Book Review: The Unfair Advantage

Paul Edward Golez
2 min readNov 13, 2023

One Sentence Summary: This is Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers book applied to context of entrepreneurship.

success = hard_work + luck

Ash and Hasan suggests that hard work is NOT the only major factor to success but also the luck that you currently have.

The Content

The book is divided into three parts discussing the following:

  1. the premise of how we don’t play on the same field,
  2. the MILES framework used to identify our strengths, and
  3. the advice section for the aspiring startup founders.

The first part is my favorite; it debunks the common misconception that as long as you work hard, you’ll be a step closer to success. Life is unfair and we all don’t have the same chances to success — unless we use the unfair advantages we have to boost our chances.

The second part is the self-help section where the authors introduce the MILES framework, a framework you can use to audit the unfair advantages you may have in your different aspects — like character stats in an online game. Each chapter explains each category of unfair advantage, how they can be used, and some examples where the unfair advantage has been highlighted.

The last part is where the authors provide ideas and tips on how startup founders can use these unfair advantages in startups. It also showcases a case study on the humble beginnings of the Melanie Perkins, the startup founder of Canva.

My thoughts on the book

This is one of the easiest books to read. This is my 23rd book for 2023 and it only took me around 6 hours in less than one week to finish it.

There is a huge personal impact on how the authors recognizes that life is unfair. However, it is not doomed; there are more things you can use an unfair advantage aside from money or status. The MILES framework certainly helps you audit your strengths and inspires you that it is not only money that could make you start doing something.

It’s not the typical you-can-do-it or here’s-how-you-should-do-it kind of book. It’s a more thorough explanation of the work smart, not hard quote and more applicable to the public. There are a number of self-help books out there but a number of them provides pieces of advice that are not applicable under the circumstances.

Ash and Hasan infused one of their unfair advantage in this book: experience. Putting out a personal touch by sharing their journeys and auditing the events and opportunities that pivoted their path up to where they are now is surely inspirational.

Great content and insights.

Highly recommended.

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Paul Edward Golez

Software engineer from Cebu, Philippines. I write because I can.