CNBC interview with Bill Belichick

The greatest coach of all time doesn’t spend a lot of time giving interviews, so this is definitely worth a watch.

Quotes from the Interview:

  • “Every battle is won before it is fought.” – Sun Tzu
  • “A battle plan is great until you go into battle, then it doesn’t mean anything.” – General Dwight Eisenhower
  • “Don’t be afraid to use a good idea.”
  • “Good players can’t overcome bad coaching. It’s impossible”


Reading Notes: Zero to One

Author:  Peter Thiel / Blake Masters

Format: Audible

Subject:  Entrepreneurship

Rating: 10/10


Zero to One is easily the most interesting book that I have read in the past several years.  And, that is saying a lot since I was initially very skeptical about including it on my reading list.  The book held my attention from beginning to end.  Thiel’s covers a variety of topics that are designed to get the reader thinking.  At its core, Zero to One, is essentially a book of ideas.  And many of those ideas challenge the status quo.

Blake Masters narrated the Audible version of the book.  His dictation style has a nice flow to it.  Other narrators could learn a thing or two from him.

Zero to One vs Zero to N:

  • Zero to One: is vertical progress. New technologies. It creates something where nothing existed before.
  • Zero to N: is horizontal progress. It is the act of iterating over existing technology.

Thiel’s Core Beliefs:

  • Globalization is doomed without technological innovation
  • Capitalism is the opposite of competition
  • We can shape our core future

Lessons Learned from Bubble vs Thiel’s Viewpoint:

Lessons Learned?

Creating a Monopoly:

  • Must be a order of magnitude better than the next option (10x)
  • Target a small group of particular people concentrated together and served by few or no competitors
  • Once you dominate the niche market then expand to adjacent markets
  • Don’t disrupt
  • Avoid first mover advantage; target making the last great development in a specific market and reap the rewards of a mature ecosystem.
  • Founders should know each other very well before starting the company.
  • Everyone should work in the same physical space. (No telecommuting.)
  • Everyone should be a full-time employee.
  • Lower CEO pay increases the chances for the start-up to succeed.
  • Advertising Works

Maintaining a Monopoly:

  • Create Network Effects: the more people using your product, the greater the network effects are.
  • Economy of Scale: Lowers production and distribution costs
  • Branding: Increases awareness.

Theil’s Seven Questions All Businesses Should Answer:

  1. Engineering – Can you create a breakthrough technology instead of incremental improvements?
  2. Timing – is now the right time to start your particular business?
  3. Monopoly – are you starting with a big share of a small market?
  4. People – Do you have the right team?
  5. Distribution – Do you have a way to not just create but deliver your product?
  6. Durability – Will your market position be defensible ten or twenty years into the future?
  7. Secret – have you identified a unique opportunity that others don’t see?

Sales people compared to their products:

  • Advertising -> Account Executive
  • Customers -> Business Developer
  • Companies -> Investment Bankers
  • Yourself -> Politicians.

Theil’s Favorite Interview Question:

“What important truth do very few people agree with you on?”

  • Causes people to reflect on self-created knowledge.
  • To become socially unpopular by taking a different stance.
  • Rationale: brilliant thinking is rare but courage is in even shorter supply than genius.

Other Ideas:

  • Entrepreneurs should create monopolies
  • Competition lowers price and eliminates profit.
  • Capitalism generates profit.
  • Even a bad plan is better than no plan.
  • School and College prepares you to be average at a lot of things.       And an expert at nothing.
  • Success is not a matter of luck.
  • If you cannot beat your rival it may be better to merge with them (Paypal: Thiel and Musk)