Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
"Oh, screw it, let's do it."
That's the philosophy that has allowed Richard Branson, in slightly more than twenty-five years, to spawn so many successful ventures. From the airline business (Virgin Atlantic Airways), to music (Virgin Records and V2), to cola (Virgin Cola), to retail (Virgin Megastores), and nearly a hundred others, ranging from financial services to bridal wear, Branson has a track record second to none.
Losing My Virginity is the unusual, frequently outrageous autobiography of one of the great business geniuses of our time. When Richard Branson started his first business, he and his friends decided that "since we're complete virgins at business, let's call it just that: Virgin." Since then, Branson has written his own "rules" for success, creating a group of companies with a global presence, but no central headquarters, no management hierarchy, and minimal bureaucracy.
Many of Richard Branson's companies--airlines, retailing, and cola are good examples--were started in the face of entrenched competition. The experts said, "Don't do it." But Branson found golden opportunities in markets in which customers have been ripped off or underserved, where confusion reigns, and the competition is complacent.
And in this stressed-out, overworked age, Richard Branson gives us a new model: a dynamic, hardworking, successful entrepreneur who lives life to the fullest. Family, friends, fun, and adventure are equally important as business in Branson's life. Losing My Virginity is a portrait of a productive, sane, balanced life, filled with rich and colorful stories:
Crash-landing his hot-air balloon in the Algerian desert, yet remaining determined to have another go at being the first to circle the globe
Signing the Sex Pistols, Janet Jackson, the Rolling Stones, Boy George, and Phil Collins
Fighting back when British Airways took on Virgin Atlantic and successfully suing this pillar of the British business establishment
Swimming two miles to safety during a violent storm off the coast of Mexico
Selling Virgin Records to save Virgin Atlantic
Staging a rescue flight into Baghdad before the start of the Gulf War . . .
And much more. Losing My Virginity is the ultimate tale of personal and business survival from a man who combines the business prowess of Bill Gates and the promotional instincts of P. T. Barnum.
Also available in the UK from Virgin Publishing, and in Canada from General Publishing,
From the Hardcover edition.
Japan to Gatwick by Virgin and then wanted to switch to BA, so that they would have to fly BA all the way; and accessing our booking information by delving into the computer reservations system. ‘In my opinion,’ Fleming wrote, ‘BA lacks integrity and this stems right from the top of the organisation with Lord King, and unfortunately permeates the whole structure.’ With Peter Fleming’s evidence, I now knew some of what British Airways was doing behind the scenes; with Chris Hutchins’ tape of
equivalent of a sycamore leaf or shuttlecock whilst in space. This allows the craft to re-enter the earth’s atmosphere much more slowly than a space shuttle would, which removes the risk of overheating. The final feature of Burt’s design is his use of plastic and what are called composite materials; neither the mother ship that launches his spaceship nor the spaceship itself are built of metal, but instead use new heat-resistant materials that are lighter, more heat-resistant and safer than
Industry Award for 1997. Kinko’s and Virgin announce plans for a UK and French joint venture to bring 24-hour business services to London for the first time, under the Kinko’s brand name. Virgin Atlantic reintroduces a Gatwick–New York service and increases numbers of flights, including a double daily Los Angeles service. The airline also announces plans for an order of up to sixteen Airbus A360-600s for the year 2002. Virgin Hotels Group purchases three Welsh hotels: Cwrt Bleddyn,
thought that the same album by Thin Lizzy or Bob Dylan somehow had a greater value if bought at Virgin rather than at Boots. I felt enormous pride whenever I saw people carrying Virgin paper bags along Oxford Street. Our staff began to report that the same people were coming back every couple of weeks. With a loyal customer base, Virgin’s reputation began to grow. At the other end of the spectrum from buying records – the recording studios – I heard that conditions were extremely formal.
airline grabbed my imagination, but I had to work out in my own mind what the potential risks were. Throughout that weekend I mulled over the proposal. Randolph’s idea was to offer an all-business-class airline, but this didn’t appeal. I worried about what would happen on the days when businessmen don’t fly: Christmas, Easter, Bank holidays, the entire Thanksgiving week. I thought that we would have to have holiday-makers to fill the plane in those weeks. If we were going to be different from