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Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur Hardcover – 18 Sep 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Virgin Books (18 Sept. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905264437
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905264438
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 2.9 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 410,374 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"A timely book on business" (Daily Mail)

"An interesting read" (The Economist)

Book Description


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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Regardless of who you are - one thing you have to admit is that Richard Branson oozes charisma, energy and vitality. Even looking at the front cover of the book he is given an exotic yet accessible quality. But enough of this hero worship on my part - what are my thoughts on the contents of the book?

Branson does not claim to be an academic businessman. What comes across in this book is his ethos and belief in the power of entrepreneurship. He covers such themes as Leadership, Brand and Social Responsiblity.

The book has of number of strengths. Throughout he uses stories to illustrate his points. My particular favourites were his tales regarding BA, Coco Cola and his initial set up of Virgin Money. So Branson avoids the situation that other business books fall into - using big words and leaving the reader none the wiser to what they are actually talking about.

A second strength of this book is that Branson portrays business not as an entity detached from his or our everyday lives. If used properly and ethically - it can be a source of great change. I reckon Branson and Adam Smith would have gotten on like a house on fire.

A third strength is Branson's ideas about self empowerment. We may think of Virgin as a monster sized company - whereas in fact it is made up of lots of smaller companies (aside from Virgin Atlantic which Branson readily admits is big). Branson states that the smaller companies avoid the problem of stagnation and each employee can stay energised and involved. Staying with this small scale approach - Branson illustrates how it can be used to tackle such problems as climate change. Correctly he states that large scale solutions often become bogged down.

However the book does have one issue.
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Format: Audio CD
Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global EntrepreneurI bought this audio book to pass a few hours of my daily commute and what a thoroughly good choice as i enjoyed it a great deal. I would say that it is far more autobiographical than practical lessons but either way i found it very interesting. I am the director of my own company and i found his drive, views and outlooks on business very refreshing. Before i forget i must mention that it is actually Richard reading which really puts it a step above a lot of other business audio books (Duncan Bannatyne are you listening)?
Richard comes across very well and the way the audio is recorded doesn't feel too clinical and is far more relaxed and laid back. This audio collection has left me with a great deal of respect and interest in Richard and the Virgin group which i will follow up on especially when it comes to his new ventures. He recounts both the ups and the downs of his personal ventures (or adventures) and doesn't shy away from saying it as it is. There is an element of self promotion of some areas of his business but that is fine with me when many of them are concerned with major world-wide affairs. An interesting and highly entertaining listen.
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Format: Hardcover
To me, Business Stripped Bare reads somewhere between an act of ego-polishing for Mr Branson and another interesting insight into how a very successful businessman sees the world and in turn how this impacts how he sees business. Setting aside any discussion about his actual or relative level of successes and his admitted transgressions with the law, it cannot be denied that as a brand Virgin has certainly achieved a global status and for that reason alone I would recommend this book for anyone interested in business.

The book itself is very easy to read, I'd image similar in fact to having a conversation with the author. As a result of this, it does sometimes feel somewhat rambling, possibly a little like a "left-brain" stream of consciousness , which produced for me a few moments where I wondered if I accidentally slipped back a few pages and was re-reading something I'd already been through.

Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in the following:
* Understanding and building global brands
* Seeing the world and business through an entrepreneur's eyes

However, if you dislike the following, I'd leave it alone:
* Rambling self-promotion
* Richard Branson
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By Very Tired Mummy VINE VOICE on 13 Jan. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having read other books both by Richard Branson and other major business owners, I had high hopes for this book, unfortunately, I was slightly disappointed in this book.

A lot of it was focused on passing the buck and I got the feeling that he was trying to clear his name for various Virgin things that had gone wrong, especially with Virgin trains. There was also a lot of descriptions of various publicity stunts that Mr Branson has done, prior to reading this I had always thought of Richard Branson as very down to Earth with a good sense of humour. I think the way this has been written misrepresents him and I now sort of think of him as a bit seedy which is causing a conflict in my head as it's so different to previous experiences of Richard Branson.

Other reviewers have stated that there is quite a bit of "look at me, haven't I done well" and yes, there is a lot of that but if they were to be honest, that's the whole reason why anyone is reading this book - because he's done so well in business and everyone wants to know how.

It's a good book, which is worth reading but don't put it to the top of your reading list, maybe look at his other books first.
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