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Am I Unfocused?
My move is drawing nearer now so I can't promise that my posting schedule will be perfectly routine, but I will try my best. I just wanted to warn you of that before I got into this article.
I've been reading a book called Zero to One by Peter Thiel, a wealthy venture capitalist. I want to start building up a bit of background knowledge about startups and entrepreneurship, as that is the eventual path I see myself on. I figure a bit of light reading now and again is going to give me some strong, intuitive foundations.
What was really interesting was how relatable these business skills are to building a blog, and even to less income focused ventures. I'm going to share the lessons in this book with reference to both this blog and my goals, as I see some major ideas for growth.
Thiel kicks off by talking about attempting to achieve a vertical progression, as a oppose to a horizontal one if you want to run a truly profitable business. A vertical step is the idea of creating some completely new, revolutionary and unique. In contrast to that, horizontal progress is just improving on something that exists.
I do want to make a distinction at this point, though, as I'm not saying improving an existing product cannot be a vertical leap. The transition from a mobile phone to a smartphone was clearly a step towards the future. Therefore, the thing that really separates the type of progress is just how improved a product is if it isn't entirely new.
He then goes on to talk about how to achieve it and let me tell you we have come across the answer before. Have a singular, focused niche! Thiel claims that to make vertical progress you must choose one subject and master it because without that mastery you aren't going to be able to see anything that the average joe can't see.
My blog so far has focused on me, what I'm learning and what I'm interested in. It might be a good idea, for the sake of growth, if I was to choose a singular area in which to highlight on this blog. That wouldn't mean that I wouldn't talk about anything else, but it would mean that the majority of my content would centre around a general concept. The only issue with that idea is that I see this blog as a vessel to help me achieve an end, not as a business that will be the end.
Society has come a long way from when our species can be traced back. Not all of our advances were obvious to our ancestors, for obvious reasons. You could say that many of our most important developments were secrets.
An important concept within this book is the idea of searching for secrets. If you're not harnessing a secret then you're forced to compete with the market. If you hold something entirely unique, that cannot be copied, you control all of the cards. Thiel makes it quite clear that unless you're making vertical progress with something that has a widespread impact, you will be left with mediocre results.
Again, with this blog I should be chasing knowledge that isn't necessarily well known. I feel like I am doing a pretty good job of this at the moment, although I'm finding that many of the most important skills necessary for success should be common sense. It is amazing how strongly an idea resonates with you when you read it, but upon reflection, you feel like an idiot for not having made the connection yourself.
I will certainly continue my efforts to chase secrets as I have goals that require me to. I have to chase secrets to be on a level above my peers.
The main idea that I received from this book is that there is no real reason to enter a playing field that is already overflowing with players. Unless you have the mastery to turn a product or concept into an almost new idea, you will be competing. The key to the top 0.01% is that you're vision and product is so unique you needn't waste your time competing, you automatically win.
As I mentioned in the introduction, I don't know how soon I will have my computer set up in the new house and therefore I don't know how soon I will resume a regular posting schedule. I am aiming to have it all set up by the evening I move in, but only time will tell!