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Be More Pirate: Or How to Take On the World and Win

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  1,133 ratings  ·  192 reviews
"Magnificent, one of the sharpest thinkers on the planet" Forbes

"Fun, easy to digest ideas that are especially applicable to start-ups with youth, vision and a big focus on ethics. Business Book of the Month" Financial Times

"A Modern Life Bible" Shortlist Magazine

A model for how to break the system and create radical change" The London Evening Standard

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Mischief, Pur
Paperback, 290 pages
Published May 3rd 2018 by Portfolio Penguin
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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 ·  1,133 ratings  ·  192 reviews

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Sam Conniff
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: best-books-ever
Okay, okay, I wrote it. But at times that could have meant I gave it one star. Writing my first book has been a love/hate affair.

But now it's finished and about to go to press, we're in love again, I've read the whole thing through and it gets five stars from me. Which is lucky really.

If you're interested in creating some change in your world, then I invite you to draw on the lesser known strategy and success of the Golden Age of Pirates, who knew a thing or two about not just breaking rules, b
Jamie Klingler
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure--- Sam is a friend and I was given a preview copy of the book.

That being said, I haven't stopped talking or thinking about it. I've underlined bits (which I never do), have shared with friends and am genuinely thinking about it when in meetings and plotting my next project and moves.

How to turn problems on their heads and create solutions that may seem crazy, but can actually revolutionise the way work is done.

Also--- super super relevant to the time we are living in. The chapte
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Super interesting. Part a myth-busting of everything you ever thought you knew about pirates; part a workshop of how you can apply the piratical behaviours to your own situation to change the rules around you. The revelations about the very real pirate code (which I'd always assumed was a fiction from Pirates of the Caribbean) and some of the details from the lives of various Golden Age pirates was the most fascinating part of the book for me. However, the other part of the book was far from a w ...more
Ian Wilson
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sam breaks the mould in more ways than one, with this book.
His reinterpretation of history rightly restores the Golden Age pirates to their rightful place as innovators and proponents of equality. Who created an enlightened and progressive society for the times. Many of it’s core principles, we are still trying to achieve to in today’s society.
That said this book is not just for the history buffs, as it also celebrates the achievements and progress made by a variety of modern day “Pirates” who h
Yavor Popov
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
The book is worth reading for:
- pirates have actually lived according to a very progressive code - they had implemented in practice ideas such as equal pay, health insurance, equal voting rights where women and people from all ethnicities voted equally with others - and that happened in the 1690s - 1730s - way, way before such ideas penetrated the "Establishment"
- the story of the two Pirate Queens is super interesting
- the end of the book speaks of some interesting present-day organisations th
Georgy Wilband
Mar 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: life-stuff
A really good book about improving your lot the pirate way - ohhhharrrr!
I've recommended this to quiet a few people now and that was before I finished it - I think I enjoy the little snippets of Pirate History too much (I think it may be because I'm Welsh and grew up with these legends!).
I got recommended it too... some really nice ideas about how to make a difference to the way you think... the way we act... positivity in a time where we need it and BIG changes are ahead! Not sure about the co
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As I consider my future and what’s next for me. This book opened my eyes to an alternative way to look at my ‘next chapter’ and how I am more in control of my destiny than first though. Some interesting ideas and some that I will certainly implement in my day to day life. I would definitely recommend reading this book if you are looking to make a change in your life.

Great work Sam.
Apr 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An incredible manual for rethinking our ideas and approach to life today! Highly recommended!!!
Jacqui Taylor
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A timely reminder that there are other business models which need to be explored to solve some of the worlds biggest problems. Sam gives the reader confidence that we can all be part of a movement which is upending every business sector on the planet. He brings this to life with a comprehensive foundation based on the Golden Age of pirates which generated the ideas on which our society is founded.
Never in human history has there been a phenomenon like the www which supports us all in building o
Robb Sutherland
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: practical
I absolutely love this book. I keep telling everyone to read it. The title appeals to anyone with a cheeky glint in their eye like me and my crew. Unfortunately it also puts a few people into a tailspin because they’re only able to imagine Jack Sparrow or Captain Pugwash and not enter into the actual historic (sometimes rose tinted) world of pirate society and look at how we can change the world for the better.

“We’ve allowed ourselves to become convinced that there is no alternative to the syst
Tim Hughes
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An Antidote To Modern Living - The best book I've read so far this year! If we put some of the pirate psychopaths to one side, the pirates had a code which in the in the 17th century would have have been revolutionary in it's day, it is certainly even in the 21st Century, which other organisation has a policy that:-
Supports same sex marriage right down to rights on the death of a spouse?
The Captain (CEO) can only earn more than 6 times the lowest deck hand?
A diversity policy, after all, anybody
James Stock
Apr 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing

Like an anabolic shot of purpose, prioritisation and piratical ability to cut through the s**t of life to get to what matters, with a wry eye on all that's gone wrong with the way things are, and a compelling, continuous and confidence inspiring invitation to write your own rules and be damned with the old world.
This was given to me as I contemplated shutting my business, the result: my business is now thriving, and a very different, more exciting, radical and more enjoyable business to run.
Aug 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
A bit of a modern classic. The book's thesis is that yes, pirates were lawless rebels, but they were also disruptive innovators who believed in diversity and social justice. It aims to help you achieve your goals by finding your inner pirate, channelling figures like Steve Jobs, Chance The Rapper, Banksy and Malala along the way. At some points it goes into a bit too much detail on the 18th century pirates, but it's a breezy read, reminiscent of the KLF's The Manual (which told people how to hav ...more
Justin Mewse
Jul 16, 2018 rated it did not like it
Gave up a quarter of the way in. Immature writing and overly used references to "being more pirate" like the author is keyword-stuffing. Never in the past 9 or so years of owning a Kindle have I ever stopped reading a book and removed from device. A shame as a decent number of books I read are social science related. ...more
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a great book, if I didn't learn anything practical I learnt about the history of pirates! It was a refreshing read and has helped me question the status quo, it was also enjoyable for the historical tips and the encouragement to question everything! ...more
Sep 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was gifted this book by the beloved deputy headteacher of my secondary school who, in its front page, wrote “you’re too good to settle for average. Change the world...”

Yes, that is relevant to the content and message of the book. Sam Conniff Allende pleads the reader to stand up for what they believe; rebel against the establishment to alter the status quo for the better, just like the pirates of
the ‘Golden Age’ (late 1600s to early 1700s) of piracy did.

The book is split into 3 parts. Part 1
Vanessa Princessa
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The key message in these blinks:

There are a great many lessons we can learn from the Golden Age pirates who stood up to the exploitative, war-mongering establishment at the turn of the eighteenth century. In fact, so many of their methods and principles were ahead of their time that they’re still relevant today. By taking their lead, you can become a powerful agent of change and social justice. It all starts by finding your cause, rewriting the broken rules, empowering your crew and taking your
Kris Sandlan
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thank god I decided to install high speed internet on my Jolly Roger before setting sail or you might never have got to read this review. I am now at least 85% pirate as a result of reading this book. On a serious note though the book is fantastic. Well written, well thought out, humour and a tone that really resonates with the reader. I don't want to get into the content of the book too much as I don't want to spoil it before you read it but let's just finish by saying, if we were all at least ...more
Apr 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The ultimate test with books like this is how applicable or used it is. It is also probably true that the actual pirates didn't know what they were doing, and applying the ideas in this book to modern situations knowingly is a different kettle of fish.
However, this is an enjoyable read, it's a fascinating perspective which rings true, so 4* from me.
Bizzy Day
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A must read for anyone who wants to do anything extraordinary.
Feb 20, 2021 rated it did not like it
A 3.92 rating tells you that not ALL the ratings are from sockpuppets. (Sockpuppets usually give 5 stars, occasionally 4 when trying to look convincing.) But this has been voted onto a bunch of listopias by sock puppet accounts. Automatic 1-star rating.
Alison Jones
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book immensely. I read a LOT of business books as the host of The Extraordinary Business Book Club podcast - I usually find something of value in every book, but I can't hand on heart say I get a kick out of them in the way I did with this one. The writing is punchy and persuasive, and there's a good balance of history/story - and these are PIRATE stories, so you're already onto a winner - modern examples and challenges to you the reader to see how the principles might apply to yo ...more
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book attracted me because of its provocative title.

The book debunks a lot of myths about pirates that permeate popular culture, and give a good overview of the philosophy behind piratism - that pirates identified unfair things, things they wanted to change, and worked to outsmart the proponents of these systems and cause 'good trouble'.

Worth a read if you consider yourself a rebel or a changemaker.
Michael Gunnulfsen
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
Main takeaways: Pirates were really ahead of their times when it comes to building a fair society, where everyone is treated equally. They practised non-hierarchical structures, fair salary schemes, and even injury compensation. They challenged the status quo and created their own rules. Even branding and marketing was high on their agenda, to create fear and powerful rumours stating their dominance and vigilance. Super cool! This was chapter 1.
The rest of the book goes like this: everyone shou
Michael Huang
May 12, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: blinkisted

Although pirates give you the image of murderers and drunks, they can actually be politically-minded rebels fighting for some social justice.

The golden age pirates sail the high seas between 1690 and 1725. They have 5 attributes ahead of their time: fair pay, check and balance on power, democracy, social safety net, and (a bit of an odd ball) alcoholic inventions.

As the author sees it, if you are rebelling against injustice of the power that be, you are a (good) pirate. You can adop
Jan 11, 2019 rated it did not like it
My company already employs the "bucking the trend" ideas that are outlined in this book, so I felt that this preached to the choir somewhat. However, this is not the reasoning behind my low rating; while the historical facts were very interesting and welcomed, the links to modern life that were made were often very strenuous and the book very repetitive. Essentially an essay which could have lasted a couple of pages is stretched to nearly 300.

Having said that, the founding principles/ideas are s
David Shaw
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Opened my eyes

Interesting, fascinating,inspiring and motivating. Will be recommending this book to lots of people. Well worth read this very different business and life changing book.
May 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An insightful read that's great for people who aren't used to reading dense self help non fiction, but I found it repetitive and it danced around a lot of topics so as to not be 'liable' for telling you to go out and break the rules. Not as ballsy a book as I had hoped, but still a great read for pirate trivia! ...more
Anis Mahat
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The world is full of brilliant books written by great minds and I have read some of them. But this book is different; it results in action! Thanks to Be More Pirate, I managed to walk the plank. Leaving my comfortable corporate job to pursue my passion of starting a social enterprise
Jun 06, 2021 rated it it was ok
Pirate history: 5 stars
Entrepeneurship and business talk: not really for me (at the moment), 1 star
Bibliography: 5 stars
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Sam Conniff Allende is a multi-award winning serial social entrepreneur, and co-founder and former CEO of Livity, Don’t Panic and Live Magazine. Since starting his entrepreneurial career aged 19, Conniff Allende has mentored thousands of talented young entrepreneurs and hustlers around the world.

Sam is an acclaimed public speaker, an advocate of ‘business as unusual’ or corporate responsibility an

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