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The value of a business today is the sum of all the money it will make in the future


Nightclubs and restaurants are extreme examples of competition. They are all the same, exaggerate minor differences, and fade into non-relevance once their trend period is over. They accumulate decent amounts of money today but their profits often dwindle over time.

Tech companies usually lose money for the first few years. Most of their value comes 10-15 years in the future. Therefore, a tech company must grow and endure. Most companies focus on growth, which is easily measurable, and forget durability. The most important question for a business is: will this company still be around a decade from now? To answer this you must think about the qualitative characteristics of your business, which are usually hard to measure.

Future cash flows should be discounted since money today is worth more than in the future.


  • Zero to One, Peter Thiel

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Zero to One: Notes on Startups

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