I read this a few years ago. A friend said it had good advice for creating a successful startup. While I wouldn’t call it essential for anyone starting a business, it is a good read. Thiel is clearly a brilliant and successful entrepreneur with a lot of unique observations. His discussion of the green energy industry I found particularly cogent. He epitomizes a lot of “startupisms” — not trusting people in suits, working super long hours, living and breathing for your business, open offices, believing in innovation as an end in itself, etc.
I can’t say I subscribe to his Randian value system and ironically this ideology puts him more in lockstep with Silicon Valley than he’d like to admit. Still, there is a lot of wisdom in Zero to One if you don’t think of it as a recipe for success book. His advice will help make success more likely by getting you to ask the right questions. In this regard, the chapter on secrets is really good. What is it that you know that most other people don’t? This is something all entrepreneurs should ask themselves.