Blake Masters

President, Thiel Foundation

Principal, Thiel Capital


Blake was a student at Stanford Law School in 2012 when his detailed notes on Peter Thiel’s (co-founder of PayPal) class “Computer Science 183: Startup” became an internet sensation. Masters and Thiel have transformed those class notes into a New York Times bestseller: “Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future.”


Before writing Zero to One with Peter, Blake co-founded Judicata, a legal research technology startup, and worked at Box and Founders Fund. He was named one of Forbes’ top 30 under 30 in 2014.


Using insights learned from working closely with Silicon Valley’s best entrepreneurs and investors, Blake helps companies work through the tough questions that can help orient them toward creating new value in the future instead of merely copying what’s worked in the past.


“Your mind is software. Program it. Your body is a shell. Change it. Death is a disease. Cure it.”


Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

The great secret of our time is that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create. In Zero to One, legendary entrepreneur and investors Peter Thiel and Blake Masters show how we can find singular ways to create those new things. They begin with the contrarian premise that we live in an age of technological stagnation, even if we’re too distracted by shiny mobile devices to notice. Information technology has improved rapidly, but there is no reason why progress should be limited to computers or Silicon Valley. Progress can be achieved in any industry or area of business. It comes from the crucial skill that every leader must master: learning to think for yourself.


The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. Copying others takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But when you do something new, you go from 0 to 1. Tomorrow’s champions will not win by competing ruthlessly in today’s marketplace; they will escape competition altogether, because their businesses will be unique.


Zero to One presents at once an optimistic view of the future of progress in America and a new way of thinking about innovation; it starts by learning to ask the questions that lead you to find value in unexpected places.


Computer Science 183: Startup

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