothing. You need to have patience but optimism will drive you, patience will keep you focused. Define your strategy but be open-minded to pivot when needed. It took Steve Jobs a decade to create the iPod, iPad, and iPhone. He had the passion and the vision. Not quitting made him the 'Steve Jobs' everyone knows today.

Photo by Ian Taylor / Unsplash

Optionality is for mediocre people

Being open to all options and not having a narrowed focus will kill the success. This rule applies to your career and your product - all the same. Keep your eyes open but don't confuse movement with progress. Be very focused, and goal-oriented. Define success criteria. People who have fallback plans don't make it big. Make it big!

I’ve got a special place for cool coffee shop menus…
Photo by Nathan Dumlao / Unsplash

Zero to One

You should be aiming to create something that never existed before. That means building the future while creating 'vertical technological progress.’ In the recent past, globalism continued to copy what already exists. No originality. Everyone just aimed for different, not better.

Do Better, not just Different!
Picture of Life
Photo by Tolga Ulkan / Unsplash

I applied all these lessons in various jobs. I found them to be very helpful. Let me know if you want to talk about it over a cup of coffee. I like it black, strong - no sugar, no cream!

Mudassir Mustafa Twitter

I help entrepreneurs and business leaders launch their products and reduce the chaos through building high performance teams and proven product management techniques.