Interesting people thread - Currently discussing Richard Branson


Senior ODI Player
Mar 26, 2006
I read about many interesting people every day, some have attained great success while others are behind bars and will stay there for the rest of their lives. So i figured it will be interesting to discuss the lives of these individuals. Hopefully, we can learn something from their success or their mega failures.

So lets start with Richard Branson...

Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson (born 18 July 1950) is a British business magnate, best known as the founder and chairman of Virgin Group of more than 400 companies.[2]His first business venture was a magazine called Student at the age of 16.[3] In 1970, he set up an audio-record mail-order business. In 1972, he opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records, later known as Virgin Megastores. Branson's Virgin brand grew rapidly during the 1980s, as he set up Virgin Atlantic Airways and expanded the Virgin Records music label.
Branson is the 4th richest citizen of the United Kingdom, according to the Forbes 2012 list of billionaires, with an estimated net worth of US$4.2 billion.

Richard Branson made several world record-breaking attempts after 1985, when in the spirit of the Blue Riband he attempted the fastest Atlantic Ocean crossing. His first attempt in the "Virgin Atlantic Challenger" led to the boat capsizing in British waters and a rescue by RAF helicopter, which received wide media coverage. Some newspapers called for Branson to reimburse the government for the rescue cost. In 1986, in his "Virgin Atlantic Challenger II", with sailing expert Daniel McCarthy, he beat the record by two hours. A year later his hot air balloon "Virgin Atlantic Flyer" crossed the Atlantic.
In January 1991, Branson crossed the Pacific from Japan to Arctic Canada, 6,700 miles (10,800 km), in a balloon of 2,600,000 cubic feet (74,000 m3). This broke the record, with a speed of 245 miles per hour (394 km/h).
Between 1995 and 1998 Branson, Per Lindstrand and Steve Fossett made attempts to circumnavigate the globe by balloon. In late 1998 they made a record-breaking flight from Morocco to Hawaii but were unable to complete a global flight before Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones in Breitling Orbiter 3 in March 1999.
In March 2004, Branson set a record by travelling from Dover to Calais in a Gibbs Aquada in 1 hour, 40 minutes and 6 seconds, the fastest crossing of the English Channel in an amphibious vehicle. The previous record of six hours was set by two Frenchmen.[36] The cast of Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, attempted to break this record in an amphibious vehicle which they had constructed and, while successfully crossing the channel, did not break Branson's record. They were intercepted by a Coast Guard aircraft along the way, but after Jeremy remarked "We're trying to beat 'Beardy' Branson!" the Coast Guard wished them good luck, and left.
In September 2008 Branson and his children made an unsuccessful attempt at an Eastbound record crossing of the Atlantic ocean under sail in the 99 feet (30 m) sloop Virgin Money.[37] The boat, also known as Speedboat, is owned by NYYC member Alex Jackson, who was a co-skipper on this passage, with Branson and Mike Sanderson. After 2 days, 4 hours, winds of force 7 to 9 (strong gale), and seas of 40 feet (12 m), a 'monster wave' destroyed the spinnaker, washed a ten-man life raft overboard and severely ripped the mainsail. She eventually continued to St. George's, Bermuda.[38
Has to be one of the most adventurous human being on the planet, becoming a billionaire while having THAT much fun is quite remarkable.
Virgin Galactic, the space venture backed by Sir Richard Branson, is ready to launch - not into space but on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Shares in Virgin Galactic are set to start trading on Monday, a first for a space tourism company.

The move follows Virgin's merger with publicly-listed Silicon Valley holding firm Social Capital Hedosophia.

That deal brought $800m (£624m) to Virgin as it rushes to meet its goal of sending customers to space in 2020.

Taking the firm public will "open space to more investors and in doing so, open space to thousands of new astronauts," Sir Richard said at the time.

Social Capital Hedosophia is already listed on the NYSE, allowing Virgin to sell shares without following the traditional stock offering process.

Shares in Social Capital Hedosophia, which will start trading under the ticker SPCE on Monday, jumped 11% on Friday in anticipation of the debut.

Space race
Virgin Galactic is racing with Elon Musk's SpaceX and Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin to be the first company to send fee-paying passengers into space.

The company, founded in 2004, has spent more than $1bn developing its programme, which is years behind schedule and took a hit after a fatal accident in 2014.

However, Virgin has told investors it hopes to make 16 trips to space with customers as soon as next year.

In a presentation, it predicts that revenue will skyrocket as the number of flights increases.

In 2023, the firm expects to make 270 trips to space, bringing in nearly $600m and generating profit of more than $430m.

About 600 people, including pop star Justin Bieber, have already put down deposits for the 90-minute experience at a price of about $250,000 per ticket, according to the company.

Virgin's plans are exciting - but investing carries some significant risks, notes Swen Lorenz, of the financial analysis website Undervalued Shares.

"No disrespect, but Virgin Galactic is both a plan and a dream, rather than a secure future cash flow," he concludes in his write-up of the company.

Billion dollar business
The New York Stock Exchange launch follows last week's completion of the tie-up, which valued Virgin at $1.5bn.

Social Capital Hedosophia took a 49% stake in Virgin in exchange for a roughly $700m investment.

Social Capital Hedosophia's founder, former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya, also personally invested $100m.

In addition, Virgin recently announced that US aerospace giant Boeing would invest $20m by buying shares.

Sir Richard last year said Virgin would not move forward with talks on possible investment from Saudi Arabia after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

In the nineties this guy was a hero. It’s curious how people have turned on him. Probably because his staff embarrassed Corbyn on the train.