Bit Better Book Club ๐ŸŽ‰

Weeks 19 and 20: Losing My Virginity ๐Ÿš€

Welcome to weeks 19 and 20!

Time to read:

Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson

This one should be a quick read. Richard Branson built an empire on what seems to be odd ideas. Other than the person of Branson himself, all his companies have one thing in common: they aim for customer satisfaction.

After the well-received โ€œShoe Dogโ€, we dig into another memoir of a billionaire entrepreneur.

Just 30 pages (or 24 minutes for an audiobook) a day to finish it in 2 weeks :raised_hands:


Great, Iโ€™ve always wanted to read it!

Iโ€™ve noticed you linked to 1999 version that has 416 pages, however there is an updated edition from 2011 that has 624 pages. Iโ€™m picking the newer one :wink:

Iโ€™m curious to learn what changed. I know thereโ€™s a kind of continuation to this book called โ€œFinding my Virginity.โ€ I wonder whether the new edition features a โ€œpreviewโ€ or is it original content.

Let us know, @pawellcome :slight_smile:

The audiobook I got was apparently something entirely else than both printed versions. I hate it when publishers do this.

Anyway, hereโ€™s a bunch of observations:

  • when I read the Blinkist version, I really enjoyed it, the entire book, sadly, didnโ€™t deliver the same enthusiasm
  • have I read this book a year ago, Iโ€™ll probably rate it much higher
  • I used to be a big fan of Bransonโ€™s but with the current situation a lot of people are showing their ugly side and I am not yet certain whether Branson is one of them
  • just like Shoe Dog it follows the story: I am a white man from a priviledged family, I started my first business early in my life, it was harsh, we paid our workers very little, then suddenly I got millions, I have no regrets
  • it was really terrifying for me how much big businesses rely on credit. It was apparent with Shoe Dog and it was highlighted once more in here. I am really credit-averse to the point, I dislike the idea of mortgage that many people believe is a great idea. If all big companies operate on credit just like Nike and Virgin no wonder we are in deep crisis right now.
  • I would still love to read a good memoir of a business founder who actually bootstrapped a company without resorting to credit. I wonder how many such cases are thereโ€ฆ
  • the BA smear campaing took like 20% of the book (at least the edition that I had) and served no purpose that I can relate to other than posing Branson and Virgin as the underdog and martyr. I get it, your competition was tough, tough to the point of being unethical. You couldโ€™ve mention a few of their worst tricks and go on with the story.

Iโ€™m curious about your opinion, @swap!