7 questions every startup should answer

Taken from Peter Thiel’s brilliant book ‘Zero to One: Notes on Start Ups, or How to Build the Future‘, here are the 7 questions every new business should answer:

1. The Engineering Question
Can you create breakthrough technology instead of incremental improvements?

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?

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?

6. The Durability Question
Will your market position be defensible 10 and 20 years into the future?

7. The Secret Question
Have you identified a unique opportunity that others don’t see?

According to Thiel, ‘whatever your industry, any great business plan must address every one of them. If you don’t have good answers to these questions you’ll run into lots of “bad luck” and your business will fail. If you nail all seven, you’ll master fortune and succeed. Even getting five or six correct might work.’

Peter Thiel co-founded PayPal and Palantir, made the first outside investment in Facebook, funded companies like SpaceX and LinkedIn and started the Thiel Fellowship, which encourages young people to put learning before university.

He really knows what he’s talking about and ‘Zero to One‘ is essential reading for anyone looking to start and grow a successful tech business (and existing ones looking to launch a new product too). Have you got the answer(s)?

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