First principles are a set of guiding rules or assumptions that cannot be reduced further. Every industry has a set of first principles which outline the core value exchange and jobs to be done. On the surface, these first principles aren’t visible.
The first principle of media industry is creative expression, delivered to those seeking it. Value is created when this happens successfully. On the surface this looks like streaming services, subscription and advertising models, or licensing deals, and so on.
Education provides a structured path to self development and opportunity. On the surface are the K-12 system, MOOCs, standardized testing, etc.
Transportation is about the movement of people and goods. On the surface are shipping containers, electric cars and ride sharing.
The surface level is what already exists to solve those problems. But amazing companies are created When entrepreneurs ignore the surface level, and build from first principles using the latest technology.