I’m currently reading Losing My Virginity: The Autobiography by Richard Branson.
Branson is a bit of a hero of mine. He is probably Britain’s most well-known business man, and currently the world’s 245th richest man. He recently launched Virgin Galactic which is to offer commercial space flights to the edge of space. This adds to his business empire including flights, wine & cola, TV & broadband, music, health clubs and train service.
He attempted to buy the failed British bank Northern Rock, bid for the National Lottery and has, recently, even expressed interest in buying up London Gatwick airport which is being sold off by BAA. Branson is also well known for his attempts to cross the Atlantic Ocean in record breaking time and to circumnavigate the globe in a balloon.
It’s certainly a long book, weighing in at almost 600 pages. But Branson writes really well: his autobiography feels like reading a top class novel. The book tracks the growth of Virgin starting from Branson’s Student magazine, to the launch of Virgin as a mail-order record company, the launch of the Virgin Atlantic airline and the battles with British Airways all the way up to the present day.
This is a gripping read and it certainly left me with a lot of respect for Branson. A strongly recommended read. Parts of his book are also available as a podcast on his website.
Those more interested in business may also be interested in Branson’s brand new book, Business Stripped Bare.