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The Maverick: Dispatches from an unrepentant capitalist

Book Description

For eight years between 1998 and 2006, Luke Johnson wrote a regular column as 'The Maverick' in The Sunday Telegraph. His short, pithy essays tackled subjects ranging from rich lists to bankrupt companies, from high finance to investment techniques, from philanthropy to trophy wives, bringing a practitioner's eye to the commercial world and the people in it. The Maverick quickly developed a cult following among readers who wanted to understand the blunt truth about investment, entrepreneurs, business history, and corporate life. This book brings together 84 of the best articles, with updates, in a single volume. What makes them unique is that Luke Johnson is not just a first-class writer, he is also one of Britain's most successful entrepreneurs. He made his name with PizzaExpress, has run and owned businesses in many different sectors, and now takes stakes in fast-growing businesses through his company, Risk Capital Partners. He is also Chairman of Channel 4. The diversity of his experience enables him to write with insight and perspective about the very serious matter of making and losing money. If you are in business, you will find The Maverick entertaining, informative and inspiring. If you are not in business, you will discover what makes business people tick, the hurdles they have to overcome to succeed, and the substantial benefits they bring to society. www.lukejohnson.org

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Publishing details
  3. Introduction
  4. 1. Entrepreneurs and the Rich
    1. Why Run Your Own Business?
    2. Founder’s Courage
    3. Getting on the Rich Lists
    4. 50 Reasons To Be An Entrepreneur
    5. How Tycoons Breed Success
    6. Corporate Executive vs Entrepreneur
    7. Trophy Wives
    8. Billionaire Politicians
    9. Paradise Syndrome
    10. Inheritance
    11. Letting Go
    12. Legacy
  5. 2. Management and Corporate Life
    1. Business Maxims
    2. Executive Disease
    3. Business Language
    4. Seven Deadly Sins
    5. Corporate Comedy
    6. Vicious Business
    7. Old Raiders Face Music
    8. Boards
    9. Buzzwords
    10. Selling
  6. 3. Winners
    1. World-Beating, Single-Product Companies
    2. Champagne
    3. Ineos
    4. Digital Radio
    5. Air Conditioning
    6. Trademark Companies
    7. Book Publishing
  7. 4. Problems
    1. What Can Go Wrong
    2. Things Fall Apart
    3. The Worst Business Decision of All Time
    4. The Downside of Downsizing
    5. GEC a Go-Go
    6. Health Clinic
    7. Cammell Laird – A Marine Tragedy
    8. The Software Industry Rip-Off
    9. Frank Timis
  8. 5. Economics
    1. A Philosophy of Capitalism
    2. China
    3. The Importance of Title
    4. Russia
    5. Student Misery
    6. Japan Will Recover
    7. The Age of the Dumpies is Dawning
  9. 6. Business History
    1. Let’s Support the Inventors of Real Wealth
    2. Four of the Really Big Losers
    3. Coke, Big Mac and Harry Hyams
    4. The First American Boss of the Tube
    5. Georges Doriot
    6. United Fruit
    7. A to Z
    8. Airline Pioneers
    9. Alfred Nobel
    10. Who Remembers the Founder of GM?
    11. The Panama Canal
    12. Selfridges and Whiteley’s
    13. Richard Cobden
    14. George Hudson
    15. Sir Henry Wellcome
  10. 7. Investing
    1. The Key Questions About Every Investment
    2. Estate Agents
    3. Perception and Reality in Chairmen’s Statements
    4. Forestry
    5. Langbar
    6. Why to Buy a Share
    7. A Really Ethical Portfolio
    8. A Bitter Pill from My Vet
    9. Give these Market Myths a Miss
    10. Ten-Baggers
    11. Selling Signals
    12. Regus
    13. PartyGaming
    14. The Loser’s Game, the Winner’s Curse and Freud
    15. Is the Neuer Markt a Giant Ramp?
    16. Why Stock Markets Always Kill The Ones They Love The Most
  11. 8. Business and Society
    1. Who Says Tycoons Are Always Wicked?
    2. Public vs Private Sector
    3. Public Schools
    4. The Lawyers Will Kill Us All!
    5. Twenty-First Century Philanthropists
    6. Reinventing the NHS
    7. Money War of the Ages
    8. Appendix