Book Review · The Billion Dollar Secret

Reading The Billion Dollar Secret (2019) by R. Badziag

Recommend. 328 pages. It’s a quick read and starts well. Like much else in life, you may 80/20 the content. In my opinion, you’ll find the 80/20 in Chapter 6 (The Six Skills of Business Mastery) and Chapter 7 (The Six Habits of Wealth).

I won’t give up too much of the book, but the principles outlined probably sound very similar to other books on entrepreneurship and personal development. On the six skills of business mastery, five are people skills. On the six wealth habits, I’d say one can summarize them as constant improvement of the whole person towards a goal.

I enjoyed how the book opens with stories of rags to riches. The one that sticks out the most is the story of Infosys and its founder, N. R. Narayana Murthy. I’ll quickly summarize it here. In India, 1981, at age 35, Narayana founded Infosys with several partners. Infosys is a computer company. He founded the company with frequent power outages and with no computer.

Back then, he needed a license to obtain a computer, and he spent three years and 50 visits from Bangalore to Delhi to get that license. The distance was 1,500 miles, and he was too poor to afford a plane ticket. So, he traveled two days each way (four days round trip). That’s 200 days over three years just commuting, fighting bureaucracy!

So what about doing any computer work during those three years? Narayana found a customer in America who allowed Infosys to program on his computer. Six of the cofounders went to America while Narayana remained in India.

What about communicating? On average, it took about five to seven years to get a phone line back then. Infosys only took one year. In the meantime, Narayana used a public phone at a post office to reach the cofounders and customers in America. However, if they needed to call him, they couldn’t. When Narayana finally did get a phone line, most of the time, there wasn’t a signal, and when there was, it was usually busy.

How did the American team send work back to India? It would’ve taken about three weeks by mail to send programming code one way. Infosys decided to use fax instead, which generated additional problems, which no doubt made for an even more incredible story to hear.