Competition is for Losers by Peter Thiel


Motivation is what gets you started. Commitment is what keeps you going.

Commitment is the ability to stick with something long after the initial excitement is gone. Anyone can set a goal but until you decide and commit to getting things done, it would not happen. As Aristotle, once quipped: “We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act but a habit.

Commitment is a power we all posess but we do not explore it because greatness has a cost. You can either commit to medicority or excellence, productivity or non productivity, happiness or sadness. The moment you commit providence and the universe get the things you need around you.

  The price of greatness is hardwork but the challenge for most of us is that we want to have the joy of winning without the commitment to succeed. The Principle of life is pretty straightforward what you see is what you get gabage in gabage out.

“The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issue from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would come his way. —William H. Murray”

Peter: Awesome, thanks Sam for inviting me, thanks for having me.

I sort of have a single idée fixe that I’m completely obsessed with on the business side which is that if you’re starting a company, if you’re the founder, entrepreneur, starting a company you always want to aim for monopoly and you want to always avoid competition. And so hence competition is for losers, something we’ll be talking about today.

I’d like to start by saying something about the basic idea of when you start one of these companies, how do you go about creating value? What makes a business valuable? And I want to suggest there’s basically a very simple formula, that if you have a valuable company two things are true. Number one, that it creates “X” dollars of value for the world. Number two, that you capture “Y” percent of “X.” And the critical thing that I think people always miss in this sort of analysis is that “X” and “Y” are completely independent variables, and so “X” can be very big and “Y” can be very small. “X” can be an intermediate size and if “Y” is reasonably big, you can still have a very big business.