Glimpsing the Future

Every moment in business happens only once. The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. And the next Mark Zuckerberg won’t create a social network. If you are copying these guys, you aren’t learning from them.

Peter Thiel, Zero to One

ON A QUIET SUNDAY AFTERNOON IN THE SUMMER OF 2011, THE CITY OF Maia, a municipality in the northern Portugal metropolitan area of Porto, is a postindustrial stage set with empty cobblestone streets. A pair of down-and-out citizens confer on a street corner. At around five o’clock, however, Maia comes to life: elderly Portuguese women (some dressed in black) stake their places at the outdoor cafés. Skirts too ...

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