Shop now Shop now Shop now See more Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
65
4.3 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 1 November 2008
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. Branson is much more engaging when talking about the individuals that makes up his company and his relationship with them. The sections where he talks about the high profile individuals such as Al Gore, Clinton and Mandela - tend to get bogged down and I found my attention drifting. I got it that he thinks these guys are great - I just didnt need to read about it for the next 10 pages. Bit rich coming from me since I have just read 328 pages about my hero Branson!

Overall - a great book and with great messages.

The best message being "the brave may not live forever - but the cautious do not live at all".
11 comment| 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 2 July 2009
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.
11 comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 31 January 2009
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
0Comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 13 January 2011
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.
0Comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 15 November 2014
Essentially this is a long advert for Richard Branson, and more importantly as far as he is concerned, a long advert for the whole Virgin brand. To be fair there are some interesting little comments about what he feels is "good" management practice and you can pick up on the traits in people that he looks for. It would have been a much more balanced book if he had spent more time talking about his mistakes in business and what he had learnt from those. If you buy this because you are looking for a sort of how-to guide on being an entrepreneur then I think you will be disappointed.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 17 April 2009
I have read all of Bransons books. This is pretty good but can be a little 'oh look at me - i'm great' at times. I very much enjoyed reading about how he sets up and runs his business but his ideas about how he wants to change the world can be a bit too much. If you have not read any of his books then I would read his 'losing my viginity' one first.
0Comment| 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 17 October 2008
A good book and whilst reading you can really imagine Richard Branson living and breathing his experience as a leader and entrepreneur. With this book you also gain a greater insight of Virgin as the brand and group of companies within the Virgin family. Branson is fairly honest about his setbacks and mistakes- although he doesnt talk about Virgin's part in its collusion with BA and how it got away with it. This omission makes me wonder about Virgin's business ethics in reality!!!
Overall a good read
0Comment| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 10 May 2013
Great personal anecdotes, insights and tips from the great man. i totally enjoyed this cd set and note it is narrated by branson himself. Makes me wonder how such a nice guy has been successful in business. Has a lot of charm and 'nice guy' charisma which comes out on cds. It felt honest with good tips and summaries after each section. Highly recommended. Make this guy prime minister !
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 20 March 2011
I found this book quite boring. Although there is some useful information in this book, most of it sounds like praising Virgin companies.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 22 January 2016
Im a big business autobiography geek so ive read quite a few. This was my first richard branson one and i cant say im overly impressed. Some great stories and behind the scenes insights but i feel the whole book revolves around how great he is and how amazing the virgin brand is. To be it was a book basically selling the virgin brand to me.

Thats not what i personally enjoy in an autobiography. Id much preferred a more focus on the sticky situations hes been through and the tough decisons and challenging peoples hes encountered.

Theres also a continually focus on referring to the start of the virgin brand, which is of course very interesting but it dominates the book to much and becomes relentless.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Questions? Get fast answers from reviewers

Please make sure that you've entered a valid question. You can edit your question or post anyway.
Please enter a question.


Need customer service? Click here