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Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur Hardcover – 18 Sep 2008

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

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Virgin Books (18 Sept. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905264437
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905264438
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 2.9 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 95,030 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.

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"A timely book on business" (Daily Mail)

"An interesting read" (The Economist)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Mr President on 1 Nov. 2008
Format: Hardcover
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. G. A. Worth on 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Louise Barnes-Johnston on 20 Feb. 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is Richard Branson's business journey from student magazine to building one of the world's most recognisable and successful brands contained in just over 300 pages! Written in a conversational style, which makes it easy to read and follow, the overall impression is that the man himself is engaging with you on the pages. Because he is synonymous with his brand, he could possibly also be said to be the founder of `personal branding' which is just now becoming the next best thing in marketing. And, because of his celebrity status, he is able to voice his personal opinions knowing that the book will sell no matter what he says!

The book is divided into clear sections/chapters providing 8 success factors for every business to model: People; Brand; Delivery; Learning from Mistakes and Setbacks; Innovation; Entrepreneurs and Leadership; Social Responsibility. All these factors are essential elements required to build any successful business.

This is definitely not dry theory saying that this is the only way to succeed. The sub-title of the book really says it all "Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur" - so it was never going to be another how-to business guide. The presentation is in the form of a series of stories, one of the ways people learn best.

There are many `warts and all' anecdotal examples throughout, explaining and validating each of the key principles. You also see tantalising glimpses of the intuitive decisions that undoubtedly also helped to build Virgin into a global empire!

It's hard to know when Richard Branson finds the time to be with his family and enjoy the fruits of his success, because he obviously still enjoys being involved with his companies.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By P. Robertshaw on 31 Jan. 2009
Format: Hardcover
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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