Soundview Executive Book Summaries

One Small Step for Tourism

There are a few names in the world of business that we see mentioned again and again in the pile of books that cross our desks here in the Soundview editorial department. Former GE CEO Jack Welch, current Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Peter Drucker, considered by many to be the father of modern management. With each of the previous three individuals, I can generally predict their upcoming reference on the printed page based on the subject matter of the book. If it’s a book that references brand-building, Jobs and Apple are highly likely to be mentioned. If it’s a book that deals with a no-nonsense way to evaluate an organization, up pops Welch’s name.

Another instance that seems to occur with great frequency is the mention of one executive’s name above all others in books dealing with adding bravado and daring to one’s brand. The executive whose name is sure to follow is Sir Richard Branson, the chairman of the Virgin Group. Time and again, his bold moves into a variety of industries lead authors to discuss his fearless pursuit of goals, not to mention his willingness to be the public persona of his brand.

Today’s headlines indicate that Branson is ready and willing to provide case studies for the next crop of business book writers. Branson today debuted the plane which he hopes will ferry fare-paying passengers beyond the grip of gravity (if only for a few minutes). As the article above indicates, there are apparently a number of people who are more than willing to part with large sums of money for the privilege of a ride into space. I have to give them a certain degree of respect because my nerves are jangling at the thought of such an adventure!

Aside from pushing powered flight to yet another new plateau, Branson is also doing what he does best: creating incredible buzz around his company and its goals. Next Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. Eastern, we’ll be debuting our newest installment of Soundview Live, our interactive Webinar series. Our guests will be Chris Brogan and Julien Smith, authors of Trust Agents. In the book, the two feature a chapter discussing individuals who became “gatejumpers” when their new idea for a business jumped into terrain that was undetected by the previous “gatekeeper” in an industry. Guess who they cite as an example? Branson. His push into commercial space travel jumps the gate of NASA. After all, they point out, “It’s not like NASA owns space.”

It’s bold. It’s brave. It’s Branson.


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