Losing My Virginity: How I've Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way ペーパーバック – 1999/10/19
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"Oh, screw it, let's do it."
That's the philosophy that has allowed Richard Branson, in slightly more than twenty-five years, to spawn so many successful ventures. From the airline business (Virgin Atlantic Airways), to music (Virgin Records and V2), to cola (Virgin Cola), to retail (Virgin Megastores), and nearly a hundred others, ranging from financial services to bridal wear, Branson has a track record second to none.
Losing My Virginity is the unusual, frequently outrageous autobiography of one of the great business geniuses of our time. When Richard Branson started his first business, he and his friends decided that "since we're complete virgins at business, let's call it just that: Virgin." Since then, Branson has written his own "rules" for success, creating a group of companies with a global presence, but no central headquarters, no management hierarchy, and minimal bureaucracy.
Many of Richard Branson's companies--airlines, retailing, and cola are good examples--were started in the face of entrenched competition. The experts said, "Don't do it." But Branson found golden opportunities in markets in which customers have been ripped off or underserved, where confusion reigns, and the competition is complacent.
And in this stressed-out, overworked age, Richard Branson gives us a new model: a dynamic, hardworking, successful entrepreneur who lives life to the fullest. Family, friends, fun, and adventure are equally important as business in Branson's life. Losing My Virginity is a portrait of a productive, sane, balanced life, filled with rich and colorful stories:
Crash-landing his hot-air balloon in the Algerian desert, yet remaining determined to have another go at being the first to circle the globe
Signing the Sex Pistols, Janet Jackson, the Rolling Stones, Boy George, and Phil Collins
Fighting back when British Airways took on Virgin Atlantic and successfully suing this pillar of the British business establishment
Swimming two miles to safety during a violent storm off the coast of Mexico
Selling Virgin Records to save Virgin Atlantic
Staging a rescue flight into Baghdad before the start of the Gulf War . . .
And much more. Losing My Virginity is the ultimate tale of personal and business survival from a man who combines the business prowess of Bill Gates and the promotional instincts of P. T. Barnum.
Also available in the UK from Virgin Publishing, and in Canada from General Publishing,
From the Hardcover edition.
“Richard is good-looking and very smart, which is sexy to start with. He also makes a billion dollars before breakfast—and still knows how to have fun."
-- Ivana Trump
“Few people in contemporary business are as colorful, shrewd, and irreverent, and probably no one’s nearly as much fun to be around. . . . Branson embodies America’s cherished mythology of the iconoclastic, swashbuckling entrepreneur."
“Branson wears his fame and money exceedingly well: no necktie, no chauffeur, no snooty clubs. . . . What continues to set Branson apart is the unique -- and, to some, baffling -- nature of his ambition. . . . He isn’t interested in power in the usual sense of influencing other people. . . . Boiled down to its singular essence, Richard Branson just wants to have fun.”
“Branson, a self-described ‘adventure capitalist,’ is a business-creation engine who was clearly born in the wrong place. . . . Those business instincts are matched by an ability to motivate people who work for him. And who wouldn’t want to -- Branson seems hell-bent on making sure that everybody, but everybody, is having as much fun as he is.”
“Richard Branson . . . is dressed to the nines: in a $10,000 white silk bridal gown with a traditional veil and train and acres of lace. . . . Branson is expected to do the unexpected, even the bizarre -- anything to publicize his latest venture. . . . The fact is, Branson’s widely reported stunts seem almost staid compared to the unconventional way he manages his burgeoning empire.”
-- Forbes ASAP
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とても、読み終わって時は経ちますが、 アツさがいまだに自分に残っている、 お気に入りのノンフィクションのひとつ、です☆
Not only did it give great insight into the personal details, metuculously recounted, of each adventure, but was also an impressive insight into the inner workings of the way he sees things and how he sets about planning and taking action on them. This is the kind of autobiography you hope and dream of finding. If you are a fan of the man (legend), or of entrepreneurship, or even of economics, this book, written superbly and with excitement, will be for you. If you are questioning whether or not to read it, I dare you to download a sample and try it. I'll hedge my bets you'll be drawn in as well.
I really like how the book was set up. Each chapter a time frame in Branson's life and what happened within those months/years. I didn't know much about Branson's life or all the many businesses that Virgin operated. I am a bigger Branson fan now.
One thing I didn't like about the book, was the additional chapters. While the content was good, they seemed to just be thrown on at the end. There wasn't any structure to them. Each of the additional chapters took about 1.5 hours to read while other chapters in book ranged from 10 to 30 minutes. Would have been nice to have more structure for these additional chapters.
I can say without a doubt my level of respect grew immensely for this person after this book. His storytelling is on point, and you can literally imagine yourself being there when he describes the moments of his life. A man from humble beginnings. Although he has become a multi-billionaire, it is clear he has no forgotten his roots, which is conveyed in his writing. 5/5 would recommend.