I LOVE numbers. 

I always have, even back to my high school days when I was the only student in my graduating class that took math three years ahead of what was considered “on track” in my county. As a child, when I was four or five years (so I’ve been told), I even broke down my grandfather’s work hours and insisted that he didn’t work “full-time” because he only worked 40 hours a week, which meant there were 128 hours each week that he wasn’t working. (Obviously, I later came to realize this was termed “full-time” in the work world, but serious number crunching even far beyond those basic calculations was “my thing” at five).

I feel like it is my duty, then, to share with you some of the most important numbers for a young person right now, whether you are a young person yourself or have a few that you deem important in your life.

Let’s start with the first two numbers.

0 and 1

Book cover

Actually, let’s take out the “and”, and replace it with “to”. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future is Peter Thiel’s newly released book, and I’d highly recommend all students, entrepreneurs and “doers” read it. As my friend and 2 Billion Under 20 community member Kiyan Rajabi kindly listed out for The Huffington Post, there are a flurry of golden nuggets to take away from this book, from why capitalism and competition are actually antonyms (meaning you have to create new ideas and be monopolistic to hit it big!), to how being able to tell a compelling story about a brighter future because of your work is a “must-have” for brands.

The biggest thing I took away from the book was the notion of a “Power Rule,” which Thiel used to explain how the most successful VC funds are normally contingent on the exponential return from one investment which ends up toppling all others combined (such as his return on investing in Facebook). To me, this means that in my personal life, the habits I indoctrine, people I meet, and projects I choose to work on may one day pay dividends in an exponential way, as well, so it’s important for me to only choose to surround myself with ideas, people, and lifestyle habits that encourage exponential growth and not linear or even downward-trending thinking.

How about those other numbers?

15 and 16

On Saturday, Nov. 15, and Sunday, Nov. 16, Thiel’s Foundation (appropriately named the Thiel Foundation) will host its next Thiel Foundation Summit in partnership with the Downtown Project, Tony Hsieh’s large-scale renovation efforts to revitalize Downtown Las Vegas into the most community-focused large city in the world.


Previously dubbed, “a cross between a scientific conference and a homecoming party,” Thiel Foundation Summits are events I’ve been going to since November 2012. They've changed my life; in fact, it was a talk I heard at the first Thiel Summit I attended that sparked the idea for 2 Billion Under 20 and gave me connections to about one-third of the contributors to the book, as well as my amazing co-author/co-founder Stacey Ferreira, who has since keynoted at the Summit.

This November, some of the keynote presenters will include Ivy Ross from Google X, Kay Koplovitz from USA Networks, and Rose Broome from HandUp, as well as Tony Hsieh himself, CEO of Zappos.

The number 15 is also doubly important in this sense: the application to the controversial Thiel Fellowship program and the Thiel Summit are on in the same, and if you apply for the Fellowship by Oct. 15, you may potentially receive a full sponsorship to attend the Summit.

Like I’ve said, I’ve met hundreds of the world’s smartest and most talented Millennials because of the Thiel Foundation, both directly and as a result of projects I’ve started due to inspiration from the Thiel Summits. These “Summiters” have become my closest allies and dearest friends over time, and if you have the opportunity or urge, I’d highly recommend joining the community by applying to attend their upcoming event.

And I guess that brings us back to the number “one”...

There’s only one person that can act on all the advice above, and that is you!

See you on the other side, Journey readers! 

Jared Kleinert

Jared Kleinert is the 18-year-old co-founder and co-author of 2 Billion Under 20, a community of Millennials redefining success, breaking down barriers, and changing the world. He is also the Chief Test Subject at The Gap Year Experiment. Find out more about their upcoming, eye-opening book at www.2billionunder20.com, or say hi directly at jared@2billionunder20.com.