Questions every business should answer

I recently read the book Zero to one by Peter Thiel and I want to add here an idea so I won’t forget about it.

He talks about seven questions every business should answer. They are what could make a business succeed or fail.

  1. The engineering question: Can you create breakthrough technology instead of incremental improvements?
  2. The timing question: Is now the right time to start your particular business?
  3. The monopoly question: Are you starting with a big share of a small market?
  4. The people question: Do you have the right team?
  5. The distribution question: Do you have a way to not just create but deliver your product?
  6. The durability question: Will your market position be defensible 10 and 20 years into the future?
  7. The secret question: Have you identified a unique opportunity that others don’t see?

Get them right and you will have a better chance at building a successful company.


Can someone read 50 books in a year ?

Short answer is yes.
Long answer .. you can read even more.

When I wrote My wishes for 2017 someone people asked if that is really double, if I can read one book each week (the year has 52 weeks).

The math is pretty simple:

  • an adult reads about 250 words per minute
  • typical non-fiction books have ~50,000 words

50 books * 50,000 words / book = 2.5 million words
2.5 million words / 250 wpm = 10,000 minutes
10,000 minutes / 60 = ~167 hours

So if you read for 30 minutes each day you will read more than 50 books in a year.
Now think how much time you spent in front of the TV each day or how much time you spend on facebook or playing games on your smartphone.
And it is really easy to read these days. You can read paper books, you can read on your phone, you can read on your kindle, you can listen to audiobooks.

I suggest reading this article wrote by Charles Chu, you can find a lot more info there.


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What I read in 2016

Back in June I was really dissatisfied with how much I was reading, I thought I should read at least 1-2 books each month.

I decided to also write down what I was reading to see if I can accomplish what I had in mind. I was already having a list with books that I wanted to read, so I just added a new column to that table.

At the end of October the company I’m working for signed a contract with Bookster. Bookster provides the employees of their customers with the opportunity to borrow any books or article they want from their collection. You can also read online articles, watch videos and more.

So now it is really easy for me to borrow the books I want and I don’t even have to pay anything for them. Great work benefit!
This is why my reading target for 2017 is 50 books.

So here are the books I read from June to December 2016:

  1. Who Moved My Cheese? – Spencer Johnson
  2. Do you think you’re clever – John Farndon
  3. The founder’s dilemma – Noam Wasserman
  4. Extraordinary Leadership – Robin Sharma
  5. Originals – Adam Grant
  6. Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street – John Brooks
  7. The Lean Startup – Eric Ries
  8. What If? – Randall Munroe
  9. The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History – Elizabeth Kolbert
  10. The Second Machine Age – Erik Brynjolfsson & Andrew McAfee
  11. Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell
  12. The Bed of Procrustes – Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  13. The 4-Hour Workweek – Timothy Ferris
  14. The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business – Clayton M. Christensen
  15. How I see the world – Albert Einstein

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