How You Can Build A Business Warren Buffett & Peter Thiel Would Invest In

Warren Buffett loves moats. Peter Thiel loves monopolies. Moats and monopolies are qualities that make businesses difficult to compete with. The ultimate moat and monopoly is brand.

Coke can sell a cheap commodity at a premium price by slapping it’s brand on it. You can try creating New Cola, but consumers demand and pay up for Coke.

But brands are hard to start. The best ones take decades to build like Coke and Apple or even span centuries like Harvard and Stanford.

HOW TO BUILD ONE

Well the newest type of moat and monopoly is a personal moat. A personal monopoly. A personal monopoly is the unique intersection of your skills, knowledge, personality, and experiences that nobody else can compete with. It’s like a personal brand with a following - people who listen to you.

In the not so distant past, having a personal brand wasn’t all that great. You were reliant on middle men like newspapers, TV networks and radio stations for distribution. You were always at their beck and call with the possibility of having your contract renegotiated or kicked off the network all together.

But with the advent of the internet: social networking, podcasting, vlogging, writing newsletters etc. have kicked the traditional middle man to the curb.

Now Facebook, Instagram and YouTube could kick you to the curb or TikTok could literally disappear tomorrow, so you still have to capture your audience with something like an email list. You always want to ‘own’ your audience.

Then it’s just you → audience with nobody in the middle to mess with.

Think about Sam Harris or Ben Thompson. Sam’s had a subscription podcast since 2013, while Ben’s had a subscription newsletter since 2014. Over the last 6, 7 years people have come to love their creative work and are willing to pay top dollar for it. They are the Coke, Harvard and Stanford in their respective niches of the internet.

There’s no middle men, no TV network or radio station, just one person + a computer + an internet connection = hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars per year. Forever, as long as they keep producing.

Fox, CNN, Spotify and SiriusXM can’t create a knockoff and replace Sam Harris and Ben Thompson. Each has a unique voice. People love them and are loyal. You can’t replace them.

Sam Harris, Ben Thompson, Elon, Kanye, Trump, The Kardashians etc. have an irreplaceable product - themselves.

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IS IT DIFFICULT

F*ck yeah it is! But what’s interesting is that it’s essentially free with time and hard work.

Engineering a personal monopoly and building a moat has never been easier nor free before. This is incredible and completely unprecedented. The moat surrounding your personal monopoly will only get larger as the middle men get more and more cut out (owned audiences via podcasts and newsletters vs rented audiences on YouTube and Instagram).

Suddenly, each person has different skill sets, different interests, different obsessions and it’s that diversity that becomes a Personal Monopoly. Everyone reading this can be creatively unique at their own thing. Before that didn’t matter but now with the internet you can go out and find your audience and build your business and create a product or offer a service and build wealth and make people happy just by uniquely expressing yourself through the internet.

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PETER THIEL'S DEFINITION

Peter Thiel defines a monopoly as the kind of company that’s so good at what it does that no other firm can offer a close substitute. That sounds awfully similar to the definition of a personal monopoly: the unique intersection of your skills, knowledge, personality, and experiences that nobody else can compete with.

The uniqueness of yourself, the content you create in your niche is your Personal Monopoly, and your audience is your moat. The internet enables any niche interest, as long as you're the best at it, to scale out. The great news is that because every human is different, everyone is the best at something, being themselves.

You can escape competition through authenticity. Don’t imitate. Don’t copy. Be authentic and the less competition you’re going to have.

What’s interesting about Personal Monopoly moats is that they act as a universal insurance policy. When businesses fail, they go through a restructuring and either sell of their assets and shut down, or go through a restructuring where the equity holders get f*cked and the debt gets refinanced.

The individual behind a Personal Monopoly could go bankrupt 5 times and still get to keep their audience. Personal Monopolies are practically untouchable. They are the Coke’s, Apple’s, Harvard’s and Stanford’s of tomorrow.

If you want help building your Personal Monopoly consider signing up for GradSchool PRO. It's only $1 to come see what we're building for 7 days. Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

Sign up now!

~ James Skylor

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Related Content

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Intro
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HOW TO BUILD ONE
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IS IT DIFFICULT
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PETER THIEL'S DEFINITION
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