September 5, 2012
News & Opinion: Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won't Teach You at Business School
Like a Virgin: Secrets they Won't Teach You In Business School reads like an encyclopedia for curious or inexperienced would-be entrepreneurs. There are some outliers (lookin' at you, "To Win the War on Drugs"), but the book stays pretty close to the topics associated with starting and running a business. Generally in a matter of a few pages each, the author tackles over 70 topics: pitching an idea, handling mistakes, first impressions, customer service, rebranding, and quite a few more. And as you'd expect from a fellow like Richard Branson, the advice is offered in a down-to-earth, casual manner.
One of my personal favorites, and I think a timely topic, is "Screw You, Goliath!". Here, Branson talks about surviving amidst the corporate giants:
Young, energetic businesses have surprising advantages when taking on large, cumbersome competitors. All they have to do is figure out what the giant's weaknesses are and how best to leverage them. [...] [Virgin Atlantic Airways'] inexpensive arsenal was loaded with some pretty surprising and highly unconventional weapons. Perhaps the most effective of these was our agility, which was integral to our corporate culture, in large part because of our small size.
This one is a great book to have on your bedside or at the breakfast table. Read a chapter or two in a matter of minutes and move on with your day. Cherrypick advice as needed. Even if you're already part of a successful business, you might glean some nuggets from this rogue's playbook.
Michael Jantz oversees “special projects,” a task that corrals any number of imaginable alterations and re-imaginings of the umpteen books 800-CEO-READ so gracefully sells day after day. But never content with the appellations of the common workplace, Michael also now enjoys exploring other avenues of 800-CEO-READ’s enterprise, including reading, writing, design, and lively conversations with those writers whose books the company sells. It is a happy time for Michael, whose love of books and good company has found 800-CEO-READ's office and philosophy to be like nutrient-rich compost to his hungry, burrowing roots.