Top positive review
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Encouraging, Motivating, and Inspiring (7.8/10)
on December 22, 2008
"...enjoy your life. You only get one."
If you have read previous Sir Richard Branson's books; you have read most of it already. However, this book, "Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur", Sir Richard Branson focused solely on the business side of his life. Actually, all his life is about business! Unlike other business book writers, he has the first-hand experience in Virgin. In this book, he covered lots of topics. A quote from the book "So all I can do for you now (and I firmly believe that this is all anyone can honestly do) is map the territory I've seen. The good news is, I've covered a lot of territory."
- People: Find Good People - Set Them Free
In this chapter, he generally wrote about the culture in Virgin.
- Brand: Flying the Flag
Richard Branson wrote exclusively on Virgin Blue in Australia and how he fought hard to beat the competition and established the Virgin brand there.
- Delivery: Special Delivery
Among other things, he started the chapter with Virgin Trains and how it reshaped the industry in UK. He moved onto how he run Virgin Records and how he started Virgin Mobile in UK and in the US.
- Learning from Mistakes and Setbacks: Damage Report
Failure to acquire the bank, Northern Rock, is the focus of this chapter. Richard Branson is also subjected to mistake and he wrote on how to bounce back.
- Innovation: A Driver for Business
Virgin Galactic is going to be huge and tell me after you read this chapter that you don't want to travel into space!
- Entrepreneurs and Leadership: Holding on and Letting Go
He wrote about his experience with Nelson Mandela and how he set up Global Elders to tackle the humanity issues around the world.
- Social Responsibility: Just Business
This chapter is fantastically inspiring. He separated it into two parts. The first is about his activities to relieve Africa from HIV and Aids. He also wrote about Bill Gates and how they shared philanthropy to make the difference in the world. The other part is the climate change issue. You heard it all before but instead of pouring fear to you, Richard Branson offers you hope.
- Epilogue: Success
This book is not written as an autobiography. I think of an ideal business book and I'll compare Business Stripped Bare to it; a book that is easy to read, distinct, practical, credible, insightful, and provides great reading experience.
Ease of Understanding: 8/10: Richard Branson wrote it in plain language and make the readers follow him easily. The drawback of the book is that sometimes, the issues jump back and forth from mobile to records to airline to health clubs to finance and so on! Anyway, the part on Virgin Galactic (the rocket science) is not rocket-scientifically difficult to understand!
Distinction: 7/10: Although his life experience is one of its kind, there are other books on this already namely "Losing My Virginity" and "Screw It, Let's Do It" by... Richard Branson...! However, the way he explained the general ideas of people, innovation, brand, etc (the usual business terms) through his experience is unlike those typical business books that litter these contents with figures, theories, graphs, models, metaphors and so forth.
Practicality: 5/10: Richard Branson offers no solid steps to encourage people, enrich brand, turbocharge delivery, foster leadership, and so on. He believes that everyone has his/her own story and way. He did not say that following him is the best approach to business but he made you think of your own. However, his general comments (with his experience as the credentials) are valuable and you cannot really dispute them.
Credibility: 10/10: His ideas are proven; people, brand, delivery, leadership, and so on. He made it work. Where is the better place to find the idea of business and entrepreneurship other than the words of one of the greatest global entrepreneurs?
Insight: 7/10: Although Richard Branson do not describe the ideas of innovation, brand, people, social responsibility with academic researches and scientific findings, he wrote it from his experience which is more valuable than most researches. Not that researches are insignificant but his life should be taught as a module in business schools. But if you already read his other books, this book will offer you only few new contents.
Reading Experience: 10/10: This book is like a journey into one of the most adventurous businessmen in the world. Like he said, the book (his life) covers a lot of territory. If you like reading other people's life, there is no better person to read than Richard Branson. This book is like an adventure that it starts out with serious business contents with sparks of excitement and ends with good causes and social responsibility that we can make a difference not on but to Earth.
Overall: 7.8/10: This book is encouraging; it encourages you to go out and start a business. This book is motivating, it motivates you to make your business exciting. This book is inspiring; it inspires you to make you business meaningful and virtuous. This book will not make you want to be Richard Branson but it will make you want to have a great business life. This autobiographical business book is for everyone who loves business. If you have read Richard Branson's book before, do not expect it to be something totally new. If you have not, I don't see a reason why shouldn't you give it a try.