Have you heard of Richard Branson? You’ve probably heard of him, but don’t really know too much about him. That’s how I was before I read his book, Losing My Virginity
This is one of the funniest, most entertaining and refreshing books that I’ve read in quite a while. It’s full of stories about how he built his businesses, and how he grew and developed himself into a billionaire. So far, he has started over 350 businesses.
What is really fascinating about the book is that it shows how he thinks. He is not afraid to share his failures and problems, right along with his successes. He also shows how his higher level of thinking is manifest into a business.
Virgin wireless is a good example. Have you ever felt ripped off and annoyed at your cell phone provider? If so, there’s a good reason. Most cell phone companies give you a “free” phone, and a two-year contract. People inevitably feel like a free phone is a great deal, and sign up. The net result is a booming cell phone business throughout the world.
But Richard noticed something. He noticed that most people are pretty dissatisfied with their cell phone carrier. He noticed that they’re tired of waiting forever to talk to customer service, and that they’re constantly being overcharged and mistreated.
So, he said, “I am going to start a cell phone carrier that does not have any contracts!” What a concept! Everyone around him told him that it’s impossible and that it won’t work. However, Richard did not let the nonbelievers sway him.
Virgin Mobile is the fastest cell phone provider right now. In fact, they just acquired Helio, which failed.
So the moral of the story is that Richard decided to change the rules and instead of just trying to make money at the expense of customers, he actually found a way to create value and serve them! His thinking and ways of doing business allow him to stand out far from the crowd.
What if every business, instead of trying to take as much money as possible from the customer, instead found ways of creating value for the customer? Would that change the world?