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The Birth Of Virgin Atlantic


wealthymatters“In ’79, when Joan, my fiancee and I were on a holiday in the British Virgin Islands, we were trying to catch a flight to Puerto Rico; but the local Puerto Rican scheduled flight was cancelled. The airport terminal was full of stranded passengers. I made a few calls to charter companies and agreed to charter a plane for $2000 to Puerto Rico. Cheekily leaving out Joan’s and my name, I divided the price by the remaining number of passengers, borrowed a blackboard and wrote: VIRGIN AIRWAYS: $39 for a single flight to Puerto Rico. I walked around the airport terminal and soon filled every seat on the charter plane. As we landed at Puerto Rico, a passenger turned to me and said: “Virgin Airways isn’t too bad – smarten up the services a little and you could be in business.When VA was launched in ’84, not one person thought it would survive for more than a year. The bosses of these 13 big American airlines, that we competed with, said we’d fail. Now 21 years later, all 13 of them are out of business – proving the number 13 is unlucky for some.”- Sir Richard Branson

So you see,every one of your problems,is an opportunity to get started in business.

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Learning From Sir Richard Branson


wealthymattersHere is what Sir Richard has to say:

1. On big companies vs. small companies

“Small is beautiful.” Sir Richard doesn’t see size as a competitive advantage.

His Virgin Records label is not the biggest in the music industry, but in 1992 it attracted the Rolling Stones. Virgin Airlines has a mere 37 airplanes versus the 700+ maintained by its competitors. It’s better to spin off a company into a second smaller company (as Virgin Atlantic spun off Virgin America) than grow larger, Sir Richard believes, because smaller companies can stay both more nimble and more customer-focused. They can also maintain the style and “cheekiness” of their early trailblazing if they stay relatively compact. Read more of this post

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