The author of this book is a great storyteller. I enjoyed how he captured the daily lives of the three entrepreneurs at the center of this book. I felt like I was peeking into their lives, and often felt like I was watching a Hollywood movie in my head, because of his well-crafted descriptions.
The two speakers both did a fine job, but I'm left wondering why there were two. Switching between two speakers just left me wondering why switch. I would more understand a switch between a guy and girl, given the context of one female and two male students. But again, my puzzlement has nothing to do with the performances. They both did great jobs.
As great as the storytelling was, though, I was overall disappointed with the book, in regards to how it billed itself. If the description had said that this was just a book telling the story of 3 typical graduates of Harvard Business School, I would give it a much higher rating, but the author proposed that he's distilled the wisdom of the school into
So, to repeat in summary, if you want a great story about 3 Harvard MBAs as they struggled with life after Harvard Business School, and found their ways to starting their own companies, then buy this book. It will be very inspiration to you, and really helps to portray an accurate picture of the life you better be prepared to lead if you decide to become an entrepreneur.
But, if you want some repeatable rules to guide you, get this book for the reasons above, but make it a higher priority to check out books in the Lean Startup space. A friend of mine who is a more-recent grad from HBS says that that is getting a lot more attention at HBS now. Lean Startup also has a strong following in Silicon Valley, and at tech schools like MIT and my alma mater, Carnegie Mellon.
Beware: This book is the opposite of its title. If you are a religious person looking for a book about the integration of faith and prosperity, this book is for you. If you are a scientific person expecting a scientific study of wealth, this is not the book for you. (Instead it will piss you off.)
I do believe in the power of thought and visualization to bring about change in life, and that is a main premise of this book as well. What the author is actually looking to put forth, though, might better be called a "Law of Faith," as there is no scientific method outlined in this book. For great books on the actual Science of visualization, see The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle or Brain Rules by John J. Medina.
I do commend the author for the constructive ideas that he offers. For example, he believes that you must give to others by endowing what you produce with something of greater value than whatever monetary value your customer may give you. That's something we lose sight of in this economy as too often not enough attention is paid to the quality put into the products that we produce.
On the downside, though, the following is also an example from this book: to help the poor, don't give to charity because charity perpetuates the poor, but instead help people to learn how not to be poor. On its surface, the idea of teaching people how to rise above their circumstances and become a success is great, but he doesn't actually tell you how, only to tell the poor to visualize being rich. When this occurs, what usually happens is that people will not give money (because that's easy), but then not be able to figure out the later half, and as a result perpetuate poverty through both lack of action and lack of charitable contributions.
I would love to see what the author would discover if he actually cataloged a real scientific application of the principles in his book. Then, I think we would have a very compelling read indeed.
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