Stefan Dercon – Author of “Gambling on Development: Why Some Countries Win and Others Lose”

Cracking the Code of National Success: Insights from Stefan Dercon

Mike interviews Stefan Dercon.

Today, we’re diving deep into the world of development and success with Stefan Dercon, the mastermind behind “Gambling on Development: Why Some Countries Win and Others Lose.” Strap in, folks, because this conversation will blow your mind!.


Two powerhouse minds are coming together to unravel why certain nations soar while others stumble. Stefan Dercon, with his wealth of knowledge and insights, drops truth bombs left and right, leaving us all in awe of his brilliance.

So, what’s the secret sauce behind a nation’s success? It all boils down to one word: stability. Stefan emphasizes that for any country to thrive, it needs a solid foundation of strength and certainty. Without it, growth becomes a distant dream. But here’s the kicker: stability isn’t just about maintaining the status quo; it’s about having a long-term vision and fostering an environment where innovation can flourish.

Stefan doesn’t hold back when he delves into the intricate dance between politics, economics, and the military within a nation. He highlights the importance of balancing these pillars to create a playing field where everyone has a shot at success. It’s not about levelling the playing field entirely but ensuring enough clarity and confidence for individuals to invest and thrive.

One of the most eye-opening moments of our conversation was when Stefan debunked the myth of replicating success. Sure, we all look at China or Singapore and marvel at their rapid growth, but here’s the truth: you can’t copy-paste their success onto another nation. Why? Because each country has its own unique history, culture, and context.

Stefan urges governments to be self-aware of their strengths and weaknesses. Are you a centralized state like China, or do you resemble a more politicized system like Belgium? Understanding your identity is the first step toward creating a roadmap for success. And guess what? It’s not just about relying on the government to do it all. Stefan champions making space for the private sector and civil society to thrive. Take Bangladesh, for example, where NGOs stepped in to fill the gaps left by the state, leading to remarkable progress in health and education.

Mike Fallat and Stefan Dercon talk about the book Gambling on Development: Why Some Countries Win and Others Lose.

But what about us? How can we apply Stefan’s wisdom to our lives and businesses? Well, it all comes down to mindset. We need to embrace pragmatism and be willing to adapt to our unique circumstances. Just like how Jim Rogers seized the opportunity in Asia, we, too, must recognize when it’s time to pivot and make bold moves.

As we wrap up our conversation, Stefan leaves us with a powerful message: understand what you can and can’t do, then make space for others to thrive. It’s not about ideology but finding what works and making it happen.

In entrepreneurship, where uncertainty lurks around every corner, Stefan Dercon’s insights are a guiding light. They show us that success is within reach if we’re willing to roll up our sleeves and get to work.

Let’s take a page from Stefan’s book and embark on our own journey of growth and development. Who knows? Maybe one day, we’ll be the ones sharing our own success stories with the world.

Get his book here:

About Mike Fallat

Mike Fallat, aka The BookMan, is the owner of Dreamstarters Publishing and the Million Dollar Book Agency. They have helped 300+ entrepreneurs become bestselling authors. His goal is to help 1,000 entrepreneurs publish books and teach them how to use their books as a gateway to generating 7-figures.

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About Dreamstarters Publishing

Dreamstarters Publishing offers ghostwriting, cover design, and everything that is required to take an idea to a finished book (kindle, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook).

The Million Dollar Book Agency is the ultimate marketing CRM system for author-preneurs. Services include automated funnels, lead generation campaigns, book fulfillment, podcast management, press releases, virtual assistants, course development, and more.

Mike also hosts a podcast known as Million Dollar Stories and runs a membership-based site known as Million Dollar Circle. In addition to owning the book business, he invests in self storage real estate.

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