This is the fourth book by Richard Branson that I have read. It is a worthy read and is filled with tips on how to run a better business.
Tips in this book include: Be innovative to differentiate yourself in the market; Offer superior customer service to stand out; Do not openly criticize others; Large corporations move slowly -- be nimble!; Perform stunts to gain free publicity instead of paying for ads; When placing ads, play off current events; By "shaking up" an industry your business can be successful; Look for gaps in the market; Watch for poorly-run businesses -- they are primed for replacement -- with your business!; Branson's driving force: Helping people have a good time; Second impressions are important; Numerous tips for managing, motivating and empowering employees; Be the disruptor, not the disrupted.
Some tips such as "be innovative" may seem obvious. But when I read Branson's stories and thought about what he wrote I gained insight on how the advice could be applied to my own business plans.
The writing style is informal, breezy and fairly easy to digest.
"Like A Virgin" has larger type and greater spacing between lines than my printed copies of "Screw It, Let's Do It" and "Losing My Virginity." Thus, the book can be read in less time than you would typically expect of a book as thick as "Like A Virgin" is.
There seems to be some British slang or phraseology in the book that struck this Yank as slightly confusing. I wonder if the U.S. version would be more Americanized? This is only a minor quibble.
Kerning on the chapter headings is uneven and appears to have been merely applied automatically. Manually kerning would look better here.
The quality of the paper is excellent. The binding is solid.
I recommend "Like a Virgin."
Here's how I would summarize the Branson books I've read:
* Losing My Virginity: This is the first book I read. It's business-focused and heavily autobiographical.
* Screw It, Let's Do It: This book is similar to "Losing My Virginity" and covers much of the same ground. The difference is that "Screw It" contains the business stories and tips found in "Losing My Virginity" but less autobiographical material. This book is my favorite. If you are reading Branson's books because you're looking for business advice, and you only want to read one of his books, "Screw It" is the book to read.
* Screw Business As Usual: This is Branson's "green" book. He focuses on making the world a better place, reducing carbon in the atmosphere and other worthy, important endeavors. There's also a strong business theme. Branson believes there is money to be made in green technology and I agree.
* Like a Virgin: Sort of a "Screw It, Let's Do It Part Two."
I'd rank his books from most useful to least useful (from a purely business perspective) as: 1) Screw It, Let's Do It. 2) Like a Virgin 3) Screw Business as Usual 4) Losing My Virginity.
(I rank "Screw Business as Usual" higher than "Losing My Virginity" because "Screw Business as Usual" is more unique -- that is, "Losing My Virginity" is too similar to "Screw It, Let's Do It" and "Screw It" is more concise than "Losing My Virginity.")