Review of Rich Dad, Poor Dad

Have you read “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”, by Robert Kiyosaki?  It’s supposedly a “true” story about the author’s two dads – one rich and one poor, and a comparison of the advice they gave the author as he grew up.  The book has been thoroughly debunked by the SmartMoney article "Karma Chamelon", The Wall Street Journal's article "Rich Men, Poor Advice", and by the Real Estate Guru John T. Reed at

If you read the book, you'll find the character of the Rich Dad is relatively consistent. He's a guy who has figured it all out and likes to make his points with annoying lessons rather than just stating what he has to say openly and directly. But what is the character of the poor dad? Is he an idiot? Is he bitter, depressed or wise? It just depends on the paragraph you happen to be reading at the time. I couldn't figure it out, but here's a few lessons from the book that may sound familiar if you read it too:

Rich Dad Poor Dad Excerpts

So what does Robert Kiyosaki’s book have to do with choosing good technologies? Honestly – not much. But I wasted thirty five bucks on his audiobook, and I feel obligated to get my money back in some form or another. I got suspicious when I was half way through the book and the author was still telling the reader how great the advice was that he was going to give in the book, as opposed to just giving that advice. I suppose it’s an important skill to learn to sniff out charlatans in the software business or in any industry. I first learned to detect b.s. when I was working as a neurosurgeon at the Mayo clinic in 1997. I had just applied and been accepted to the green berets, and I had a choice of continuing in medicine, or becoming an economic advisor to President Clinton. Not really, but if the author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad can completely invent his past, why can't I? Perhaps I should subtly update the fine print on my copyright notice to say "some elements may be fictionalized...." as Richard Kiyosaki finally did under pressure in 2001.

Am I being unfair? To some degree I am because Richard's book certainly isn't wrong at every turn. And for many it has been inspirational. That's its strength since it's really more about emotion than fact. You can read Richard Kiyosaki's response to his critics here. But note that his response doesn't go through the accusations point by point (which is certainly what I would do if I were in his shoes). It only addresses a few of perhaps a 100 very specific accusations. He dismisses his critics as simply "angry" but doesn't address the content of their accusations.