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The Maverick by Luke Johnson
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The Maverick [Hardback]

Dispatches from an unrepentant capitalist

by Luke Johnson
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Description of The Maverick

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.

Title Information

264 pages
Product Code:
Harriman House
1st Edition

Press and Industry Reviews

"Independent, unorthodox, even bloody minded - Johnson can be all of these and it's what makes him worth reading. The Maverick amounts to an analysis of how we've done business this past decade and holds valuable lessons for the next one."
- Peter Bazalgette, Chief Creative Officer of Endemol Group and Chairman Endemol UK

"The Maverick column displays original thinking that often challenges conventional opinion - Luke Johnson's views are provocative and worth reading."
- Michael Spencer, founder and Chief Executive, ICAP

"Luke Johnson knows a lot of detail about an amazing range of business subjects and has thoughtful views about all the controversial ones. Well-known to investors as the impresario behind many unlikely stock market and private equity successes, he is also, like you and me, a regular investor in many companies - especially small ones. Few such practitioners reveal their thoughts in print on a weekly basis, but Mr Johnson does, currently in the FT and previously in the Sunday Telegraph. Eighty of his best Telegraph columns are collected together in The Maverick. He touches on everything from Machiavelli to the changing fortunes of the Chiquita banana company. Magpies who like their wisdom in 900 word gobbets will enjoy every page."
- Alistair Blair, Investors Chronicle - Books of the Year

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About Luke Johnson

Luke Johnson is Chairman of Channel 4 Television and Risk Capital Partners. For eight years he wrote a weekly column on business in The Sunday Telegraph.

He was Chairman of PizzaExpress during the 1990s and is currently an owner and Chairman of Giraffe restaurants and Patisserie Valerie. He has also owned companies in recruitment, dentistry and retailing.

He graduated from Oxford and worked as a stockbroking analyst covering the media sector in the 1980s. He lives in London and is married with two children.

Contents of The Maverick


1.Entrepreneurs and the Rich

Why Run Your Own Business?
Founder's Courage
Getting on the Rich Lists
50 Reasons To Be An Entrepreneur
How Tycoons Breed Success
Corporate Executive vs Entrepreneur
Trophy Wives
Billionaire Politicians
Paradise Syndrome
Letting Go

2. Management and Corporate Life

Business Maxims
Executive Disease
Business Language
Seven Deadly Sins
Corporate Comedy
Vicious Business
Old Raiders Face Music

3. Winners

World-Beating, Single-Product Companies
Digital Radio
Air Conditioning
Trademark Companies
Book Publishing

4. Problems

What Can Go Wrong
Things Fall Apart
The Worst Business Decision of All Time
The Downside of Downsizing
GEC a Go-Go
Health Clinic
Cammell Laird - A Marine Tragedy
The Software Industry Rip-Off
Frank Timis

5. Economics

A Philosophy of Capitalism
The Importance of Title
Student Misery
Japan Will Recover
The Age of the Dumpies is Dawning

6. Business History

Let's Support the Inventors of Real Wealth
Four of the Really Big Losers
Coke, Big Mac and Harry Hyams
The First American Boss of the Tube
Georges Doriot
United Fruit
A to Z
Airline Pioneers
Alfred Nobel
Who Remembers the Founder of GM?
The Panama Canal
Selfridges and Whiteley's
Richard Cobden
George Hudson
Sir Henry Wellcome

7. Investing

The Key Questions About Every Investment
Estate Agents
Perception and Reality in Chairmen's Statements
Why to Buy a Share
A Really Ethical Portfolio
A Bitter Pill from My Vet
Give these Market Myths a Miss
Selling Signals
The Loser's Game, the Winner's Curse and Freud
Is the Neuer Markt a Giant Ramp?
Why Stock Markets Always Kill The Ones
They Love The Most

8. Business and Society

Who Says Tycoons Are Always Wicked?
Public vs Private Sector
Public Schools
The Lawyers Will Kill Us All!
Twenty-First Century Philanthropists
Reinventing the NHS
Money War of the Ages


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