Branson’s Screw It, Let’s Do It

A few months ago I happened to pick up a few (business) biographies from a bookstore. The stack is still quite high, but I’ve gone through some now and thought I’d share some reading notes.

First off, Sir Richard Branson‘s Screw It, Let’s Do It. Don’t be intimidated the self-help-in-ten-steps-guide style title, it actually is a nice and quick (a few inter-European flights) intro to Branson’s world and Virgin in it.

Why read it?

  • For most of the world Branson = Virgin. The latter actually is an umbrella brand for hundreds of businesses and the thinking behind how and why Virgin has moved into new areas over the years is interesting. And curiously enough, Branson has had a few business adventures before the first Virgin Music store opened on Oxford Street.
  • Speaking of adventures, the book puts his famous boating and hot air balloon record attempts into business timelines and family context.
  • Ecologic and social responsibility. A quick briefing for those who haven’t seen The Inconvenient Truth, followed what’s up with that CO2 thing and climate change or haven’t calculated how small of the share for US spending on the war in Iraq would contain the massive AIDS problem in Africa.
  • Parenting. That was probably the most surprising takeaway. Many of the childhood references and how his dad & mom handled raising him create food for thought if you happen to have a junior around.

Why pass?

  • If you suffer from slogan-tagline allergies you’ll probably dislike the structure the book is built around.
  • The compressed format leaves you behind thinking that you’ve just been exposed to a commercial brochure advertising his full bio book(s). So maybe just start with the real thing? (I haven’t yet)