Book Review: Losing my Virginity by Richard Branson
December 14, 2006
I was walking around the business section of my library last week and saw something about virginity and picked it up. Luckily it was a fantastic read by Richard Branson. I read this in a week and loved it. Richard Branson does not preach the ways to be successful or the right ways to run a company but demonstrates how he did it.
If you are a conservative person working corporate or running your own business this influential book shows how Branson took risks every day and had fun while doing it.
Great lines from the book:
- Regarding his first magazine he “thought that the more copies were sold, the more word of mouth would spread and ultimately the more advertising we could attract.”
- “Finding out he had some stolen records at his first music stores they had to track down every single one all night and move them to another place.”
- ” Incentives come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from a pat on the back to share options, but avoiding prison was the most persuasive incentive I’ve evre had.” after getting caught for fraudulent records.
- ” Throughout the evening it became clear that Kevin rather fancied Kristen and I rather fancied Kevin’s wife” on wife swapping
- ” I have always believed that the only way to cope with a cash crissis is not to contract but to try to expand out of it” on when the company was in a financial crunch.”
- “The band (Dire Straits) did not sign with Virgin since they thoght that Virgin had plied them with drugs before the signing to bedfuddle them.” – after a store owner gave out complimentary weed.
- ” The airport was full of stranded passengers.I made a few calls to charter [plane] companies and wrote on the blackboard, Virgin Atlantic, $39 single flight to Puerto Rico.” – Branson saw that no plane was coming and created a flight himself.
- ” A record is a commodity…and we know that our competitors were losing money in Tokyo. In order to prevent this we : a) partnered with a high traffic retailer, Marui, that was paid on our percentage of sales instead of rent b) Hired a DJ c) Installed listening facilities.” And the Virgin Megastore Japan became a cult place for all teenagers to hang out at.
- ” I had decided to take him at his word and hijack Concorde by putting the Virgin logo over Concorde’s tail.” Branson had a long hard battle with British Airways and was declaring victory.
- ” More than any other element, fun is the secret of Virgin’s success.”
Noah’s Recommendation: Read it. There are a few slow parts that I skipped but overall it is a great tale of how he took his student magazine and turned that into a huge global company. Branson is amazing at seeing neglected opportunities and taking big risks on them. A great inspirational read to go out and change the world.
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