#richardbranson: To survive, companies have to behave like sharks – if they don’t keep moving they will drown

Published by on november 28, 2014 at 11:15 f m

Before I published my latest book Sharkonomics I tried to connect with the best business shark in the world: Richard Branson. This week he wrote a blog post with the headline Sink or swim. Its great that we both like sharks and see the survival points for companies:

To survive, companies have to behave like sharks – if they don’t keep moving they will drown.
Richard Branson

I did not manage to hold an interview with Richard before the book was printed but I did write about him and did mention him as the ultimate shark in every lecture. Would be great to send him a copy of the book (if I get his postal information, the best shark in the business world…).

Here is a part from my Sharkonomics book about Richard:

Sir Richard Branson’s attack-itude
Whatever business field Mr Branson goes into he spreads fear. Why? Because his strike record is a bloody story. Sharks are born killers: they don’t go to school and they don’t need their parents to show them how to eat. They pop out and start to feed on what’s around them; they are born with a natural instinct to attack. The shark’s attitude – best described as “attack-itude” – is one where it moves around its prey with high self-esteem and confidence. I am sure British Airways realizes that Sir Richard Branson’s attackitude is a natural born gift.

Mr Branson has a witty and captivating personality that makes his prey underestimate his striking capabilities. When I had the honour of finally meet Mr Branson, I could immediately sense his attack-itude. His “Virgin shark” has become big and strong. The bigger this “Virgin shark” has become, the more self-confidence it has built up to attack bigger prey. Today Virgin is so big that it is capable of attacking any business in any sector.

When present territories are no longer challenging to attack, Virgin moves on to markets that do not yet exist – like space travel. Being a serial entrepreneur gives Mr Branson the advantage of moving into new territories long before the competition can understand what is happening – and when they sense the attack is coming, it’s usually too late.