Richard Branson is founder and chairman of the Virgin Group, which is probably one of the world's most diversified companies. It has businesses ranging from music records and mobile phones through to balloon-flying and bridal services. This book is split up into 28 short chapters and a epilogue.
The book starts initially with Branson's failed around-the-world-ballooning attempt in Morocco in January 1997, before starting at his childhood. Richard Branson was born in the South of England in 1950, which is where he grew most of his childhood. "My childhood is something of a blur to me now, but there are several episodes that stand out. I remember that my parents continually set challenges for us." During his time at a big public secondary school started thinking up schemes to make money. These schemes ranged from growing Christmas trees and breeding budgies; most of them leading nowhere. Eventually, his schoolfriend Jonny and Richard wanted to set up an alternative magazine aimed at students. "The first issue of 'Student' was published in January 1968." This led to them setting up a music shop, leading to a record label, and eventually leading to one of the largest privately-owned companies in the world. Each of the different events is discussed in detail, while written in an novel-type style.
I normally do not read autobiographies, since I think most of them are "ego-trips". Not this one however, I was surprised how honest Richard Branson was about his not always successful private life and business ventures. Since this book was first published in 1998, the life of Richard Branson has not been standing still. Therefore, be prepared for Volume II of the Sir Richard Branson-story. And I must admit that I cannot wait.