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Peter Thiel’s book “Zero to One” was originally published in 2014 well before anyone had heard of COVID and considers various aspects of entrepreneurship.
I wonder what new chapters might be added if the book was published now?
In the chapter “You are not a lottery ticket” the books poses the question “Can you control your future?”. Recent experience of COVID could quickly lead you to respond with a resounding “no” with many business owners (and their employees) suffering significant levels of adversity through absolutely no fault of their own.
So does this mean there is no point in planning and we should accept a fate where we are forced to respond to a series of random future events?
The chapter identifies four different views of the world:
|Indefinite Pessimism||Looking out to a bleak future with no idea what to do about it|
|Definite Pessimism||Anticipating a bleak future and preparing to deal with it|
|Indefinite Optimism||Anticipating a better future will evolve but with little by way of a specific plan|
|Definite Optimism ||Planning and working to build a better future|
I’ve found myself holding all four of these views over the last 12 months but I sense that "most entrepreneurs are optimists at heart" if not they would never get started!
Of course it can never be the case that any of us can control the future and we would be foolish to think otherwise. However, we do have the power of choice. We can choose whether to have a plan which we fight to implement or simply leave our businesses open to the “tyranny” of chance with no plan.
Finding the energy to develop a plan for the future when you’re just trying to keep your head above water takes quite an effort, but as Thiel says, “why should you expect your business to succeed without a plan to make it happen?”.
This seems to me just as relevant today as it has been at any time.
Clark Benefit Consulting Limited
Martin’s advice, input and ability to interpret and report data on our fledgling ecommerce business was highly useful enabling us to take further growth steps confident that we were doing so on a sound commercially beneficial basis
Peter Graham, Managing Director of Assured Products Ltd