I have read a couple of business biographies and this is one of the most enjoyable ones. Written by the founders of the healthy food company, Innocent, it is all about the business,how it started, grew and what it stands for. And no, you won’t learn about their mum, dad, how much sport they played or their dog called Andy. More to the point this book is all about Innocent as a business and perhaps you will learn one or two lessons about starting a business. If I were to recommend books about learning to start a business, this one would definitely make the list. The book itself is an easy one to read because it is very attractive and easy on the eyes, littered with very interesting images and pictures. Also it’s not a bulky book with just 201 pages. It is structured into ten chapters, each one focusing on a key aspect of the company. I checked Amazon uk for views about the book. After 25 reviews it had a 4.5 rating, not bad. Some criticism aimed at the book is it does not contain enough details about the operations of the business. Others also felt the book was just a marketing spin. But all that in no way takes away from the quality of the book.
Following is a review of each chapter in the book. Continue reading
Jo Malone: My Story, by Jo Malone in my own estimation is one of the best business related biographies you can read because it is unbelievably honest. Jo Malone is a British fragrance entrepreneur who has succeeded in building two successful brands. Her first business Jo Malone of London which produces perfumes and other fragrance related products was sold to Estee Lauder. Her current business which is her second is called Jo Loves. If you read London’s free Evening Standard newspaper then you will come across Jo’s business column in the Monday issue. Jo is not your typical entrepreneur, but her story teaches us that if you have a skill that you can sell to people, with hard work, focus and the right partnerships you can build a world class a business. Continue reading
Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh is part biography and business memoir as it discusses aspects of Tony’s life and his business ventures especially those that have to do with Zappos, the online shoe company which Tony is a part of, which was later purchased by Amazon. The book starts out outlining parts of Tony’s early life especially his education and his business exploits when he was young. After leaving university Tony would start a business called LinkExchange which was bought by Microsoft making him a lot of money. With the money Tony set up an investment fund which was how he came across Zappos, an online shoe company he invested in and later joined as CEO. Zappos was a risky bet for Tony, as he put almost every penny he owned into the company, including selling his personal possessions to fund the company. It was a company almost destined to fail, but Tony stuck with it, helping to build up the value of the company which would later be purchased for over a billion dollars by Amazon. Continue reading
How does a person with no banking experience or qualifications go about setting up his own bank? That’s partly what this book is about. Dave Fishwick, the author explains his attempt to take on the banks by creating a much smaller, but better bank. This is a book I had seen on the bookshelves and thought, oh no, not another one of them self promo books, but I’m glad I decided to read it because it was very enlighthening. Written in straight forward language, Dave goes a long way in explaining the banking system and how it has failed in layman terms. He also writes about his view of business which I found refreshing. Continue reading
If you have recently watched the UK’s version of the business reality TV programme, Apprentice or follow England’s football premier league then Karren Brady shouldn’t be a strange name to you. Known as football’s first lady and Alan Sugar’s right hand woman in The Apprentice, Karren is one of those women in high places who gets the public’s attention, at least for reasonable reasons. In this book she has written what I would refer to as part biography, part rant, part business and everything in between. If you have wanted to learn a bit more about who karren Brady is and where she came from then this book will certainly help, but be warned it does not go into any detail about her family life, growth in business or any other aspect of her life, but does cover a lot of ground. What the book does do though is give you an insight into the type of person Karren is and her background. I found it very interesting to read and I like Karren’s straight to the point, honest way of talking expressed in her writing. I think she gets on with Alan Sugar (which she mentioned in the book) because just like him, she is very straightforward at saying what she really thinks.