The Key Question:
What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
The answer to this question may lead to a good startup idea
Horizontal progress is an incremental change
If you take 1 typewriter and build 100, that is horizontal progress.
Vertical progress is going from Zero to One
Vertical progress is the creation of something unique, some technology that no one has ever taught or developed before.
Example of vertical progress
If you take a typewriter and build a word processor. That is vertical progress
Peter Thiel's answer to his question:
What important truth do very few people agree with you on? Most people think the future will be defined by globalization, but the truth is technology matters more.
Globalization without new tech is unsustainable
The first step of thinking clearly is
to question what we think we know about the past.
Better to risk boldness than triviality.
A bad plan is better than no plan.
Long term planning is often undervalued by our indefinite short term world.
Competitive markets destroy profit.
Avoid competition as much as possible.
Sales matters just as much as product.
If you can get just one distribution channel to work, you have a great business. If you try several but don't nail one, you're finished.
If you want to create value
Don't create a commodity, undifferentiated business. Build a monopoly. Monopolies drive progress. It is the condition of every successful business.
Most successful companies have some combo of:
proprietary technology, network effects, economies of scale, and branding
You need a 10x improvement to have a monopoly.
The best way to do this is to make something completely new.