Space is hard: That used to be the excuse for explaining why sending people into space would always be something only governments could do. Now it explains why even billionaires find the feat difficult.
To persevere, even billionaires have to have a passion for spaceflight, most likely fostered at an early age, and an iron resolve to weather adversity. That comes through loud and clear in two newly published books, plus a TV documentary that’s premiering tonight.
Bloomberg News quoted Branson as saying that rocket-powered tests would be scheduled every three weeks, culminating in test flights to outer-space altitudes by November or December. Commercial passenger operations should start by the end of 2018, after Branson’s inaugural ride, he said in an interview.
At the age of 66, Virgin billionaire Richard Branson has seen a lot of entrepreneurs come and go, but he’s also gotten to know some of the enduring titans of the tech industry, such as Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
Seattle’s entrepreneurial spirit is one big reason why Branson scheduled one of his signature “Business Is an Adventure” forums here this week. (Another big reason was the start of Virgin Atlantic’s nonstop air service between London and Seattle.)
Hundreds of entrepreneurs and VIPs converged on Seattle’s Pioneer Square today to get advice from one of the world’s flashiest business leaders, Virgin billionaire Richard Branson.
The panel discussion, titled “Business Is an Adventure,” featured local startup masters such as Hointer’s Nadia Shouraboura, CreativeLive’s Chase Jarvis and Jonathan Sposato of Picmonkey (and GeekWire).
But Branson was clearly the star of the show, and based on the Twitter reviews, most of those in attendance felt as if they got what they came for.
Virgin Atlantic founder Richard Branson is clearly unhappy with President Donald Trump – and he thinks that a different sort of business leader, such as former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, would have been much better for America.
But the way Branson sees it, even Bloomberg may have a problem now.
“There is a danger that Trump will have blown it for any business person to ever follow into the White House,” Branson told GeekWire today during an exclusive interview in Seattle. “I hope not, because I think there are lots of extraordinarily good entrepreneurial types of business people out there, both male and female, who would make very good presidents.”
To boost women’s status in business, Virgin billionaire Richard Branson says the United States and other countries should follow Norway’s lead and require corporations to put more women on their boards … or else.
Having 40 percent women representation on corporate boards would be a good target to shoot for, Branson told GeekWire in an exclusive interview today. The British entrepreneur was in Seattle to celebrate the start of Virgin Atlantic’s nonstop air service between Seattle and London – and headline a VIP forum for entrepreneurs at Axis Pioneer Square.
“Not every Virgin company’s got there yet, and we’ve still got work to do,” Branson acknowledged. “But I think if a law could be passed, that would focus the minds of an awful lot of chief executives, who are generally male in companies.”
Not everyone can get in to the VIP business forum that Virgin Atlantic’s billionaire founder, Richard Branson, has organized in Seattle today – but anyone can watch what happens.
Branson wants to throw a spotlight on Seattle’s entrepreneurial spirit during the hourlong event at Axis Pioneer Square, starting at 11 a.m. PT. Live video coverage will be provided via Ustream.tv. To watch the stream, go to Virgin Atlantic’s website, or to the airline’s Facebook page.
British billionaire Richard Branson kicked off Virgin Atlantic’s nonstop service from London to Seattle today with a rhetorical kiss for the Emerald City, but also a verbal kick at Seattle-based Alaska Airlines, which is absorbing another one of the airlines he founded.
First, the kiss: Branson took a star turn on the tarmac after Flight 105’s arrival at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, surrounded by flight attendants bearing Union Jack umbrellas. Wearing blue jeans and a hometown Filson lumberjack jacket, he paid tribute to Seattle’s entrepreneurial bent.
“It’s a city after my own heart,” Branson told a crowd of VIPs and journalists assembled in the airport’s arrival hall. “Very entrepreneurial, some of the greatest entrepreneurs in the world live here.”
Branson bid farewell to the brand in a “Dear Virgin America” letter posted online today, even though the brand isn’t likely to be phased out until 2019.
He compared the news of the phase-out to his 1992 sale of Virgin Records for $1 billion, “which we needed to fight off British Airways’ Dirty Tricks campaign to try to put Virgin Atlantic out of business.
“With a lot of things in life, there is a point where we have to let go and appreciate the fact that we had this ride at all,” Branson said. Most of the letter was devoted to a walk down memory lane, from the company’s launch day in 2007, through zany promotions such as an in-flight wedding performed by Branson, an in-flight Skype session with Oprah Winfrey and the annual Chihuahua airlift.