Renaissance Entrepreneur

The Rebel Rules


The Rebel Rules This is a hands-on guidebook for fostering unconventional thinking about entrepreneurship in the mode of Richard Branson (who wrote the preface), Anita Roddick and Michael Dell. Author Chip Conley, founder of a hotel company based in San Francisco, first won fame by dropping his trousers to display his fancy underwear while delivering a speech at a travel industry convention. Rebel credentials established, he took his company to $50 million in annual sales.

Despite his anarchistic image, Conley's rebel rules, which state that entrepreneurs need vision, instinct, passion and agility, are not particularly revolutionary. But his advice is still pragmatic and well-presented, with numerous anecdotes from the history of his own company, Joie de Vivre, as well as short profiles of rebels ranging from GE's Jack Welch to Dee Hock, founder of Visa.

One thing Conley does that is definitely rebellious-at least for business authors-is acknowledge that the practices he recommends have risks. He warns specifically against too-fast growth, ill-advised alliances, going public and thinking you've made it. That's one rebellion that ought to attract adherents.

The Rebel Rules is available at

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This article was originally published in the February 2001 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Renaissance Entrepreneur.

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