7 questions that every Startup must answer

Zero to One book cover

I recently read Zero to One by Peter Thiel. In one of the chapters, he lists down seven questions that every business must satisfactorily answer –

  1. The Engineering Question – Can you create breakthrough technology instead of incremental improvements? A 10x improvement over existing solutions.
  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? Figure out the appropriate market and it’s size – whether it’s local, national or global.
  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? Building a kick-ass product is one thing, getting your target market to buy/install/use it is another.
  6. The Durability Question – Will your market position be defensible 10 and 20 years into the future? What sequence of events in the future can kill your business?
  7. The Secret Question – Have you identified a unique opportunity that others don’t see? Basically, a perspective that only you and your startup team share which others don’t know of.

The Chapters I enjoyed were – #11 If you build it, will they come and #5 Last mover advantage.




Roald Dahl

Started reading Roald Dahl on Deap’s recommendation. I borrowed his copy as well. Loved the Kiss Kiss series. The way the stories end in an unexpected way. It keeps you thinking for along time afterwards.

A short history of nearly everything

I just got done with this book – A Short History of Nearly Everything. It’s nothing short of a layman’s guide to everything around us including the space, the earth and everything in between. The author did a beautiful job of arousing my curosity around the topics and subjects that my school teachers unfortunately failed to do for me. The book is entertaining, amusing and informative.

A highly recommended read for anyone who wants to understand how the universe came to be and how did we became what we are.

Picked up a new book

Bought a new book – India Unbound by Guru Charan Das. I like his columns in the TOI and had read good reviews about the book. The book chronicles India’s path from Independence to the current info age, from the authors perspective. Guru Charan Das is the ex-CEO of Procter & Gamble India. I’ve read about 40 pages of the book on my flight back from Ahmedabad, still 360 more pages to go.

I have still to finish the Catch-22 book, just last 40 pages or so left. Also borrowed Hackers and Painters from a colleague at work. Ooh… too much to do, too little time to get it done.

I was never a big fan of school textbooks (or any other fiction stuff), but since the past 3-4 years or so, I’ve become a voracious reader.