Misadventures in Applying Bestseller Business Books into Action

When re-reading Seth Godin’s Unleashing the Ideavirus , I’m struck by how he keep on mentioning the Amazon Affliate program. The book was published in 2001 and 13 years later he still using it in his ventures such as Squidoo & HugDug. Then it occurs to me there must be something good about it. So I wanted to try Amazon Affliate program but there’s no way I’m going to survive by doing regular reviews.

Then it occurs to me that I’m probably following a dangerous advice. This guy lives halfway across the world and almost double my age. He was a VP at Yahoo while I’m a virtual nobody. So why not do a rather meta thing — take a probably dangerous advice and turn it into a blog.

Some people argued that bestbeller business books are inherently dangerous advice. They tell about past successes that have no guarantee of repeat. Business books are also blind to your context — the ‘wisdom’ is watered down to fit the Lowest Common Denominator. The industry, time, environmental factors and so much more are so different from your situation.

The typical bestseller business book authors are male, white, rather old, live in the US/Europe, and Christian/Jewish/Atheist/Agnostic. The only thing in common I have is that I’m a male. The rest are so different — I’m a rather young Asian Muslim living in Southeast Asia. Furthermore, I never studied or worked overseas.

I’m not looking to criticize these books but more of a self reflection. The advice in those books are just suggestions and I’m thankful for it. What I’m trying to do is to own my experiments and learn from it. Most importantly, I’m looking to give real feedback to these authors and their fans.

Within 24 hours, I’ve registered the domain www.dangerousadvice.com at Namecheap and link it to good old Blogger. Thus begin my adventure in chronicling my misadventures in applying bestseller business books into action.

But first, let me disclose my role in this business book industry that so many people love to love and love to hate. I’ve translated various business books from Indonesian and English to Malay. At last count there was more than 10 books ranging from Sun Tzu’s Art of War to Robert T. Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad.

I was paid per page for most of it but Rich Dad Poor Dad was an exception — I opt for royalties. So for every Malay Edition of Rich Dad Poor Dad I’ll get a cut and I’ve been receiving the money since 2013. By such association, I also make money out of this industry and help to extend the reach of whatever dangerous advice Robert T. Kiyosaki preached.

For one, if everybody followed the advice in Rich Dad Poor Dad, houses will be snapped up by wealthy people who don’t plan to live in those houses. On the other hand, those who really wanted a house will be outpriced and forced to keep on renting. To some extent that already happened here in Malaysia so I put a bit of warning in the preface — you need to know whatever Robert T. Kiyosaki is preaching but don’t follow them all.

So this project seeks to separate diamonds from this massive pile of glass known as bestseller business books. In fact I would like to go as far as sorting the various advice contained in a particular book. Which one is gold, which one are duds.

In short this is like real-life review of business books. It is common to find long term, real usage review for cars and gadgets but I think there’s hardly any for business books. So here it is a start and be sure to follow my adventure at my blog.