Like a Virgin

I’ve recently finished reading Richard Branson’s new book, Like a Virgin, “They Won’t Teach You at Business School”.

My first question was, if Richard didn’t go to business school, how does he know they don’t teach this stuff? But, for the moment, lets take him on his word that they genuinely don’t. Once I got passed my own sarcastic comments, I settled down for an enjoyable read.

The book is structured in many short sections of only a few pages each, dealing with specific topics in no particular order, some related to a specific area of business and management, some on what Virgin has done and what lessons can be learnt, and some were Richard answering emails people have sent him asking for advice.

I really liked this format. Having sections that only lasted two or three pages meant that I could easily dip in and out of it. If I had five minutes to do some reading, I did’t need to worry about getting lost in the middle of a chapter. Though it also had the problem that when I was reading in bed, every end of a section was followed by a “oh, I’ll just read the next section, it’s only two more pages” until it was late into the night!

In many ways, Virgin really have turned business on it’s head. I once heard them described as a brand based capital house and where other companies have sought to dominate the one market they are best at, Virgin have built an empire out of going into many different, diverse markets, and staying small. This fits well with Richard’s personality, who clearly suits the cheeky personal marketing approach that they take, and there is a lot to be said for it.

Ultimately, there are no hidden secrets in the book, which is almost certainly a good thing (as any book promising you to uncover the “magic” is probably nonsense) but reinforces what we really should know already – be nice to your customers, invest in your staff, get your name out there and don’t take yourself too seriously. Definitely worth a read for budding entrepreneurs, if only as a gentle reminder.



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This entry was posted on Saturday, July 28th, 2012 at 12:07 pm and is filed under Books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.