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

4.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  16,693 Ratings  ·  697 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
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ebook, 416 pages
Published September 1st 2010 by Crown Business (first published January 1st 1998)
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Otis Chandler
Jul 26, 2012 Otis Chandler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Otis by: Darius
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
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Erwin
Mar 05, 2015 Erwin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
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
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Arup
Dec 30, 2008 Arup rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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
Steven
Jan 23, 2013 Steven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Hinch
Jul 16, 2010 Hinch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Ankur
Aug 29, 2011 Ankur rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
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
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Natalia
Jan 12, 2015 Natalia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What struck me most in the book is 'Virgin is not a big group - it's a big brand made up of lots of small companies. Our priorities are the opposite of our large competitors'. Convention dictates that a company should look after its shareholders first, its customers next, and last of all worry about its employees. Virgin does the opposite. For us, our employees matter most. It just seems common sense to me that, if you start off with a happy, well-motivated workforce, you are much more likely to ...more
Ripudaman
Aug 10, 2012 Ripudaman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Saurabh Hooda
Jan 24, 2013 Saurabh Hooda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 know ...more
Jack Chapman
Jul 01, 2012 Jack Chapman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Alicia
Jul 25, 2015 Alicia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What type of person would you imagine Richard Branson to be? That's exactly how he came across in his auto-biography. Cheeky and sensationalist.

It was interesting to read how his businesses developed and how he sought to take on the big dogs, namely British Airways and GTech lottery. The hot air balloon adventures were also fascinating.

Branson is dyslexic, which gives insight into his business success. His brain had to develop ways to 'get around the system' to function properly in life and scho
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Holden Barbaree
Losing My Virginity is a very interesting book, however I have mixed emotions about it. The book is well written and amazing in many aspects. The memoir is about Richard Branson's life. Because Richard kept a diary throughout his life the book is packed with an extreme amount of detail. He kept track of the smallest detail of his life like riding in a balloon at 40,000 feet over the Atlas Mountains or speeding across the Atlantic at 35 knots on a catamaran. Needless to say he has lived an exuber ...more
Tudor
Jan 15, 2016 Tudor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perfect !
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
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Jason Navallo
Jan 19, 2015 Jason Navallo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best autobiography I have ever read, so far. Very inspiring!
Nandasiri Wanninayaka
I had the pleasure of reading Richard Branson’s autobiography last year. It is a thick book but you won’t feel like keeping it aside even for a cup of tea or a meal as the book is written in such a way that uninterrupted reading is needed. I had already heard about this genius of a businessman who fights an unending battle of dyslexia yet, despite all that, there are 400 odd companies to his credit. He starts business by publishing a magazine called “Student” while a teenager but fails to sell i ...more
Naddy
Oct 19, 2015 Naddy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is not the first autobiography which i have read, there are other too Steve Jobs, Malala, Wolf of wall street, but this stands apart. It is enthralling,adventurous experience. Great insight to person rather extraordinary person with extraordinary thinking. This book is quite magical and can inspire and motivate anyone, and especially those who have zeal for entrepreneurship.

If i look from reader prospective this is one of the book with finest story telling and riveting to the core. I have
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TarasProkopyuk
Когда-то раньше я восхищался Ричардом Брэнсоном, его компанией и его деятельностью. Но сейчас жалею об этом.

Отчасти списываю свою привязанность на эпидемию подражания, неопытность и молодость суждений. Сейчас же, повзрослев, многое переоцененное из старого и способен глядеть на вещи и людей совсем иначе, более критичнее и Брэнсон часто отталкивает от себя своим мировоззрением и действиями. Нет я далеко не консерватор, но стиль хиппи-миллиардера и часто грубого и дурного эпатажа считаю не всегда
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Sheila
This autobiography could use more editing, especially in the latter chapters, when Mr. Branson tended to ramble. But overall, I find that I like this man because he never forgets to be charitable despite being an astute businessman.

In this book, the adventurer/entrepreneur reveals that he started a student advisory center when he was just establishing his Virgin retail business and after being in a situation where he was forced to find a doctor who would charge less money for a medical problem
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Vitalijus Sostak
I was disappointed by this book, probably because my expectations about it heavily differed from the actual delivery that was intentional, by design.
This book is about personal journey through life, reminiscences about author's businesses, partners and major victories/battles. A significant part of the book is comprised of author's dangerous grand travels on sea and in the air; the last third of the book is devoted solely to personal travel diary.
Disappointingly for me, this book is NOT about
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Srinivas
Oct 06, 2009 Srinivas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Miguel Mayher
Jun 22, 2009 Miguel Mayher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Gareth Otton
Sep 12, 2013 Gareth Otton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, biography
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
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John
Jul 01, 2012 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiographies
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anton Klink
Jan 31, 2013 Anton Klink rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Philip
Feb 08, 2013 Philip rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Dalan Mendonca
Jan 24, 2011 Dalan Mendonca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Peter
Jan 16, 2013 Peter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Leonardo Etcheto
Aug 02, 2009 Leonardo Etcheto rated it really liked it  ·  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
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Stoil
Dec 26, 2012 Stoil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
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“I can honestly say that I have never gone into any business purely to make money. If that is the sole motive then I believe you are better off not doing it. A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.” 22 likes
“Most "necessary evils" are far more evil than necessary.” 21 likes
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