The Unfair Advantage - Ash Ali & Hasan Kubba

Rating: 9/10

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This book is an incredible deep dive for anyone looking to either start a business or best using their personal and unique characteristics to develop a competitive advantage.

It will help you see yourself and others under a different light and, by the end of the book, you will be reviewing all your defining moments in order to better understand your unfair advantage.

Take Aways

An unfair advantage is a competitive upper hand, and your set of unfair advantages is unique to you. It’s more than just a unique selling point, it’s a fundamental leg-up over the competition, and sometimes it’s not one that is ‘earned’ or worked for.

To get that momentum, growth and subsequent success in your startup, you need to have strong unfair advantages as your foundation. By knowing, developing and leveraging your unfair advantages, you will work on the right idea, partner with the right co-founders and develop a strong foundation.

Billionaire angel investor, co-founder of LinkedIn and early senior team member of PayPal Reid Hoffman was asked the following question when a guest on the NPR podcast ‘How I Built This’ by Guy Raz: ‘How much of what you accomplished is because of your hard work and your intelligence, and how much of it is because of the luck and the privileges that you’ve had?’ Without a breath of hesitation, he answered: ‘The answer is MASSIVELY BOTH, of course.’

Your Unfair Advantages can’t easily be copied or bought. Your set of Unfair Advantages is unique to you.

Framework to develop your intelligence and insight:

1.  Cultivate your curiosity.

2.  Ask more questions.

3.  Do more experiments.

4.  Be more interested in how people feel, and the emotional impact things have on them.

5.  Notice when people say something is a pain to do, or is inconvenient. These are goldmines for valuable insights.

6.  Be more aware of your own emotions and moods, and don’t let them dictate your actions.

Mentors - how to get yourself one and why they are helpful:

Speaking to an expert practitioner and asking specific questions will quickly help you increase your knowledge. Meeting potential mentors requires you either to build out your network, or simply pay for their time – one-on-one, or as part of a conference or talk. Sometimes these are free – always try to find out if people you admire are doing events in your area.

On building your network:

1.  An authentic desire to add value to people you meet

2.  Increasing your Status so that people perceive more value from you