Episode 202 – Unfair Advantages with Ash Ali and Hasan Kubba

Ash Ali ‘We followed the lean startup principles of creating a product… we actually did an MVP version of our book… we kept testing our material… And we thought, this is going well.’

In this week’s conversation, entrepreneurs and start-up strategists Ash Ali and Hasan Kubba reveal how they developed their ‘unfair advantage’ concept into a best-selling book through iterations and stress-testing, engaging an audience and attracting three publishers along the way. 

We also talk about ‘business smarts’ – how street smarts, book smarts and creativity work together, and how reading widely can help you create more ‘dots’ to join up so that you can be smarter and more creative in your business, and in your writing. 

A fascinating and frank conversation with two start-up legends, that will help you find and leverage the pants off your own ‘unfair’ advantage.


The Unfair Advantage website: https://theunfairadvantage.co.uk/

Ash on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ashaliuk/

Hasan on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/startuphasan/

Alison on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alison-jones-9b09893/

Alison on Twitter: https://twitter.com/bookstothesky

The Extraordinary Business Book Club on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1447064765612358/

This Book Means Business – the mentorship programme: https://alisonjones.lpages.co/this-book-means-business-mentorship/

The 10-day Business Book Proposal Challenge wait list: https://alisonjones.leadpages.co/proposal-challenge/

Alison Jones:                 I’m here today with Ash Ali and Hasan Kubba who are the founders of the Unfair Advantage, an entrepreneur training company with social impact at its heart. Ash is an award winning tech entrepreneur and the first marketing director of Just Eat, which is now worth over $4 billion. So yes, nice work there. Hasan is a startup strategist and fundraising advisor, and they are passionate about democratising startup entrepreneurship and they’ve both spoken at TEDx and startup events all over the world. And their new book is called, The Unfair Advantage: How You Already Have What It Takes To Succeed. Welcome to the show, Ash and Hasan. Good to have you here.

Hasan Kubba:                Hey, thanks for having us.

Alison Jones:                 It’s really, really good to have you. What’s really interesting as well is your backgrounds are so interesting. So I want to come on to that, but let’s start with the book and just how the idea for, The Unfair Advantage, as a concept, but also particularly as a book, how did that come about?

Hasan Kubba:                It initially came about in Ash’s mind actually. From his experiences with Just Eat and from his investment. But what happened is that I joined as his investment partner and it kind of became our investment thesis. And it was kind of early stages of an idea. Wouldn’t you agree, Ash?

Ash Ali:                         Yes.

Hasan Kubba:                We started developing it more together and started to flesh it out. I have a very sense of kind of stress testing frameworks and concepts and I’ll ask Ash loads of questions about it and say, “How does that work? Isn’t hard work… A lot of people would say their hard work is their unfair advantage. How does that fit into the framework?” And that questioned Ash a lot. And we kind of just started developing it and co-developing it together.

Alison Jones:                 I love that idea of the two of you going, “Well, what about this?” And then sort of pulling out some more. Tell me a little bit more about that phrase you used ‘investment thesis’. Do you mean that from an academic point of view or do you mean that from a kind of ‘this is how we make our investment decisions’ point of view?

Hasan Kubba:                Well, yes, this is how we make our investment decisions. I don’t know why it’s such a grandiose term that investors use, ‘investment thesis’, right?

Alison Jones:                 It’s great.

Hasan Kubba:                Yes. But it’s just the case of what is our criteria for investing? What do we think is all the factors that cause success in a startup, and what are the factors that basically we’d bet on them succeeding? It came from that.

Alison Jones:                 Yes, and it is interesting because so much emphasis in business literature is placed on the idea and the strategy and so on. But you’re very much about, actually it’s about the people. That’s what you need to look at because ideas, you don’t quite use the phrase, but they’re sort of ten a penny, it’s all about the people who are behind it, isn’t it at that early stage?

Ash Ali:                         Yes, absolutely. The early stage is all about the people. One of the things that came about the idea of the Unfair Advantage was that we were trying to find out what made people successful in business and in life. And we were always going back and people were like, “Is it the idea or was it the timing? Or was it because they had lots of money invested in the company?” And then we realised it’s just one label, it’s just a word that no one could label. And that label was the unfair advantage. We found that teams had this unfair advantage in terms of developing their idea or their business and becoming successful, and also in your own life as well. And then being able to ask that question to entrepreneurs, we found that they found it difficult to answer. So some of them were like, “We don’t really know, it’s because we got a good idea. Or it’s because we believe that we can raise money.” But there was more to it than just that. And that’s what we call the unfair advantage.

Alison Jones:                 Yes, absolutely. And what’s interesting is because when you read the title, when I read the title, you sort of feel an unfair advantage is something you can do nothing about. You talk about Euan Blair, who starts off with obviously a huge advantage and lots of entrepreneurs who are very well connected. And obviously people reading that are going, “Well there’s nothing I can do to compete with that.” But then you talk about your own backgrounds and you talk about how people have discovered it themselves. So just tell me a little bit about your own backgrounds and the sorts of unfair advantages that people who weren’t born with a silver spoon in their mouth have discovered and that you talk about in the book.

Ash Ali:                         Yes, I mean I was in a background where you would assume that I would become a failure. I mean, I come from an Asian background where my parents were either you’re a doctor, lawyer, engineer or a failure. And that’s what they really thought I would become, because I didn’t go to university. I dropped out of university, college, twice. I started work when I was 19 years old, well 16 years old. But then at 19 I started to develop a website and started to learn more about how to build websites. And that kind of came to me because of timing. The internet was just coming out at that time. But then I came from a very humble beginning, and my parents don’t have much money. So for me, money was a real constraint. And the constraint of not having much money made me more creative and much less entitled to do something.

                                    And same with education. Because I didn’t have a degree, wherever I went in the workplace, I always felt like I had to do more than somebody else just to achieve success and go over and beyond. And for example, living in Birmingham, Birmingham is very automotive manufacturing type of industry and retail industry. And for me to excel in the world of tech, I had to move. So I had to look up my location. I moved to London to enable myself to be able to become more successful. So there’s lots of little things around the driving factors behind not having something. Is actually like a gift because it gives you the opposite of what there is. So we call this in the book ‘double edged swords’. So in the world of business, if you’ve got too much money, you can spend it on stuff and not make the best out of it. But if you’ve got less then you might become more creative and actually become more resourceful, and have more.

Alison Jones:                 You could have called it that Pollyanna principle isn’t it? I’m glad that I have no money because it makes me… It’s a great way of framing your reality.

Ash Ali:                         Yes, absolutely. And then of course money matters. Nobody can deny this. Money does matter. But then having the ability to do something with limited resources enables your creativity to go to the next level. And then having money on top of that adds fuel to it for example. And then you can actually scale this thinking good idea.

Alison Jones:                 Yes. I did laugh when I was reading about it, because you got that job in Staples didn’t you? Which is again, an unfair advantage because you had access to books about computing and access to computers and so on. And I love this idea of you just sitting there every lunch hour teaching yourself to code.

Ash Ali:                         Yes, absolutely. I think self-education, for example, a lot of people go through the education process in the UK, in the education system. And they believe that once you’ve done your diploma, your degree and that’s it. And I think the world is now about lifelong learning and becoming like an infinite learner, and learning all the time and becoming self-educated. And self-education is a big piece of how you can continue becoming successful and developing an unfair advantage.

Alison Jones:                 Which takes me beautifully onto a concept that you talk about in the book that I thought really stuck with me actually, was the difference between book smart and street smart. And you’re not contrasting them in a kind of, one’s good one’s bad. It’s just different ways of being smart. But you obviously have both of them in different quantities. Just talk us through that distinction and what you’ve discovered with the entrepreneurs that you spoke to as you researched the book. The difference between them.

Hasan Kubba:                Yes, that was an interesting one. As we were writing the chapter on intelligence, intelligence and insights as one of the pillars of the unfair advantage of the mass framework, and I started to get into the weeds a little bit with the research of what is intelligence. Because it seems obvious at first, but then if you really dig into it, how do you measure it, how do you define it? There’s so many different types. And then you kind of often start a point of simplicity. You get to complexity and then when you work even harder, you can go back to simplicity. And I just thought, this book isn’t about trying to identify what intelligence is and to pin it down and look at psychological models and frameworks. Really, we could just think of it more simply.

                                    So we kind of just broke it down to street smarts, book smarts and creativity. And social and emotional intelligence is huge. And then we thought, we can kind of put that under street smarts. Because oftentimes that’s a big part of having street smarts. And yet there is this kind of myth which is a newer myth, which is that it’s all about street smarts. Business, it’s not about book smarts. But actually, if you look at the really big success stories, a lot of them did really well at university, at school as well. It’s not only the dropouts. Like Ash didn’t go in the first place. Or like Richard Branson. It’s oftentimes, you get people who are incredibly intelligent who are, you know, child prodigies. So it’s just a case of trying to kind of pin down what is intelligence and what parts of it are unfair advantages.

Alison Jones:                 I think you’re right. I think there is a sort of a swing away from that sense of doing well at college sets you up to do well at work, because work has changed so much. And there is a huge emphasis now on the street smart aspect. What I really liked was that you brought in the book smarts as being, as you say, it can be really good preparation. And both of you have done your time with the book smarts. But also you continue and it’s part of that ongoing learning. It’s of course very close to my heart because I think that the best leaders and entrepreneurs, of course they’re street smart. But actually they carry on reading as well. That is kind of a key part of our ongoing learning process. It distils other people’s lessons for you.

Ash Ali:                         Yes, absolutely. The thing with the book smarts and street smarts, and I suppose going through education system, is that people want to grade you. And so they’ll give you an IQ score. Or they’ll give you a grade for your passing your maths exam. And people think that once you’re graded, therefore that gives you the permission to either become successful or not become successful. And believing you can get smarter actually makes you smarter. Believing that once you’ve done an exam, that’s one point in your life that you’ve done an exam. But post that point, you can still actually become much smarter and become better at what you’re doing. Our brains have a neuroplasticity so that we can actually become smarter. And so this whole idea that you have one IQ score, one point in life. That you are graded, that it was this point. The system decided that you were this grade, doesn’t make you either…

                                    You can have straight A grades and then later come in life and come into the real world, and “Oh my God, I don’t know what I’m doing.” You can be smart according to the system, but then when you get into the real world, you’re like, “Oh my God, what’s happened here, now? How do I deal?” Or you can have the worst grades in your life and come into the system, and go “Actually, I’m not deserving. I’m not entitled. I shouldn’t really apply for that job. I should do a basic job. I can’t do that job. That’s too hard for me, and I haven’t got the grades for it.” So the whole idea of the book smart which is street smart, is that just because you might not have the grades for something, you can still do something if you’ve been learning and educating yourself, and developing yourself, and learning new skills that the world needs. And adding value to the world.

Alison Jones:                 Yes. And actually learning to conform, learning to take exams aren’t necessarily the best ways to equip yourself for the future of work.

Ash Ali:                         Yes, absolutely. But then having, like you said, the book smart as a foundation to learn and read and understand other people’s wisdoms and perspective is super important. Because the more, what I call, the more dots you have. So if you think of creativity as lots of dots on a wall, and for you to be able to connect those dots, the more dots you have, that’s like reading more books. So the more books you read and the more perspectives you read, you have more dots in your mind so you can connect more things. And that gives you more creativity. And reading for me has opened up a whole world.

                                    I used to go to school and look at my friends being driven into school by their parents and dropped off and they were like business people. And my parents were… My dad worked at a local factory, my mum was a housewife. And I wanted that. I wanted the ability to be able to speak to people about business and talk about the professional world. And the only way I could do that was to read books and get into other people’s world, and also have good friends and people. And utilise my friends’ families who had business people in their family to be able to learn from them as well.

Alison Jones:                 I love that Ash, about the points of connection. And the more you have, the more you can create, and the more jumping off points you have. And as you say, if you haven’t got the connections in your own network, books are a way of achieving that. So yes, that’s realy…. I love that. What was it like working together to write. Because you kind of came together for this project, didn’t you? I know you’re investing together, but it was a fairly recent thing. You haven’t kind of worked together for a long time. What did the idea for the book… Did one of you say, “Hey, let’s write a book about this.” Or how did it kind of come about and what was it like working together and writing together?

Hasan Kubba:                Yes. I think Ash is really good at this. I think in his career, in business, and in the jobs he’s had, he’s often been the type to find rough diamonds. So for example, what he does is he makes sure, and I’ve learned a lot from Ash in this, he makes sure that who he goes into business with or even to become a co-author with, makes sure too that he gets along with them. That he can trust them. Trust is the most important thing really going into business.

                                    So we actually built up a friendship first. We became friends, and we’ve travelled, and we spoke a lot about business because we both were entrepreneurs, and we started to get into investing together. And Ash had already had this idea of, “Oh I want to write a book,” because so many people in his life had been telling him “you should write a book Ash.” And he’d already started on it. And there was a very, very rough draught that he had started on. And I started giving him feedback on it and I started to share my views and I got more and more involved in it slowly, to be honest with you. So there was never a point which said, “Right, let’s co-author a book together.” It was much more organic than that.

Alison Jones:                 “Hey, we’re actually co-authoring this.”

Ash Ali:                         Yes. Coming from the other side, actually, to give Hasan the credibility here because he’s an amazing individual when it comes to transforming complex ideas and making them simple. I think in the business world we over-complicate. We make things too complex sometimes for the sake of it, to sound smarter. And what I realised when I wrote the first version of the book and the whole idea of the concept, I was writing a book about myself. And I was like, oh. And I ended up with a book, a draught version, the first draught. It was all about what I did. And as soon as I… Hang on a sec, this is not what our book should be.

                                    And I think I started off there thinking, oh. And the other reason of that was because I was going on stage and I was speaking about my stories, and speaking about my journey of a Just Eat, and journey of startups, and so on. Trying to inspire the next generation of new people in the entrepreneurship. And I realised certain stories connected with people and certain stories didn’t. And that gave us a bit, or kind of like testing of some of our stories and ideas. And then writing it down.

                                    Working with Hasan, the best thing was to be able to simplify complex ideas and make it so that people can understand. And Hasan is wonderful at doing that because I can come up with such a complex idea in my head and Hasan will simplify. And they say Einstein said there’s genius in simplicity, and that’s what I believe Hasan is. He’s a genius at writing in a certain way to get something across to people. And it’s helped me on speaking stage, on the stage when I’m speaking. But also helped me create clarity for our reader. And it’s given us that ability to join forces. And I knew this about myself as well.

                                    So one of the big elements of our book is self-awareness. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses. And I know one of my weaknesses could be the fact that because I’m in the trenches and I’m doing stuff, although I might say it very simply, I could be quite complex in my approach to it. And the approach to it should be much more simplified. Even though my language is quite simple in that sense. And I’ve learned a lot of new words by working with Hasan for example, like autodidact and stuff like that, which is quite a good word actually… And then knowing how to write for the audience and making it easy and simplified for them. I think that is the genius rather than just the ideas themselves.

Alison Jones:                 Yes. You pick up on something really important there actually. We sort of mentioned it before, that U-curve, you dive into a topic, I think we were talking about intelligence. It’s really complex and then you kind of come out the other side and you’re able to express it simply and it’s a hard thing to do. And many authors get stuck at one point in that curve. So it’s great actually having somebody who can help you out of the weeds as you say.

                                    I guess the other thing is that point again, a lot of business authors get stuck here. Taking your own story because that’s your starting point and that’s what you’ve got and that’s what sort of gives it authenticity and credibility and all that good stuff. But then abstracting from it, the ‘so what’ for other people. Because frankly, you know, it’s just your story. It’s not that interesting for me as an entrepreneur. You’ve got to do that extra work of pulling out: “So this is what we’ve discovered.” And you’ve talked to quite a lot of other people as well, haven’t you? And pulled that all together.

Ash Ali:                         Yes, it was brilliant doing all the research. So you can talk about that Hasan, how you got around that.

Hasan Kubba:                Yes. So yes, it was interesting because Ash and I both have marketing backgrounds, and we know it’s all about what’s in it for me, for the customer. Or for the reader.

Alison Jones:                 Right.

Hasan Kubba:                Yes. But you know when you’re in your own project and when it’s something so personal, you can often have blind spots. And that’s why it’s so great to have, even for business, so brilliant to have a co-founder, or a business partner with you. Just to be a sounding board, just to give you feedback. So one of the things early on was that it was very personal, as we said. And it was first from his perspective, giving my story. And even the examples were very much, “My friend said this to me,” and “I had somebody I met in Birmingham who did this.” And it was like, I was telling Ash, “Ash, this could be so much bigger.”

                                    And you know, this is something that he tells me for business. It’s like he thinks really big. Look at Just Eat and the success they’ve had there. In the book example, I was like, “Ash this could be huge. We could do this, we could get a publishing deal.” And at that point we’d never considered getting a publishing deal. We’d never considered, like we’ve never written stuff really. Even I haven’t really done much writing myself. But I was like, “This has got potential, this is a great idea. Let’s do it.” So what we did is we thought of bigger examples and famous success stories that people can relate to. The only reason you go for fame is just because people feel that they know those famous people or those stories. So they can relate to it more, and it’s more of a draw to hear about things that you know. That’s why there’s celebrity versions of every TV show that’s ever been invented, right?

                                    So yes, that’s what we did. We kind of thought let’s make this bigger. Let’s see how this applies to people’s lives. And that’s why it was a really good partnership. Because Ash had the very raw concepts, and I was throwing stuff in there, stress testing it, thinking how it could apply. Also Ash was further along in his journey. He started entrepreneurship when he was like 18, 19 years old. Whereas I had started only a few years before. So I could remember what it was like to be a newbie, to be a beginner. Whereas that’s easy to forget when you’re very far along in the journey and everything seems really obvious and really easy. So I think that works really well, because I could really remember… So our target market is people who are just starting out in business or who are thinking of starting out. Which is always a huge market to go for when it comes to books. And to be able to relate to them. Because I had just started more recently, I was younger, so it helped in a way.

Alison Jones:                 Yes. I mean I guess Ash you were doing se-commerce before it was a thing, really, weren’t you. It’s kind of hard to remember what that must’ve been like.

Ash Ali:                         Yes, no, absolutely. Hasan used to say to me it’s a curse of knowledge because something that I know, that yes, is common knowledge for me, but when I’m on stage and I speak about it’s in a book it’s like, that’s not common knowledge. That’s new. And I was like, “Oh really?” Okay. It was common knowledge to me.

                                    I mean working with Hasan and having a co-author, for me I think it’s like having a… Whenever I start a start up, I always have a co-founding team. And it’s always about the team. Writing a book is really hard. I found it one of the hardest things to do. Startups are hard. Writing is hard too. And by having a co-founder or co-author working with you is that psychological or emotional support as we’re going through the book together. That enables us to finish the project. Because a book, when it starts, can take a long time to draft, the iterations. There’s lots of ups and downs. And going through it and debating some parts of it actually solidifies the book. But having that emotional support, that connection, that human support, and the spirit of working together, really helped us I think.

Alison Jones:                 And you know, I was about to ask you if you had a best tip for first time business book authors. I’m guessing that’s probably it, isn’t it?

Ash Ali:                         Yes, I think so. I think don’t worry about just having your name on the front cover, which is what people think. It’s about getting your word out there and have an impact with what your message is. And working with somebody who can help, who understands you and you understand them, and working together to be able to create a masterpiece, a perennial seller, something that will last for a long time as a legacy piece. Rather than just get a book out because it’s part of the parcel of a marketing process or something.

Alison Jones:                 Yes, absolutely, couldn’t agree more. Hasan, do you want to add anything to that?

Hasan Kubba:                Yes, it’s the corollaries of a startup and writing a book were just so strong, we just couldn’t help but keep seeing the similarities. So we followed the lean startup principles of creating a product. So somebody in Silicon Valley or doing a tech startup. When creating a product, they do the simplest version of it possible. So they do an MVP, a minimum viable product. So we actually did an MVP version of our book. We called it the lean version. It was about 10,000 words. You could read it in about an hour. And we were actually going to self-publish that. So what we did is we kept testing our material. It all started from a LinkedIn article, which we wrote about Evan Spiegel. And now he’s in chapter one as a case study. Because that LinkedIn article went viral and everyone starts sharing it, and it has a great feedback from it. And we thought, this is going well.

                                    So that was the first test. Second one was when we started giving out the lean version of the book before we published it. Just to friends, colleagues, other people in business, stuff like that. And just getting their feedback. And them loving it and saying it’s easy to read. And that helped us to get the book deal as well, to get a publishing deal. We had three publishers interested. So I think that approach of doing it bit by bit, getting feedback, and developing. We developed the concept for a while speaking on stage about it for like two years.

Alison Jones:                 And you haven’t said the word, but actually it’s about traction as well, which is one of those other kind of parallels, isn’t it. Between getting a book deal and getting a startup off the ground?

Hasan Kubba:                Yes, absolutely. It’s the traction, it’s the market feedback, it’s the validation. Validating the idea. Treat it like a business and it can really work in that way. Treat it like a product.

Ash Ali:                         The iterative approach really is quite important. Especially when it comes to business books. Because we’re business people and we’re working, we’ve got businesses to run. And so we’re not sitting down in a cabin in the mountains for one month writing a novel book type of thing. It doesn’t work like that. We had to have those moments. Yes. But there’s a lot of it was to do with us being working in the world of business and doing stuff and having staff, and the challenges of growing companies and investments and so on, and working and advising lots of other companies as well, as well as writing this book in parallel. And so working together helped us do that. The iterative approach was really important. Yes.

Alison Jones:                 And really beneficial isn’t it? Because the benefit of what you are discovering the book and the way you’re articulating and clarifying stuff feeds back into the business and vice versa.

Ash Ali:                         Yes, absolutely. The other part of the book that we’ve written, the ultimate aim of this book, is to show people to be grateful for what you already have going for you. There’s lots of books out there in the marketplace, lots of business books. We read hundreds of books every year. Both me and Hasan are reading all the time. And we wanted to have something that was unique and distinctive. Something that you can take away that gives you practical skills and elements of a business. A lot of business books read well, but they don’t give you any practical elements of how you can apply into your life. Or they’re very prescriptive and The Unfair Advantage is a book which allows you to get into the book yourself and learn and discover your own unfair advantage, which is completely different to another reader, and another reader.

                                    And that’s why we developed this framework, and the framework and the thinking behind it, time and energy. And I think that does take a bit of time to stress test that. And we’ve different TEDx talks. We went on the speaking stage. So stress testing, that was very important for us before we even went to market and said, “This is what you should believe in. This is the concept that we think is the right one.”

Alison Jones:                 Yes. And it had some heft behind it by that point. Now I’m going to pick back up on that point that you’re both voracious readers, which is excellent. We like that. Could you each give us just one, because there’s two of you and we’re running out of time. Just one recommendation for a business book that you think anybody listening to this podcast should read. Apart from your own, obviously.

Hasan Kubba:                I was thinking a lot of great books come to mind. If I have to pick just one, and for people thinking of writing a business book, I would say Perennial Seller by Ryan Holiday. We’re with the same publishers as him, Profile Books, and I just picked it up from the publishers, and I really loved it. And we really used it as a kind of a compass, and cross our fingers and see what happens. But hopefully we followed those principles to make it, or at least attempted to make it a perennial seller. Something that lasts the test of time.

Alison Jones:                 Yes. And I love the philosophy behind that. Thank you. Ash, what would you say?

Ash Ali:                         So for me, in terms of a startup book that I liked reading was Zero to One, which was the Peter Thiel book. A very short book and a very interesting one in how it was done with, there were notes from the university lectures that he did that were combined together. So notes on startups and how to build a future. Very, very interesting book. But ultimately the books that I really enjoy are the Nassim Taleb books. I love the Antifragile, Skin in the Game. Skin in the Game is the one I had a signed copy from him from, and I love that book. It’s a really interesting book for both business and also the way he’s written it and the concept behind it, and the way he goes into detail. The history. Really interesting.

Alison Jones:                 That’s so funny. I read that book this year and I just… There’s some really interesting stuff in there, but he’s just so angry all the time. It just wore me down.

Ash Ali:                         Yes, and that is a challenge. That’s why when I’m reading books, I never read a book from start to end by itself. I’m always dipping into probably about five or six different books at the same time. The way I read books is I like to read a book and get an idea from it and be able to apply it. I’m very application-based and I got to a point where I was doing stuff in life where reading for the sake of reading is… Well you say it to your children, but actually you need to start applying what you’re reading, and seeing how it actually plays up for you. And not everything will play out the way it does. And so just the concept in itself is interesting. And yes, you’re right. The rants and the raves can get… And the difficulty in language as well. Sometimes I like to increase my diction by reading his books.

Alison Jones:                 It’s a good vocabulary-building exercise.

Ash Ali:                         Yes, I think I need to use a dictionary just to check.

Alison Jones:                 Brilliant. Great recommendations. Thank you. Now people want to find out more about you, more about the Unfair Advantage more generally, and also the book of course. Where should they go?

Ash Ali:                         So we have a website called ‘theUnfairAdvantage.com.uk’. It’s all about the book and all the speaking events that we’re going to around the UK. We’re also on Instagram. I am @AshAliUK on Instagram. And on LinkedIn, Ash Ali. And Hasan?

Hasan Kubba:                For me, it ‘startupHasan’. Hasan with one S. That’s my name on all of the social media profiles. So yes, you could easily find us on there.

Alison Jones:                 Fantastic. Well, I will put all those links up on the show notes at extraordinarybusinessbooks.com if anybody is driving along and can’t write that down. But thank you so much, both of you for your time today. It was absolutely fascinating and it’s really fascinating to dig into the story behind how you came to publish. Particularly that MVP approach to do the book. It’s absolutely brilliant. I’m sure that anybody listening, will have got loads of ideas and inspiration for their own journey, so thank you.

Ash Ali:                         Thanks Alison.

Hasan Kubba:                Thank you very much Alison.


  1. Applying any lessons as you go through the book before trying to finish the whole book – that’s the outstanding idea for me.
    Jerry Rhodes

    • Because you may never actually finish the book! Agree, the power of business books is that they give us ideas and also the tools to try those ideas out for ourselves: the rest is up to us!

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