I recently started listening to audiobooks while running and the first one that accompanied me each morning was The Unfair Advantage. Unfair Advantages is a book centred on the set of unfair advantages (read: characteristics, skills, privileges) each person has (or lacks) that can help them to achieve success. Especially in, but not limited to, the startup space.

Now, I’m generally reluctant to read many productivity or tech-centric books, as a lot of them can be hero worship and fetishise working ridiculous hours with 0 work-life-balance. This stands out a bit by: not being written from a silicon valley point of view, taking a complete view of what’s involved in being a success and rightly pointing out the amount of luck that is involved in becoming very successful.

Written by 2 UK entrepreneurs Ash Ali and Hasan Kubba, it takes a wide look at the sets of characteristics, skills and privileges that many founders of companies have and how they have been useful to get them where they are. The unfair advantages are: Money, Intelligence/Insight, Location/Luck, Education/Expertise and Status.

They: give examples of businesses where the founder’s main advantage was each of these things, talk about how each of these things can manifest, show us how to take advantage if we possess any of them and what to do if we lack in an area (e.g. ready access to money, social status).

Like any good book in this area, it isn’t saying that this is the one way to look at how you can make a success of a startup. But it is giving you plenty of insight as to whether you have what it takes to be a success and if not, what you need to focus on to get there.

It’s definitely worth a read if you want to get started with a start-up.