Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur
By Richard Branson
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Virgin Books (February 5, 2009)
Richard Branson is pretty rare in that he runs a super successful business empire, projects a very "man of the people" image, and at the same time hogs the limelight with various stunts. Remember his hot air balloon journey? And that bet with Tony Fernandez from Air Asia where the one whose team loses in the Formula 1 races will dress up as an airline stewardess on the winner's airline?
For me there's no doubt Branson is one of the world's premium branding experts. So I was excited that the cover promises Branson "share(s) the inside track on his life in business and reveals the incredible truth about his most risky, brilliant and audacious deals."
Well it does and it doesn't. This is not a how-to book. It's more a personal memoir with little asides on business philosophy.
Branson recounts how he built up Virgin Air, why he splits all his businesses into tiny fragments, and gives lots of background as to how he overcame various problems while building up his 8 billion dollar empire. He also comments on the financial crisis that started in 2008, and gives a business man's opinion of how that might have been better managed.
This book is interesting, and worth a read. However, I won't say it's the best book on branding ever. The best book on branding I ever read was Corporate Warriors written by Douglas K. Ramsey. It detailed famous brand wars, and was riveting. Unfortunately I lent it to someone in Indonesia, and the bugger never gave it back. And now it's out of print.