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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Review: Success Built to Last

It seems that there's no business franchise that can't be over sold and over cooked. Built to Last was a great book, and I still tell people to read it frequently. For instance, one of the sections on "cult-like culture" applies to nearly every successful startup and big company I've ever seen, and a good sign for every company.

Success Built to Last aims to apply similar principles to personal success: interview and survey all successful people, and then see what they have in common. I consider it an abysmal failure. First of all, this process can't distinguish between people who are great con-men, and people who are genuinely successful. For instance, Robert Kiyosaki is given equal billing with Muhammad Yunnus. John McCain, for instance, who was widely considered to have betrayed his own values since the 2000 election is selected as a successful person, but Julia Butterfly Hill wasn't considered successful, probably because she's not a billionaire.

There are lots of pithy quotes in the book, all centered around having strong values and pursuing them. Well, there are lots of people who pursue their strong values right down to murdering their roommates because of religions differences. I don't consider that in and of itself desirable, if there is no way to correct gross mis-judgments at the base level like that. The book does cover people recovering from setbacks and failures, but nothing at that level!

All in all, I consider this book a waste of time and not worth anybody's time. Not recommended.

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