70 of 73 people found the following review helpful
on 25 July 2002
I'm not a lover of books that are 500+ pages long so when I first received this book I was a little put off. After reading the first few pages though I was gripped and couldn't put it down. At a very early age, Branson seemed to have that drive that has stayed with him and has made him what he is. His lifestyle in the early days is not what you imagine and he has had his fair share of bad luck. The book takes you step by step through his life up until he is 40. He is a very likeable, genuine and considerate man and he seems to be into everything, literally!. If you think being dislexic might set you back, think again. I admired Branson's drive and enthusiasm before I read this book, now it's got me hooked and I want to find out more about him. A totally gripping book start to finish and this is the first book that I can honestly say that I couldn't put down. It has my recommendation and if I had the chance of working with him I'd jump at it ! Brilliant - well worth a buy.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 8 October 2003
Trust me, this book is highly informative and very interesting. Branson is a determined and corageous man who believed in something and achieved it. He worked hard for success and his background had nothing to do with it. I certainly don't remember a part in the book which refers to him getting anything on a plate.
The disgraceful behaviour of British Airways towards Vigin Air is riveting reading. I bet most readers would question whether they would fly BA again!
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on 6 March 2000
The way Branson invented Virgin and then re-invented the products and the image is an inspiration to us all, entrepreneurs or not. If you're not in business, you'll want to be after reading these 500 pages which whistle by as fast as a Virgin Atlantic jumbo. He's honest to a fault and that makes the book all the more readable - I never want to fly BA again! The tales of adventure on sea and by balloon are fascinating insights into how close Branson came to death - in fact you could say he's had a charmed life which inspired me to make my next 40 years as worthwhile and fulfilling as his first 40. Sorry to gush, but it's a top read whatever age.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 14 July 2000
The book was, to my delight, a very interesting read. "Losing My Virginty" reads like a novel and I would say that it was as interesting as both "Memoirs of a Geisha" and the "Harry Potter" series. Yet the book was full of lessons in a variety of business fields; entrepreneurship and risk-taking being at the forefront of those fields. In its value as a business book, I would compare it to "Lessons from the Top" and "The Millionnaire Next Door", both of which were a much less gripping read. However, "Losing my Virginity" is different from those two books in that it is primarily about "World Class Entrepreneurship". Branson takes the reader on a trip back to the 60's and 70's when Virgin took off and gradually leads you into the "jetstream" of his turbulant life. You will enjoy the ride.
This is definitely a book that I thoroughly enjoyed and earnestly recommend to anyone, not necessarily to businessmen, just to anyone who wants to make the most of his/her life.
Richard Branson used the book well on many occasions to tell his side of the story and to clarify to the public certain events that may have not been fully disclosed in that way during the time of their occurance.
He also talks freely about matters, which a conventionial bussinessman would find out of place, beyong the point or even downright embarrassing. Those "personal" moments are actually the essence of what this book is all about. The book is about Branson's life and Virgin Group is just that, a very large chunk of Branson's life.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 31 August 2012
I'm a bit of a junky when it comes to biographies, especially ones concerning business or politics. This book did not disappoint. For a Virgin virgin this book is a really interesting insight into the creation of the Branson Empire.
My only negative is that the last quarter really bored me. The business bit is so much more intersting than hearing about how he's trying to save the world, cure disease and stop global warming. Less candid and more dreamy.
All in all though very happy to recommend what has been a really good read on the whole.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 9 July 2000
Fact is often stranger than fiction - never more magnificently illustrated than in this autobiography by Richard Branson, undeniably the foremost entrepreneur in the UK today. His autobiography candidly details the past 40 years of his life; from the humble beginnings of "Student" magazine, through the establishment and subsequent sale of Virgin Music and concluding with the compelling battle with British Airways. Also, aside from his business interests, Branson's maverick attempts to set new nautical and ballooning world records are described. "Losing my Vriginity" leaves you motivated to fulfill that ambition you have for far too long harboured in a far corner of your imagination. Top marks!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 24 December 1998
Alright so Branson is a wally, but he is also a fantastic businessman. This book is very well written and easy to read. Some of what Mr. Branson tells us must be taken with a pinch of salt. As a Virgin employee I have had the pleasure of Richards' company and he has a nasty habit of telling the same story over and over again each time differently (He told me how he lost his Virginity to a girl at his school, then 12 months later commented to managers at a finance meeting how his father took him to see a prostitute when he was in his early teens). Richard Branson is in business for Richard Bransons' benefit, he is utterly ruthless (despite his outward appearance) and god help anyone who gets in his way. Having got that off my chest I think this is a great book and should help Richard accumulate his next million.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 27 April 2006
This book catalogues a series of truly impressive achievements, but does so in a very down to earth way. At no point do you feel that Branson is exaggerating his input into any of Virgin's achievements - credit is given where it's due, and blame accepted where appropriate.
Through understanding what has gone on behind the scenes in Branson's life, it becomes clear that this hasn't all been an easy ride, nor has anything been handed to this man on a plate. He and his fellow workers have built the Virgin empire through hard work, a lot of forward thinking, learning vital lessons from big mistakes, and by never being afraid that they might have to pick themselves and start over after a big fall.
If you're looking for a bit of inspiration, whether you're a business-head or a regular Joe, there will be something for you here. Branson's determination and enthusiasm in both his business and personal life are inspiring, but it's nice to know he's not completely perfect; really he's just like the rest of us, just a little more daring (and at times, one might suggest - daft?!)
I look forward to reading about the next ten years!
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 25 June 1999
Who hasn't at sometime thought about going into business for oneself, being a great success and having the satisfaction of manning the helm of your own future? Who hasn't then come back to 'reality' and continued to get on with it? Read "Loosing my Virginity" by Richard Branson, and you will find yourself burning with enthusiasm once again and racking your brain to think of some venture into which you can fling your energy. That is the great attraction of this book, it is about business from the point of view that you spend most of your life working, so why not make it enjoyable. Richard Branson points out that he has "never gone into any business purely to make money" and although most people would probably cringe at such a comment out of context, read the book and you will surely believe him! Mr Branson explains how he hopped from editing a student magazine to each of his subsequent ventures because it appeared the most interesting thing to do at the time. Fortunately, he knew the right people at the right time and had quite a bit of luck along the way, but the underlying theme is that if you have the urge to go your own way, then do it (and you may even make a fortune!).
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
‘Losing My Virginity’ by Richard Branson is an autobiography of this prominent businessman who thanks to his unique philosophy succeeded in everything he touched turn into a successful business, even managing to enter into the Guinness Book of World Records due to his passionate love for ballooning.
When Richard Branson together with his friends decided to start his first business, they agreed that since they are complete virgins at doing business, they should call themselves like that. Lot of time passed since then, and in meantime inside his business empire called Virgin Group more than 400 companies are incorporated dealing with all possible kinds of business ventures such as publishing, record business, transport companies, health care, telecommunications, tourism, food and beverages.
Since his beginnings Branson had a different philosophy and views on business management - he wanted to be globally present, and yet not to be a slave to rigid forms of business, avoiding the bureaucracy, hierarchy, centralization, and encourage innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity and ideas that seemed difficult or impossible to achieve.
In his book, that is quite extensive and filled with many interesting stories, just like his life, ordered in a chronological order, reader enjoys from the beginning to the end, while even those readers who may not be familiar with his life or conglomerate which he established will become interested for his story at very beginning of the book.
During the reading you’ll realize in many ways that Branson is British, rather than coming from another culture, he reveals his honesty, courage and passion for business, but still he is unobtrusive, not blatant and doesn’t put himself in the center, although anyone who listened or watched him can see him as synonym for the new age of entrepreneurship, that is unfortunately still not so common.
The book was written in entertaining style, full of humor that makes it easy to read and interesting even for the people that are not interested in the business part of the story at all; therefore reader should not need to be scared by book thickness because due to the interesting topics from the past that Branson vividly evokes the pages literally go one after another. I read somewhere funny comment about the book – It’s heavy but impossible to put down – and I fully agree with that.
As a great add-on that makes this book even more recommended is more than 100 photos that can be found on the pages of the book, both black and white and in color, which nicely complement to the topics of the author’s story.
The end of story is really a great conclusion when Branson having done everything that could be done on Earth, wants to go a step further and help mankind to travel into space.
‘Losing My Virginity’ is a book that everyone young in age or business experience should read because of plenty of ideas offered on its pages, but primarily interesting are the author’s reflections which are invaluable and provide a lot to think about. Therefore this inspiring and interesting autobiography of Richard Branson adventures can certainly be recommended.