Originial and Unique

Reading – Zero to One by Peter Thiel

What Value is No One Building?

Being truly original is impossible. Differentiation is critical but true originality is largely unnecessary. Every inventor, entrepreneur, and teenager thinks they are perhaps unique. In a sense, this is true. We are shades, variations, iterations, and/or combinations of each other through DNA, culture, and experience. Business and product ideas have a similar application of uniqueness.

Nothing is new under the Sun

Original (first) =/= Unique (Different)

If you create the next IoT widget, think of all the concepts and technologies you consume. Build on the collective cultural experience. Being original means, in the broader cultural sense, the product has no existing analog in the community conversation. The watch is a clock you can wear on your wrist. The smartphone is a computer in your pocket. The smartwatch is trying to extend the functionality of your smartphone to your wrist. These ideas are easy enough to describe in a single sentence. Even with a clear market analog, unique products can struggle to create or educate a market.

We stand on the shoulders of giants

Side Thoughts

  1. Knowledge is aggregation of information and experience.
  2. Successful products convey clear analogs/explanations
  3. No prototype survives contact with the market. User input means iteration.
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