What makes men like Richard Branson and Alan Sugar so successful? More than talent, more than ambition and drive, Andrew Davidson believes, it's Smart Luck
--taking a gamble when you know the odds. Through impressively well written and personal interviews with some of the UK's most charismatic and successful business minds, Davidson gives us a glimpse into what turns a man like James Dyson into an entrepreneur.
Dyson says he has always felt different, ever since his father died when he was a child. "Losing a father makes you incrediblydisadvantaged emotionally. There isn't that personal willing you on there to help you. You become horribly self-reliant and you grow up quicker in one sense, and never grow up in another." Certainly, he looks 15 years younger than his age--he's a health and fitness fanatic, running three times a week and watching what he eats. His son, Jacob, calls him Peter Pan and there is a certain childlike quality in his enthusiasms which encourages him to break rules and challenge status quos when others might think it batty to do so.
What makes Smart Luck
compelling is its voyeuristic quality--describing how Lastminute.com founder Brent Hoberman leaves theinterview to take a call and forgets to come back, or the varying types of therapy Simon Woodroffe endured while building up the Yo! Sushi chain. It's definitely not a manual for wannabe moguls--most of thetales here were started through coincidence and chance more than design or strategy. Knowing how Autonomy's Mike Lynch's experiences with industrial giant GEC defined his career, or how Pizza Express founderLuke Johnson got his break after a chance reply to a Financial Times
ad won't make you a better businessman--but it will give you gems of insight rarely found on the business shelves. --Sally Whittle
--This text refers to an alternate
''A short book that ought to be required reading for us all.''
Long Range Planning, March 2007
" The prose is breathless, the subjects opinionated and the writing so good...
may be the most entertaining book on business published this year... sit back and enjoy "
Sunday Times, Book of the Week