Innovation Quotes

Richard Branson on innovation

Richard Branson

The founder of the Virgin Group. The author of "Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur."

 

Mini-course

 

Life-Business Synergy

There is no greater thing you can do with your life and your work than follow your passions – in a way that serves the world and you.

Throwing yourself into a job you enjoy is one of the life's greatest pleasures!

A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.

Fun

Fun is at the core of the way I like to do business and it has been key to everything I've done from the outset. More than any other element, fun is the secret of Virgin's success. I am aware that the ideas of business as being fun and creative goes right against the grain of convention, and it's certainly not how the they teach it at some of those business schools, where business means hard grind and lots of 'discounted cash flows' and net' present values'.

As soon as something stops being fun, I think it’s time to move on. Life is too short to be unhappy. Waking up stressed and miserable is not a good way to live.

 

   

Building a Great Company

Every business, like a painting, operates according to its own rules. There are many ways to run a successful company. What works once may never work again. What everyone tells you never to do may just work, once. There are no rules. You don't learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over, and it's because you fall over that you learn to save yourself from falling over. It's the greatest thrill in the world and it runs away screaming at the first sight of bullet points.

What we are trying to do at Virgin is not to have one enormous company in one sector under one banner, but to have two hundred or even three hundred separate companies. Each company can stand on its own feet and, in that way, although we've got a brand that links them, if we were to have another tragedy such as that of 11 September - which hurt the airline industry - it would not bring the whole group crashing down.  >>>

Throughout my business life I have always tried to keep on top of costs and protect the downside risk as much possible. The Virgin Group has survived only because we have always kept tight control of our cash. But, likewise, I also know that sometimes it is essential to break these rules and spend lavishly.

 

Luck, Courage, Opportunities, Intuition

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

Business opportunities are like buses; there’s always another one coming.

In the same way that I tend to make up my mind about people within thirty seconds of meeting them, I also make up my mind about whether a business proposal excites me within about thirty seconds of looking at it. I rely far more on gut instinct than researching huge amounts of statistics.

Be Different, Be Daring

The best motto to follow is ‘Nothing ventured; nothing gained’.

Whatever your goal is you will never succeed unless you let go of your fears and fly.

We’ve got a shot at really pulling together to turn upside down the way we approach the challenges we are facing in the world and look at them in a brand new entrepreneurial way. Never has there been a more exciting time for all of us to explore this great next frontier where the boundaries between work and purpose are merging into one, where doing good, really is good for business.

It is only by being bold that you get anywhere. If you are a risk-taker, then the art is to protect the downside.

You don't learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.

The brave may not live forever –  but the cautious do not live at all.

 

  

Love Your Employees

Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to.  >>>

I have always believed that the way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers, and that people flourish when they are praised.