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

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  9,492 ratings  ·  496 reviews
"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...more
ebook, 416 pages
Published September 1st 2010 by Crown Business (first published January 1st 1998)
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Otis Chandler
I learned two major things from this book: the power of branding, and the fact that Richard Branson has balls of solid steel.

Branson is one of the great entrepreneurs of our era, and it was truly inspiring to hear his story in his own words. A kid who skipped college and dove straight into business, and time and time again proved he can succeed with a lot of will, determination, and his maverick ability to take big bets and win. Bransons' success is nothing short of inspirational.

I had no idea...more
Tatiana
May 06, 2011 Tatiana marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Ричард Брэнсон – великий и ужасный бизнесмен, британский миллионер, основатель и рулевой брэнда Virgin. «Теряя невинность» - это откровение миллионера. В книге нет ни грамма пафоса и пижонства, нет гимна собственной изворотливости. Брэнсон поразительно открыт и чист, не таясь, он делится переживаниями, повествует о просчетах, предлагает разделить радость успеха. Жизнь Брэнсона достойна экранизации, его задор заслуживает уважения, упрямство и целеустремленность – зависти. Основная мысль книги «Те...more
Arup
"I am yet to read an autobiography of an entrepreneur, which has been written so magnetically. It feels like that I was very much a part of Sir Richard Branson's journey from his boyhood to being one of century's most successful and chic business man, who happens to be having his feet firmly entrenched on the ground. Richard's humble beginning and the numerous sticky situations that he got into during the initial period of his entrepreneurial endeavors, did not deter him from reaching the awesom...more
Ankur
I hv long admired branson, so in 2000, when i saw this book at a footpath wala in CP in Delhi, i immediately latched on to it!

The book is an immensely enjoyable, almost no holds barred autobiography of Branson's mercurial rise from a school drop out to the owner of Virgin Atlantic and many other companies, n how he kept building n rebuilding his businesses despite all odds.

Branson has spared nobody, including himself, nor has he let go of any chance to remember those who stood by him!

However, i...more
Erwin
Loosing My Virginity

Excellent autobiography. Mr. Branson has a lot in common with Sam Walton and Ray Crock, except Mr. Branson has a more magnetic personality that he's used to his advantage in the age of mass media. Like all great men, he is a man of his time, and used his adventurous rebellious persona to promote himself and his brand.

His story is insightful, motivational, and more importantly - useful.

Like Walton and Crock, Branson's growth always was happening with bankers in the background...more
Hinch
A thoroughly enjoyable, intimate, and inspiring account of one of the world's greatest entrepreneurs. An excellent mix of business, adventure, and personal anecdote keep the book fresh and engaging. However, despite offering a detailed view of his business philosophy and practices, the scale of his achievements, and the persistence and confidence with which they are executed are still beyond understanding. In fact, the highly personalised delivery masks the reality that his endeavours are suppor...more
Jack Chapman
A lot of CEOs have written, or had written for them, biographies extolling their extraordinary lives, their struggles to reach the top, the secrets of their incredible business acumen. Very few of them ever made as much money as Richard Branson, and none of them ever had so much fun with it.

Branson is the most amazing character, highly focussed but with a vast range of interests, a James Bond in a jumper. But what really makes him unique among the captains of stratospheric enterprise is that he...more
Steven
This book was absolutely phenomenal. If you ever want to live your life vicariously through a book, this would be the one to do it with. This might be my favorite book ever. It is so incredibly inspirational as well as fascinating and captivating. I was ensnared from the prologue. I lost sleep, read on the subway, I even read walking the streets of Times Square! It was amazing! It was written very well, and tells a great story. This autobiography goes through all of his life, generally chronolog...more
Benediktas Raulusonis
Richard Branson is one of the persons everyone who's interested in business should read. Book is a detailed history describing in detail how Virgin empire was build. From Branson's early Student magazine, Virgin records till combat with British Airways.
In addition to details how the business was developed, what were the challenges and success factors, you get to know Richard's personality in detail. His attitude towards relationships, personal goals and romantic relationships...
I am leaving yo...more
Srinivas
Branson is one of the very few people, about whom I started with a low opinion and ended up admiring greatly.
I think I first noticed Branson when he came to Mumbai (in 2003?) to promote VirginAir; Well he was all over the place, on top of the plane posing with models, in the Mumbai local with 'Dabbawalahs'; obvious marketing stunts; According to my worldview at that time, those public stunts were reason enough to not take him seriously.

I think it was Atanu's admiration of him that tipped me to t...more
Miguel Mayher
Video review: http://www.bookvim.com/2009/06/losing...
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What I learnt from this book is that business, if approached the right way, can lead to a FUN and exciting life.

Richard Branson exemplifies better than anyone what happens when you combine the passion to follow what you love with the determination to get it materialized no matter what.

From reading his autobiography, he seems a humble man, grounded despite his tremendous success. Respectful, open-minded and with a courage to live Life to t...more
Gareth Otton
Wow! What a life!

Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson is an entirely wonderful read about the life of the millionaire founder of Virgin.

His rags to riches story goes beyond mere interesting to the realms of utterly astounding. If given the book with no cover or title and no familiarity with the names in the novel, one might be forgiven for thinking this book was entirely fiction as it seems far too incredible a story to ever be real.

Richard Branson it seems has lived a life that belongs in th...more
John
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ripudaman
I stayed enthralled and read the entire book in almost two days.Richard Branson,founder of the Virgin business empire, is a father of risk taker,a paragon of entrepreneurship, and a genius who has inspired English culture and lifestyles.
This book includes the birth of Virgin records, Virgin Atlantic Airways,Virgin Music and many more such astounding ventures.
He's life filled with challenges, interesting adventures, dreadful crises and stupendous money.
The splendid lessons I conned from this bo...more
Anton Klink
What a tight, gripping, exciting and fun autobiography of maybe the only hippie billionaire in history. After having read the thorough and almost academic biographies of John D. Rockefeller and Steve Jobs, this is a completely different beast altogether. The difference? Its fun! The book has humour, adventure, excitement, tragedy. It even has a villain (Lord King, the CEO of British Airways). What else could one wish for?

It is clear, that unlike the deadpan serious Rockefeller or the charismatic...more
Philip
Entertaining to read, however I would have preferred some more detail in terms of how he started the huge number of businesses he has started. The book tends to gloss over the actual day-to-day events, and mentions many of the Virgin companies only in passing.

Also, I would love to read a biography of Branson written by someone else, as I have the nagging suspicion that Branson's care-free and child-like public image is covering a cunning, ruthless, opportunistic and manipulative arbiter undernea...more
Dalan Mendonca
My first autobiography perhaps,
The book provides a really enjoyable account of Richard Branson's journey from a wonderfully talented albeit rebellious kid to being the driving force behind a multi-billion dollar conglomerate.
Synonymous with his reputation, the book is filled with stories of his daredevil exploits not only in the upper reaches of the atmosphere as a hot-air ballooning enthusiast but also on the business front where Branson defies conventional wisdom to emerge on top.
Though one ma...more
Peter
I have recently completed reading Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs and it was an interesting counterpoint to Richard Branson’s biography. Both were extremely successful entrepreneurs, but how different they are/were.

Steve Jobs (according to Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers) was the right person, in the right place at the right time. This allowed him to build products better than anyone else because he saw the “forest” where everyone else just saw the trees. His view of the world was very bla...more
Saurabh Hooda
Richard Branson - the name itself invokes a vivid figure of liveliness, merriment and live life like king size attitude. His autobiography takes you through his entrepreneurial student life, his heady cash strapped days of Virgin Music expansion, his love life, his decision making process, his cross roads in life, his struggles, his failures, his mega successes, his battles and much more. The book presents Richard'��s candor, anecdotes and his attitude on platter to relish. I was surprised to kn...more
Leonardo Etcheto
Aug 02, 2009 Leonardo Etcheto rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: MBA students
Recommended to Leonardo by: Daniel Etcheto
Very interesing book for me mainly for two reasons:
1. His keen insight followed by hardwork style is refreshingly different from the super strategy and analysis focus from the MBA courses. A happy medium is my preference.
2. His story of the battle with British Airways resonated with me as being very similar as the one my own family firm is engaged in. Better and cheaper product stymied by the system. Ditto for the experience with Bankers - when you need them they hang you out to dry, when you do...more
Stoiko
I approached this book with the expectation that it would be a rather dull autobiography of a super-successful businessman. I couldn't have been more wrong. Sir Richard's book is written in a manner close to an action-adventure movie with lots of suspense. While reading, I found myself rooting for the Virgin side most of the time, the book is so gripping.

In the beginning, I couldn't quite accept Richard Branson's take on business as doing it and having fun at the same time. However, looking at t...more
Dāvis
Ričards Brensons ir britu miljardieris, viens no pasaules veiksmīgākajiem uzņēmējiem. Savā autobiogrāfijā viņš apraksta savas skolas gaitas, pirmos soļus biznesā un sava uzņēmuma „Virgin” dibināšanu. Šajā grāmatā nav rakstīts kā ātri un daudz nopelnīt naudu, bet gan, ko cilvēks ar savu entuziasmu un smagu darbu var paveikt visas pasaules labā.
Reti kurš nezinās šo cilvēku. Viņa vārds ir zināms viņa gaisa balonu lidojumu dēļ, kosmosa tūrisma un „Virgin” impērijas dēļ.
Bieži nenākas lasīt tik aizrau...more
Malik
This is an inspiring autobiography about how wealthy business tycoon who in his young years was not a very good academic student, or a good sports player still was still able to be successful in the world. Even in his years of having his own business, he was faced with major competition and the Virgin franchise was on the verge of bankruptcy he did not give up, he just kept on adapting and modifying the way he did business to stay competitive with other companies. However, some might say that bu...more
A.E. Shaw

Certainly, Richard Branson has led the kind of life that autobiographies were made for. The amount of near-death experiences alone make this infinitely more than the usual business-building paperback recounting. What I particularly like about this, though, is that it sounds extremely autobiographical, by which I mean that the voice is utterly authentic throughout. There are things that perhaps ought not to be in this book, there are sections that are confusing, that drag, there are scenes here a...more
Angela
Fantastic account of Richard Branson's excitement-filled life and boundless business accomplishments. It's incredible to read how many times he came so close to loosing it all! His is definitely a non-traditional business style, and yet, he shares the same advice as so many other successful people: do what you love and what is fun, rather than just chasing the money, because that will come in time. While I was amazed by his constant desire to beat world records with adrenaline-pumping feats, I a...more
Tarin Bansal
It hardly feels like you're reading an autobiography when you read this book. It is more like a fiction novel where the protagonist comes out as this really adventurous hero who knows how to love and live his life to the fullest. From a college magazine to this huge conglomerate and a really successful brand that Virgin is today, this book summarizes the extra-ordinarily interesting journey of Richard Branson as a son, as a businessman, as a father, as an adventurous traveler, as a philanthropis...more
Navin

I didn't buy this book.It was gifted to me, and considering that it had been a while I read non-fiction I tried Mr. Branson's latest bestseller. duh. I mean it for writers who read - this is just OK. Of course that man is a miracle. The book is funny in parts, and there are certain insights that only someone on that level of global diplomacy can reveal. But it is also repetitive, very. I felt that there was a lot that had been barred from printing, for global politics is rarely black, white, gr...more
Eduard
Its interesting book.
You can learn of why monopolies are bad from it.
How brands are created.
How big businesses are working.
And a story of Richard Branson life, quite astonishing one.
Liked this book, interesting and entertaining, contains wisdom and practical knowledge too.

You can see the man talking basically covering parts of the book here
http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/rich...
But it will spoil your reading, use only if you are not sure if you want to read.
Denis Vukosav
‘Losing My Virginity’ by Richard Branson is an autobiography of this prominent businessman who thanks to his unique philosophy succeeded in everything he touched turn into a successful business, even managing to enter into the Guinness Book of World Records due to his passionate love for ballooning.

When Richard Branson together with his friends decided to start his first business, they agreed that since they are complete virgins at doing business, they should call themselves like that. Lot of ti...more
Sanket Gupta
This is definitely one of the best autobiographies I have read. The honesty of delivery is touching and the drive he has to make a difference to the world and community is inspiring.
Autobiographies are special as we can even see the low moments in a person's life and Branson has done incredibly well to talk about his ups and downs both personally and professionally.

Key takeaways for me:
1. There is no stop for learning. He continues to push the frontier of humankind with Virgin Galactic and is...more
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Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson is an English business magnate, best known for his Virgin brand of over 360 companies. Branson's first successful business venture was at age 16, when he published a magazine called Student. He then set up a record mail-order business in 1970. In 1972, he opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records, later known as Virgin Megastores and rebranded as zavvi in...more
More about Richard Branson...
Screw It, Let's Do It: Lessons In Life Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won't Teach You at Business School Screw Business As Usual Sir Richard Branson: The Autobiography (Penguin Readers (Graded Readers))

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“Most "necessary evils" are far more evil than necessary.” 14 likes
“It is only by being bold that you get anywhere. If you are a risk-taker, then the art is to protect the downside.” 9 likes
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