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Screw Business As Usual Hardcover – December 8, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-1591844341 ISBN-10: 1591844347

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Screw Business As Usual + Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won't Teach You at Business School + Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio (December 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591844347
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591844341
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A tantalising glimpse into the workings of the global elite ... as well as plenty of food for thought for the new generation of business leaders who say they want to make the world a better place as well as turn a profit." The Economist --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Sir Richard Branson is the founder of the Virgin Group. With around 200 companies in more than 30 countries, the Virgin Group has now expanded into leisure, travel, tourism, mobile, broadband, TV, radio, music festivals, finance, health, and renewable energy. Branson’s autobiography, Losing My Virginity, and his books on business, Screw It, Let's Do It and Business Stripped Bare, are all international bestsellers.

Customer Reviews

If you are, or aspire to be an entrepreneur read this book.
Rhana Pytell
This is a book that inspires and provides lots of examples of businesses who are making money BUT are doing good in the process.
Ian Acheson
I've read a few business books in my time, some good, some bad.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By C. Smith on December 9, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a must-read for anyone interested in business, entrepreneurship, social issues, the future of capitalism, and the current challenges that face the world today. Despite its playful title, this is a substantive book that advises without preaching, that is idealistic by providing real-world examples, that tells stories about famous people by focusing on their deeds not their fame, that is a highly entertaining read at the same time as dealing with challenging issues.

Branson builds a strong case for the business world's potential to address social, economic, political and environmental issues by creating new business models and new ways of doing business. He does this not by some theoretical or pie-in-the sky fluff, but rather by stories of organizations and businesses that have done it. So his narrative is planted firmly in the real world and that is what is so inspiring and concrete - a departure from the usual nonsense that fills so many business, self-help and do-good tomes that fill the shelves these days.

Despite the underlying gravitas, the book is an easy read. The big picture is built by narrating stories about new organizations, leadership groups and businesses that are combining business and social causes. The cases are mostly related to what has been done in the Virgin Group, but also include stories about people that Branson knows personally, which includes a network of extraordinary breadth. He seems to be able to call virtually any world leader, politician, musician, movie producer or activist to form a team to deal with issues ranging from healthcare to poverty to environmental issues.

Reading a book in an interaction between writer and reader.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Arfner on December 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover
First off, I agree wholeheartedly with the premise of the book. I agree that businesses can and should do more with the environment and social issues. This is what drove me to read this book. I was disappointed in how the book was written. I was hoping for a book explaining how to set up a sustainable business, or what companies can do to become more sustainable. Instead, the book is all stories. If you want a feel good book, this is a great one to read. If you are looking for a more serious discussion of corporate social responsibility (CSR), then this is not the book for you. Some of the parts of the book seemed to me like he was bragging about what he has done. I had to put the book down a couple of times because I got so tired of stories, and stories about what he and his company has done. Stories should provide the emotional support to a well thought out and argued book. This book was not well thought out and argued.
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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Srikumar S. Rao VINE VOICE on December 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I can't put it on the required reading list at business schools but I will make it required reading in my course - more info at [...] - and I have lots of folks from top business schools who take it.

Richard Branson has said what sorely needed to be said - that the function of business is to "do good", to solve some social problem and profits are a by-product of doing this well. He says bluntly "The focus on profit being king has caused significant negative, unintended consequences."


Branson is a billionaire and that means he has a Stentorian voice when speaking to MBAs and would be Masters of the Universe. He has also spawned - under the Virgin name - hundreds of wildly profitable enterprises and that means that lots of folks in the private equity and hedge fund world will pay attention to him even if they presently don't agree with him.

And his message is one that badly needs to be aired.

There is a pernicious doctrine floated by some economists and assiduously propagated by top business schools to the effect that it is the function of a business to concentrate on profits and "maximizing shareholder value" and any attempt to focus on social good is a dereliction of duty on the part of managers. Supposedly this "maximum profit" will enrich the shareholders who will then use it in private philanthropy for the good of society and do it better than the business could have.

There is a still more pernicious doctrine that uses "agency theory" to "align" the interests of managers with that of shareholders in this quest. The way to do this is to award senior executives massive blocks of stock.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JSC Siow on August 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I'm a big fan of Richard Branson and his brand of business that blends philanthropy and social development. The stories and examples of social entrepreneurship and partnerships that Virgin's organizations and others helped spur were truly inspiring and provided ample food for thought and emulation. Beyond the level of organizational collaborations, Branson wrote at length of the many characters and personal connections behind the scenes that brought about change for good in the world. Those were the highlights of the book.

The writing itself however was execrable and (for me at least) detracted from the otherwise overwhelmingly positive and inspiring message of the book. Perhaps it was a conscious editorial decision to allow Branson's personal communicative style to predominate throughout - it certainly bears a chipper, upbeat and optimistic tone that would well be immensely engaging in the course of a conversation. In the form of a book however, it comes across as rambling, repetitive in the use of stock phrases, overly self-congratulatory, and don't get me started on the name-dropping. Large parts of it seemed to go over old ground that was covered in his earlier book Losing My Virginity e.g. his childhood and early enterprises, his friends and cohort of early change-makers etc. While the intent might have been to communicate a sense of simplicity, accessibility and disarming guilelessness, methinks the services of a good editor would have made a world of difference. After all, the book had a message to deliver, and I believe a better-organized way of relating it would serve as better and clearer guidance. As such, it could have been a lot shorter and more impactful without losing the essence and enthusiasm of Branson's voice in the telling.
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