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Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur [Hardcover]

Sir Richard Branson
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
RRP: 20.00
Price: 15.76 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

18 Sep 2008

From its creation as a mail-order record company to the literal launch of Virgin Galactic, today Virgin is one of the premier 'way-of-life' brands in the world, trusted and enjoyed by many millions of people.

In Business Stripped Bare, Sir Richard Branson shares the inside track on his life in business and reveals the incredible truth about his most risky, brilliant and audacious deals. Discover why Virgin tried to take on one of the world's biggest superbrands, how Virgin Mobile USA holds the record as the fastest company in history to generate revenues of over one billion dollars (faster than Microsoft, Google and Amazon) and how Richard is the only person in the world to have built eight billion-dollar companies from scratch in eight different sectors.

What qualities does Richard look for in the people he hires? How does he manage a crisis? Who are the entrepreneurs he most admires? Find out the true story behind Virgin Blue's success in Australia, what really happened when Virgin bid for Northern Rock and why Richard believes all businesses must work with governments to tackle climate change and invest in the future of our planet.

Combining invaluable advice with the remarkable and candid inside stories of Virgin's greatest achievements, as well as some of its setbacks, Business Stripped Bare is a dynamic, inspirational and truly original guide to success in business and in life. Whether you are an executive, an entrepreneur or are just starting out, Richard strips business down to show how you can succeed and make a difference.

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Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur + Losing My Virginity + Screw It, Let's Do It: Lessons In Life (Quick Reads)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Virgin Books (18 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905264437
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905264438
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 16.4 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 238,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Richard Branson was born in 1950 and educated at Stowe School. It was here that he began to set up Student Magazine when he was just 16. By 17 he'd also set up Student Advisory Centre, which was a charity to help young people. In 1970 he founded Virgin as a mail order record retailer, and not long after he opened a record shop in Oxford Street, London. During 1972 a recording studio was built in Oxfordshire, and the first Virgin artist, Mike Oldfield, recorded "Tubular Bells" which was released in 1973. This album went on to sell over 5 million copies. Since then many household names, including Belinda Carlisle, Genesis, Phil Collins, Janet Jackson and The Rolling Stones have helped to make Virgin Music one of the top six record companies in the world. The equity of Virgin Music Group - record labels, music publishing, and recording studios was sold to THORN EMI in 1992 in a US$1billion deal. The Virgin Group has now expanded into international music Megastores, air travel, mobile, financial, retail, music, internet, drinks, rail, hotels and leisure, with around 200 companies in over 30 countries. Richard is married with two children and spends most of his time at his home on Necker Island.

Product Description


"A timely book on business" (Daily Mail)

"An interesting read" (The Economist)

Book Description


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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Virgin Optimism 1 Nov 2008
Regardless of who you are - one thing you have to admit is that Richard Branson oozes charisma, energy and vitality. Even looking at the front cover of the book he is given an exotic yet accessible quality. But enough of this hero worship on my part - what are my thoughts on the contents of the book?

Branson does not claim to be an academic businessman. What comes across in this book is his ethos and belief in the power of entrepreneurship. He covers such themes as Leadership, Brand and Social Responsiblity.

The book has of number of strengths. Throughout he uses stories to illustrate his points. My particular favourites were his tales regarding BA, Coco Cola and his initial set up of Virgin Money. So Branson avoids the situation that other business books fall into - using big words and leaving the reader none the wiser to what they are actually talking about.

A second strength of this book is that Branson portrays business not as an entity detached from his or our everyday lives. If used properly and ethically - it can be a source of great change. I reckon Branson and Adam Smith would have gotten on like a house on fire.

A third strength is Branson's ideas about self empowerment. We may think of Virgin as a monster sized company - whereas in fact it is made up of lots of smaller companies (aside from Virgin Atlantic which Branson readily admits is big). Branson states that the smaller companies avoid the problem of stagnation and each employee can stay energised and involved. Staying with this small scale approach - Branson illustrates how it can be used to tackle such problems as climate change. Correctly he states that large scale solutions often become bogged down.

However the book does have one issue.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite boring 20 Mar 2011
I found this book quite boring. Although there is some useful information in this book, most of it sounds like praising Virgin companies.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
To me, Business Stripped Bare reads somewhere between an act of ego-polishing for Mr Branson and another interesting insight into how a very successful businessman sees the world and in turn how this impacts how he sees business. Setting aside any discussion about his actual or relative level of successes and his admitted transgressions with the law, it cannot be denied that as a brand Virgin has certainly achieved a global status and for that reason alone I would recommend this book for anyone interested in business.

The book itself is very easy to read, I'd image similar in fact to having a conversation with the author. As a result of this, it does sometimes feel somewhat rambling, possibly a little like a "left-brain" stream of consciousness , which produced for me a few moments where I wondered if I accidentally slipped back a few pages and was re-reading something I'd already been through.

Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in the following:
* Understanding and building global brands
* Seeing the world and business through an entrepreneur's eyes

However, if you dislike the following, I'd leave it alone:
* Rambling self-promotion
* Richard Branson
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very entertaining listen 2 July 2009
Format:Audio CD
Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global EntrepreneurI bought this audio book to pass a few hours of my daily commute and what a thoroughly good choice as i enjoyed it a great deal. I would say that it is far more autobiographical than practical lessons but either way i found it very interesting. I am the director of my own company and i found his drive, views and outlooks on business very refreshing. Before i forget i must mention that it is actually Richard reading which really puts it a step above a lot of other business audio books (Duncan Bannatyne are you listening)?
Richard comes across very well and the way the audio is recorded doesn't feel too clinical and is far more relaxed and laid back. This audio collection has left me with a great deal of respect and interest in Richard and the Virgin group which i will follow up on especially when it comes to his new ventures. He recounts both the ups and the downs of his personal ventures (or adventures) and doesn't shy away from saying it as it is. There is an element of self promotion of some areas of his business but that is fine with me when many of them are concerned with major world-wide affairs. An interesting and highly entertaining listen.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not his best 13 Jan 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having read other books both by Richard Branson and other major business owners, I had high hopes for this book, unfortunately, I was slightly disappointed in this book.

A lot of it was focused on passing the buck and I got the feeling that he was trying to clear his name for various Virgin things that had gone wrong, especially with Virgin trains. There was also a lot of descriptions of various publicity stunts that Mr Branson has done, prior to reading this I had always thought of Richard Branson as very down to Earth with a good sense of humour. I think the way this has been written misrepresents him and I now sort of think of him as a bit seedy which is causing a conflict in my head as it's so different to previous experiences of Richard Branson.

Other reviewers have stated that there is quite a bit of "look at me, haven't I done well" and yes, there is a lot of that but if they were to be honest, that's the whole reason why anyone is reading this book - because he's done so well in business and everyone wants to know how.

It's a good book, which is worth reading but don't put it to the top of your reading list, maybe look at his other books first.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent book, not as inspiring as other works of ...
Decent book, not as inspiring as other works of Sir Branson. For me it was, at times, a hard read.
Published 6 days ago by Thomash
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Nice and interesting reading. Honest record of business ups and downs, changes and development with personal touch. I read other books by Sir Richard and all were enjoyable.
Published 4 months ago by Tomas
4.0 out of 5 stars great
very inspirational and a good read for entrepreneurs and people who want to know ore about dedication to business adventures
Published 10 months ago by Peter
4.0 out of 5 stars Richard Branson
Purchased as a Christmas gift for someone who requested it. They have still not become a millionaire though, time will tell.
Published 13 months ago by Glyn
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
Great personal anecdotes, insights and tips from the great man. i totally enjoyed this cd set and note it is narrated by branson himself. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Ogmios
3.0 out of 5 stars Good
Good book but not a patch on his autobiography. More for people who need inspiration and some knowlage on starting business, but no get quick rich answer
Published 17 months ago by Andrew Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting book
Book arrived fairly on time and started reading it. It is actually used book, which I don't mind, since the price was really good too. Read more
Published on 7 Feb 2012 by Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Overall a nice little book
Quick one..
Easy to read, enjoyable and good because you get inside the mind of someone who has obviously achieved a fair amount. Read more
Published on 5 Nov 2011 by Mr. R. O'regan
4.0 out of 5 stars A good all-rounder
The man with the midas touch just doesn't seem to be able to put a foot wrong and in this book he certainly does reveal some of the audacious deals that nearly never came off and... Read more
Published on 28 Sep 2011 by jammy person
4.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff
On time, good condition, good product, good advice.
Look forward to reading this book by Sir Branson after reading his autobiography. Read more
Published on 10 Sep 2011 by JB
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