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Book Review: Losing my Virginity by Richard Branson

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.

Losing My Virginity: How I\'ve Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way

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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5 responses to “Book Review: Losing my Virginity by Richard Branson”

Adam Jusko
December 18, 2006 at 2:55 pm

It must be longer ago than I remember that I read this–I can’t remember the wife swapping part. I do remember there was a very interesting story about John Lennon.

What’s great about the book is seeing how fearless Branson is. He’s ready to take on anything. I can’t imagine ever getting to his level in that regard, but it’s something to shoot for.

December 18, 2006 at 10:55 am

Read this book about 3 – 4 years ago; very inspirational. Thanks for writing about it, I really need to buy another copy of the book.

Nat Turner
December 17, 2006 at 12:34 am

Noah- great recommendation. I read this book years back and I can clearly remember reading every one of those quotes. The great story and lessons the book shares stick with you. – Nat

Nii A.
December 14, 2006 at 4:20 pm

I picked up the book while strolling through the aisles at borders for similar reasons and ended up spending the next 5 hours devouring the entire thing. Definitely a great read.

December 14, 2006 at 1:59 pm

Required reading. Period.

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