The Gospel According To Mark: Creating “Cumulative Advantage” In A World of Perceived Disadvantages

Diamond Michael Scott
3 min readOct 24, 2021

Finding it a struggle to get ahead in today’s highly crowded business world? Ever wondered whether hard work and meritocracy are truly a path to success? Envious of those who seemingly have unlimited connections and resources to build their lives?

These are among the many themes noted thought-leader Mark Schaefer covers in his book Cumulative Advantage: How to Build Momentum for Your Ideas, Business, and Life Against All Odds.

First though, a disclosure — I’ve been corresponding with Schaefer on social media for years since reading his first book “Tao of Twitter way back in 2010.” Since then I’ve taken all but one of his literary creations. But “Cumulative Advantage” in my humble opinion is his magnum opus.

Filled with an ocean of fresh insights for carving out an advantage in today’s crowded world, Cumulative Advantage is an amazing guide for entrepreneurs, startup leaders, and everyday leaders seeking uncommon wisdom on building successful lives and enterprises.

Unlike other books which are filled with “fresh pastry” prescriptive that leave the reader hanging in the end, Schaeffer’s book provides a highly pragmatic and accessible roadmap to building a cache of advantages over time. Readers will find it a refreshing counterblast to traditional strategies that bloviate about the importance of influence and marketing without really delivering any return on investment.

A globally recognized marketing expert and (may I say) a general, all-around mensch, Schaefer champions the notion that once someone “gains a small advantage over others in their field, that advantage will compound over time into increasingly larger advantages.”

But in typical Schaefer fashion, he prefaces this by saying, “but not always.” This sets the stage for his roadmap for building momentum around one’s own cumulative advantage, as a part of their “turbine of success.” He notes:

You can see that the person with the disadvantage will always be hopelessly behind unless they get a strategic momentum boost somewhere along the line.”

Here is an overview of the prescriptions he covers in the book:



Diamond Michael Scott

Independent Journalist and Global Book Ambassador | Great Books + Great Minds Project