on 10 January 1999
This is a very well written book and for less than a tenner is worth getting. It manages to give some insight into the workings of Richard Bransons Virgin empire, but certainly isn't going to turn the budding entrepreneur into a multi-millionaire business tycoon. My only complaint is that large sections of the material in this publication have been 'lifted' directly from other books written about the toothy tycoon. If you're a fan of Mr. Branson (as I am)then I would recommend you order his autobiography 'Losing my Virginity' before buying this book.
This is an easy read, taking little more than a couple of hours. It carries the subtitle '10 Secrets of the World's Greatest Brand-Builder'.which offers the promise of answers to those who seek them, and might be why it's taken me so long to get around to reading it.
The book begins with a potted history of Richard's life, from schoolboy entrepreneur to rich CEO. The `secrets' of this journey are outlined in ten chapters which each refer back to examples from Branson's career.
They each make interesting reading and offer insights and ideas to explore. In a nutshell the secrets are
- Pick on someone bigger than you
- Avoid sticking with convention
- Negotiate everything
- Make work fun
- Protect your brand
- Exploit publicity
- Don't lead sheep, herd cats
- Move quickly
- Think big, but keep it simple
- Keep the common touch
Though promising secrets no doubt helps sell the book, perhaps the real secret is left to the `Last Words' where it is stated that Richard Branson's motto should be ars est celare artem - `The art lies in concealing the art'.
Here the book succinctly highlights the problem of almost all best practice adoption. You can copy what he does, but that's not where the real secret is. The real secret is to understand who he is being.
Rudyard Kipling nicely captured this,
"They copied all they could follow but they couldn't copy my mind
so I left them sweating and stealing a year and a half behind."
An interesting outline of Branson's journey, and if you're not looking for answers, the potential source of some interesting lines of thought.
on 4 November 2004
This book is a handy compilation of observations, hypotheses and speculations on the subject of Richard Branson. Author Des Dearlove freely and frankly admits his debt to several other writers who have probed the Branson story in depth and breadth. There is little if anything original to be found, aside perhaps from the author's style of presentation, which tries hard to be light and deft. Although the book carries you along, its biggest punch resides in the author's list of "10 secrets" of Branson's success. Readers who would like to know in the most general terms what Branson has done and how he has done it, and who are willing to swallow a few clichés in lieu of explanations, will seize upon this book.we think you will enjoy it and, after all, enjoying your work is one of Branson's great secrets.
on 12 July 2015
Des Dearlove aimed to write his book in order to provide a fair analysis as to why Richard Branson has been so successful throughout the years. He states that ‘making it happen is what management and business is all about’ and as Branson is an opportunist he has been able to create a unique business phenomenon. There are ten snappy chapters with each one allocated to a tip on how to be as successful as Branson. These include ‘Make work fun’, ‘Do right by your brand’ and ‘size doesn’t matter.’ For example ‘Make work fun’ explores how by creating an exciting work culture you are more likely to motivate your staff and increase productivity thus a key to success. Personally I liked the structure of the book as each chapter was centred on an approach on how to be successful which shows that if you follow Branson by aiming high you can achieve anything. The book is littered with quotes from Branson such as ‘Business is about action’ and ‘One should just get on with it and learn from mistakes’ and this is really helpful because as an incredibly effective entrepreneur he has a lot of experience that upcoming entrepreneur’s can draw on. Furthermore the book includes quotes from critics such as ‘no one plays the David to the Goliath of “Big business” better than Richard Branson’ and this demonstrates how Richard Branson is seen within the wider business community and the inspiration and positive effect he has. The language used by the author is light-hearted and humorous which makes the book engaging and relevant for a younger audience.
One thing that I felt could be improved about the book is making some of the tips for success more relevant to local entrepreneurs who run businesses on a smaller scale. The book gives tips on how to respond to pressure from the media with a whole chapter entitled ‘smile for the camera’ and as media attention will not be relevant for many small scale entrepreneurs this is not pertinent. Therefore, I feel that the author could have created a chapter on something Branson did when he wasn’t very well known which was efficacious as this would be more relevant and engaging for the audience reading this book.
Overall, I felt that this book was very helpful and would highly recommend it for anybody interested in starting up their own business. The use of the top tips are very helpful and offer clear direction on how to be successful within the business world. The humorous and amusing language provides an engaging and appealing read and so I would highly recommend this book.
on 23 June 2010
I have so many books to read and came across one of Richard Bransons other 'bigger' books, but didn't have the time to fit it in and was desparate to get some inspiration so settled on this as a 'quick read' which it most certainly is.
Wonderfully written and seems like a real taste of Mr B's life and his beliefs.
Love the way he speaks of his mother always telling him to 'Just do it' - They need to give this out in schools to offer some words of encouragement to those less fortunate not to have a Mrs Branson Snr in their lives:-)
If you have an idea and want to get on in life, then READ THIS if you have a little amount of time or go for the full version for I am sure a lot more inspiration and encouragement.
I will be making time to read the bigger version for sure! In the mean time this little gem will be given out to friends and family as a 'light read' just for the funny tails in how 'virgin airways' started:-)