Ex nihilo is a Latin phrase meaning “out of nothing”. It often appears in conjunction with the concept of creation, as in creatio ex nihilo, meaning “creation out of nothing”. This is an ancient religious and philosophical concept.
It is also what entrepreneurship and startups are all about: creating something out of nothing. As entrepreneurs, we are looking to create something that fits a need, something of value. Some “thing” that does not yet exist but can be conjured.
In startups, we devise business models that do it for a profit so that the process is scalable, meaning it can sustainably grow.
Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal and the first outside investor in Facebook, wrote a book about entrepreneurship called Zero to One based on this premise of going from nothing to something; that the act of creation is singular and incredibly worthwhile.
Related: Top Startup Entrepreneur Books
This may be the most exhilarating part of entrepreneurship: taking an idea, a product of mind, and making it tangible, useful, valuable.
For more, check out my new book MBA ASAP 10 Minutes to Understanding Entrepreneurship and Startups.