Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur
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Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  1,131 ratings  ·  89 reviews
"The brave may not live forever-but the cautious do not live at all!" -Sir Richard Branson

Richard Branson is an iconic entrepreneur and the founder of Virgin Airways, Virgin Records, and many other Virgin businesses around the world. Now he shares the inside track on his life in business and reveals the incredible truth about his most risky, brilliant, and audacious deal...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by Portfolio Trade (first published January 1st 2008)
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David E McClendon, Sr
Book Review: Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur
By Richard Branson

I think the best way to sum up this book is “He gets it.” One would think that a well-known business tycoon like Sir Richard Branson would not have a clue about how a small mom and pop venture works. The writing in this book indicates that he does get it.
This book tells us some of the challenges that Branson has run into while being in almost every business imaginable. Branson’s Virgin Cola went up against...more
Jeff
He certainly has a different way of thinking from me. Or vice versa.

It is even in the way that he writes; almost but not quite perfunctory.

But while it is unlikely that I will start up a typical business, there are some absolute nuggets here, especially in the last chapter: 'Epilogue:Success'
'Success for me is whether you have created something that you can be truly proud of.' (See my son John and his family :-)

'What you are bad at actually doesn't interest people, and it certainly shouldn't int...more
Craig New
Sometimes his braggadocio drives me fucking mad, but at the end of the day I suppose he has a lot to boast about really. This read also came at an interesting time, when I was considering giving Qantas the flick for good after repeated shitty service, and if Branson's claims about the amount of money he's diverting from his airline profits into clean energy research are true then perhaps it's about time I made the switch. From a business perspective there was definitely a lot to be learned from...more
Chris
Good introduction to a fascinating individual. I'm intrigued by several things:

1) His admiration for Nelson Mandela
2) His varied interests
3) His take on calculated v. foolish risks
4) His take on entrepreneurs v. managers
5) His set of good practices including reading widely, reconciling with opponents, partnering with differently-skilled leaders.
6) His interest in doing well by doing good.
Bianca Smith
Richard Branson’s latest book, Business Stripped Bare, is like his global empire: positive, honest and challenging.

Through the 328 pages, Branson puts his teams and himself out as examples of what to do and, more importantly, not to do to be successful in business. He gives credit where credit’s due and names team members who have helped bring forth his amazing success and uses his own learnings in examples of where he thinks that he, and the Virgin Group, could have done better. Like the Virgin...more
Kaloyan Drenski
Amazing man! Sir Richard Branson is a pure example of how capitalism system could be used to help those in need, and those who could(with their knowledge and innovative thinking) actually make the world we live in a better, and safer place. CO2 is a global problem now, and the sooner everyone realize it, the better. There is no time for standing by, and doing nothing - that ship is sailed. I am glad, knowing that there are people out there, who actually care. People who give huge amounts of reso...more
Shirin
Its too bad that the people who really need to read this, most often than not don't. The lessons about listening to the staff is something that management at all levels should put into practice. Here, we have an entrepreneur, who is a billionaire and is emphatic to the staff, and on the other hand we have salaried management,who behaves like the company belongs to his father.

There is much to admire about Branson, and I have been a fan of his world view, although not all of it, since reading his...more
Diana
Who doesn't love Richard Branson? This book was about his interesting philosophy of life and business. I liked it a lot.

One of my favorite stories in the book is about a trip he took to a tiny African village. A native African woman approached him assertively and told him that she was a talented seamstress. She asked for a loan for a sewing machine to start a business. She confidently outlined her business plan, and told him that she would also employ six other women. When he asked how much she...more
Vincent
Les biographies de grands entrepreneurs peuvent être très enrichissantes mais s'avérer un peu arides à lire. Ce livre n'est pas une simple chronique un peu ennuyeuse mais une juxtaposition d'anecdotes sur certains moments clés de la vie de Virgin. Vous apprendrez comment Richard Branson en est venu à monter un label de disques alors qu'il n'était que distributeur à ses débuts. Vous verrez les combats épiques que les équipes de Sir Richard ont mené dans le domaine ferroviaire ou lors de la créati...more
Kemila Zsange
I wouldn't expect a lot of business books to make me laugh, and laugh quite often, but Business Stipped Bare is such a book. There are so many people talking about the success of Richard Branson, but you want to learn from him inside out, don't you? So reading his own book talking about his businesses and success makes so much more sense than reading anybody else's take or analysis on his sucess.

It might surprise you what his success, according to HIM, is due to. One of the things that impressed...more
James Nasipak
I have been fascinated with Branson and his many business. This was a book written by Branson and gives the reader insight of how each business has been created, the implementation process for the business and finally how the business is managed successfully.

In reading the book, you discover that each company is based on what Branson calls "lifestyle brands". He looks to create and manage new business that are a part of lifestyle rather than to basis it on service. With that vision, Branson's Vi...more
Annmarie Kostyk
Another great Branson book. The only thing I didn't care for about to book was the incredible detail about the business proceedings, but I'm sure that was a favorite of many.

Always inspirational. The really nice thing about Branson's writing is I feel he's sitting in the room with me talking to me.
Mark
I liked this book, although not quite what I expected as its more a collection of how RB goes about his business in a very entrepreneurial way which may not work in more corporate environments, its certainly an interesting read for budding and current business people who want to strike out on their own. go with your gut, get on with it.
David
I'm a big admirer of Richard Branson and his business philosophy. I enjoyed this book because he doesn't lay out his philosophy on bullet points and lessons, rather, he tells stories.

At the same time, he goes into a little too much detail at times. When he describes his dealings with the Nigerian government, my eyes glazed over a bit. At this stage in my own business, it's hard to relate to the problems in replacing CEOs of various Virgin-branded businesses.

It does make for interesting reading...more
Stefandulman
richard branson describes some of his adventures in the business world. after a few chapters, i found struggling to continue reading. it is basically a collection of random events, with little structure and ideas beyond the narration of factual events.
Pankaj
Another fascinating read from one of the most prolific entrepreneurs of our time. Branson does a great job of highlighting the social responsibility of business people. While he is a notorious self-promoter that has arguably created a brand identity based on his own personal marketing genius, his latest work gives readers a unique perspective on what drives the man and how he has created a multibillion dollar brand.

I think this is a must-read for any entrepreneur who wants who is either startin...more
David
I've heard quite a bit about Richard Branson, but through this audiobook I had the opportunity to hear about him through is words and voice. It was a very thought provoking book. Three things he discussed which spoke to me are:

1. Small companies with tight leadership are most effective.
2. The importance of the people that work together to befriend each other so they can talk and share ideas with folks they care about.
3. It is easy to make something difficult, it's hard to make something simpl...more
Chung Chin
As the subtitle of the book suggests, this is a book that talks about the adventures of Richard Branson. In this book, you can read about Richard Branson's passion for his company, colleagues and life.

As I do not have a full grasp of his adventures such as Virgin's attempt to acquire Northern Rock, I am not sure if the view presented in the book is a fair representation. However, reading through it, you'll no doubt want to root for Richard Branson and his Virgin teammates.

There are also some g...more
Ben Love
This one is part commercial for Virgin, part insight into Virgin’s composition and methodologies. It was interesting to find out more about how and why the Virgin brand and companies work, but it often felt as though Richard reverted to a pitch instead of an explanation much of the time. And in any other medium he should – he IS the brand. In this volume, it didn’t really work.
This book aside, Virgin is a brilliant example of business done right for the long term and deserves far more in-depth a...more
Chitra
A must read. All the young entrepreneurs out there, read this one if you want a boost of self-confidence. Reading about Richard Branson' ups and downs, his approach towards today' business, has given me much needed clarity of thought and the ways to do business the right way.
Suresh
The only guy to have started eight different billion dollar enterprises from scratch. Great read for what he has achieved - though not such an easy read. Good to know what did not work and some of the biggest challenges that he faced. Also towards the end - gets really exciting - with all the work on the search for the fossil fuel probelm that we have started to face.

And he ens it by saying " If you ever fancy joining us as a partner in any of our endeavours to make the world a better place, ple...more
Kushal
Absolute must for all possible Enterpreneurs.
Berry Boen
Plenty of good advice. Start many businesses and don't put all your eggs in one basket. Empower your teams. Dream the impossible dream. Have a nice British accent won't hurt either.
Missy
Great book! To have a successful business, first focus on helping people and doing what you love. The success of the business follows. He also speaks a lot about not letting fear keep you from doing the wrong thing. Make the best decision you can from instinct and then let it ride. It just goes to show of course you can be the best at customer service, quality product, and most importantly have fun doing it. Dream a big dream and your choices must reflect the intention to make the dream a realit...more
Lea
I was hoping to find innovative strategies to use in our business but was unable to uncover any in this book. I found it more boastful than inspiring. I realize it is not "instructional" but the lack of tactics or steps taken to arrive at success made it inpossible to feel inspired or motivated. I appreciated the empasis on doing what you care about and delivering exceptional customer service but would've appreciated more examples of how employees can be empowered or atleast what has worked for...more
Chris Stott
I'm a big fan of Richard Branson, and have been ever since I started studying business over 15 years ago. This book is very inspiring and contains some great practical lessons and stories from the Virgin Empire. There is a large section on his efforts to change the world and having read a number of his books, they do tend to say similar things in slightly different ways. This is a solid offering though and a great starting point for anyone interested in the great man and great company.
Jon
A couple years ago I read about him in a business magazine and was impressed with they way he started a business as a teenager even though he was dyslexic. This book informed my about how he assembles teams of experts and gives them plenty of freedom. It was amusing that he also sees after-hours parties as a tool for team-building and incubating creative ideas. The only annoying thing about the book was they British people spell colour, programme tyre and other words.
Jarkko Laine
Jun 14, 2009 Jarkko Laine rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: entrepreneurs
I listened to this book as an audio version while jogging. I loved listening to Richard himself read the book he'd written and share his rather personal findings about business.

I loved the way he describes business as the act of doing what you're passionate about, and how he doesn't measure success as money or power but positive impact on people's lives -- and doing the things he loves to do.

Recommended for inspiration.
Leonardo Etcheto
Second book I have read by Sir Branson. I love his writing style, sounds like he would be a lot of fun to have lunch with. Great stories. The concept of Branded Venture Capitalism is very interesting, I am amazed he can have so many partnerships and make them work. I liked his take on the whole sustainability etc and the way he is set up to filter new business ideas. Fascinating stuff. Very much enjoyed the book.
Richard Booth
Some good information buried within, and worth reading. But spoiled by Branson's narcissistic tendency to go off at a tangent to tell everyone how wonderful he is. I bought this to learn a few nuggets about business, and I did (a few) but mostly I found it a turn off.
I found "screw it, let's do it" much more readable
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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...
Losing My Virginity: How I've Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way Screw It, Let's Do It: Lessons In Life 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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“Throwing yourself into a job you enjoy is one of the life's greatest pleasures!” 22 likes
“You get the idea. Every business, like a painting, operates according to its own rules. There are many ways to run a successful company. What works once may never work again. What everyone tells you never to do may just work, once. There are no rules. You don't learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over, and it's because you fall over that you learn to save yourself from falling over. It's the greatest thrill in the world and it runs away screaming at the first sight of bullet points.” 12 likes
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