Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Book Review: Screw Business As Usual

I'm a big Richard Branson fan-boy, and really liked his first book, Losing My Virginity (which I highly recommend). Since then, I've given a few of his other books a try. I gave Screw Business as Usual a try this week. It was very quick to get through so I thought I'd post a short review.

The book is about the idea that capitalism can, in addition to pursuing the goal of making money, attempt to do good.

On the plus side, it covers a number of interesting cases, some of which are Virgin enterprises, others just ones Branson has come across. It's a wide enough variety to give some creative food for thought, but little is provided in the way of detail if someone wanted to do some analysis of real cost/benefit, or map to their business to see how it differs, etc. Still, they are inspirational stories.

Another negative is that a number of his examples consist of things akin to 'I saw a problem. I called up Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu and Bill Gates and we got together and decided to start a foundation'. Some have complained that this is name-dropping. I don't think that's the case, so much as it's just the circles he travels in. However, the few examples that are along these lines aren't really helpful for anyone looking to do good with their business.

In any case, it's a good read with some unique perspectives that some will get value from. Start with Losing My Virginity though, as I think it's a better read.

Screw Business as Usual