Thursday, 27 September 2007

A Virgin paradise...

My last video was shot at my personal island paradise... Necker Island.

I first saw Necker nearly thirty years ago, and I've been adding pieces to it with each hit album on Virgin Records and profits from my 200+ companies. (Well, those that weren't duds...)

A while back MTV came and visited Necker to profile it for their show "Cribs," which my kids tell me is popular with their friends. It's on YouTube now, so check it out below. There is no better place to s**t than that toilet at the end, believe me.

Friday, 21 September 2007

My advisors make me do this...

I really detest having to entertain boring people, but my advisors make me do it. It's particularly horrible when they're on my own damn island...

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Little Maddy and her family

You may have read in the news about the girl that went missing in Portugal (Madeleine McCann), and that now her parents are under suspicion. A lot of people had helped support them in their time of need, but have now been backing away since her mother may have done it.

Well, I've donated £100,000 to their legal fund. For all I know her mother did kill her own daughter, hide her body, and then dump it weeks later. (I'm leaning towards it today, to be honest.) But even if her mother killed her, she still deserves her day in court.

As much as I love my country's media establishments, they can be a hungry pack of wolves. I want to make sure they don't get eaten alive once police are able to collect enough evidence to prove her mother did it.

Warm regards,
Sir Dick

Monday, 17 September 2007

Business Wisdom from Sir Dick

Loyal readers will notice a little something new on the left-hand column: some of my favourite business books. And yes, they're mine. (Well, my thoughts and words. I couldn't actually be bothered to write them down, so I just spoke everything and let my assistants and advisors take care of the rest.)

You think you've gotten yourself into a strange situation? I've been there and done that. Has business boomed for you? Or has it gone bust? Have you had to fight your ground against impossible odds and a cheating competitor (such as British Air, for one)? I've done that all and more.

Remember lads (and lasses), I was building an empire when you were still in nappies. I've built businesses, sold businesses, and teetered on the edge of collapse more times than I wish to remember. And after all of that I wrote a few books to pass some of my wisdom down. It's what people like me are meant to do.

(Will any of you understand it, or take my advice? Probably not. For those that do, will you be as successful as me? Again, no, though you might come close. But it's nice for you to think about, isn't it?)

So check those pearls of wisdom out, and enjoy the warm Virgin glow of Sir Dick, entrepreneur extraordinaire.

Warm regards,
Sir Dick

Friday, 14 September 2007

The story of the four Steves (Fossett, Jobs, Ballmer, and Colbert)

I've been dealing with a lot of "Steve"s in my life this past couple of weeks, and wanted to give you all a re-cap.

Steve Fossett - Stevie - He's a hell of an adventurer, and has been an inspiration for me. (Which, by the way, says a lot about his reputation.) Most recently he flew around the globe without refueling, alone in his plane (the Virgin Global Flyer). But as I stated in my earlier post, I've said my last about the search for Stevie.

Stephen Colbert - Codfish - Our interview was finally aired, and the truth is out. He was a slimy operator, but I got my revenge. Did you see how disrespectful he was?? What he thought was promotion of Virgin America was just boasting of the fact we named a plane after him. NOTHING of the amazing airline and all the cool stuff you can find on our planes! I'm a business warrior, and I used the best weapons I had at hand: a cold glass of water and public shame. (Plus, a S**T-ton of publicity around it, my personal favourite.)

Steve Jobs - So Jobs got annoyed last year when during one of my brainstorms I rang him up to chat about an iPod Class on our Virgin America airplanes. Of course, I had forgotten he was a raging a**hole who only cares about design and nothing about his customers. (F**king over the early iPhone adopters, anyone?)

So I got the phone with him, and immediately called my Virgin America design team. They had been planning on basing the in-flight computer system around Mac OS X. No more, and all because of that bloody idiot. The engineers said I couldn't use anything Windows because it could crash. And I said that Virgin planes don't crash, so we're not using Windows! Then they showed me this computer that had a penguin, and there was a big hit film about penguins recently, so I told them to go with that. And now I find out we're geek cool.

Once again, my business intuition is correct, and I'm staying away from raging a**holes like Steve Jobs.

Steve Ballmer - So I never told Steve Ballmer about using the penguin computers on Virgin America instead of his plane-crashing software. That guy can gets as dangerous as a drunken Scot, especially when he starts throwing all his weight around. Would you want to get into it with someone weighing 22 stone?? I didn't think so.

That said, he's a nice enough guy if he's been taking his medication. We occasionally exchange e-mails, and he said he'll take a flight with me on Virgin America or Virgin Atlantic sometime. Let's just say there's an obvious reason why. Not that he'll be able to do what I did at 19, especially at 22 stone.


So those are the Steve's that I've been dealing with recently. Now it's back to the hammock to do some more strategic thinking and napping. I've got three new companies to start next week.

Warm regards,
Sir Dick

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Stevie... my final post

I'm at a loss for words.

I spent all yesterday drinking Red Bull and Diet Cokes while going through all of the new Google Earth photos of the area Stevie was flying. My kids told me I looked like one of those geek "hackers" from films.

We still haven't found Stevie. He's been gone for over a week, now, and hundreds of people have been searching for him either in planes or through satellite photos.

That part of the United States is remote, and it could be tough to survive. Many are fearing for the worst.

This is my last post on Stevie until he's found. I have in my head a picture of what I think happened:

Stevie had problems, and landed his plane somewhere remote. He found that he just liked it there, and knew he was quite a long way from home, so Steve Fossett decided to make this place his new home. He's got a stream for fresh water, fruit nearby and a few animals around for meat. There's a little cave for shelter, too. Stevie is going to be staying there for a while. At some point we'll finally reach him and have the reunion we've been dreaming about.

Stevie.... I'll see you there, my friend.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Fit Flight Attendants

You, my readers, know that at Virgin companies, we just do things differently. More stylish, better service, lower cost, and more innovative. We don't accept the premise that businesses are trying to "f**k a person in the ass and not even have the goddam common courtesy to give him a reach-around."

Previously I've mentioned our flight attendants, who I always knew were the fittest birds in the air. Well, it turns out there's proof.

From, rating the top ten airlines for "attractive stewardesses":

Virgin Atlantic
Take Virgin Atlantic’s progressive approach to business, factor in hot stewardesses and keep in mind the 2005 Durex sex survey that lists the UK as the seventh-busiest nation (four slots ahead of the U.S.), and I like the odds. It couldn’t bother me that a hysterical stewardess panicked during turbulence. Virgin’s red skirts are tailored to show off figures rather well; certainly better than most uniforms we’ve seen. Most flights on Virgin are long, but it doesn’t mean they’re dull.

Now I'm not saying that you'll get the same experiences I had when I was 19, but I can't promise you it won't happen.

67%?? That's it??

So there's some sort of competition on this eBay Match-ups site. I don't know what the hell it is, but I'm "competing" against some bloody guy named Chris Bangle. My advisors had to look him up to tell me that he's some design guy for BMW. What??

At least the site has the seeding correct: I'm #3 and he's #45. But how have I only got 67% of the votes against this bloke??

I'm going to get my people working on this. This will not stand.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Still waiting on Stevie

I'm getting more than a little concerned now. I've been scouring Google Earth for days now. Do you realise how hard it is to balance a laptop on your chest while trying to relax in a hammock with the sun in your eyes and conducting a search for my adventuring best friend? Readers, you have no idea the lengths I go to for things I believe it.

But Stevie's still out there, I'm sure. We've just got to find him.

My new spaceport

So I'm still new to this "blogging" thing, but I like telling everyone straight from Sir Dick's mouth what's going on in the world of Virgin.

I wrote last week about my new spaceport for Virgin Galactic in New Mexico, but somehow it never showed up. Well, it's fixed, and you can see the photos of the Virgin Galactic terminal here.

Warm regards,
Sir Dick

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Still no Stevie... I'm hopeful but also concerned

We still haven't found Stevie. (That's Steve Fossett, my partner in world-renowned adventures, for those of you new here.)

I'm quite concerned, and some newspapers are saying we should be. (Such as the New York Times.)

I much prefer the reporting of the Associated Press. Their article mentions Stevie's world-class survival skills.

It's late, and it's been a while since he took off, but we're still searching and hoping to see Stevie soon.

Warm regards,
Sir Dick

Friday, 7 September 2007

My favourite evening radio show

So whenever I'm in London, I do enjoy listening to my old radio station, Virgin Radio. (I've sold it, but they've bought rights to the name/brand and all.)

It may not be directly mine anymore, but they certainly have the Virgin spirit and style! Sir Dick is proud of them.

But I do enjoy listening to the Geoff show, also featuring Annabel. They have a nightly feature called "Drunk versus Stoned." Geoff and Annabel get a drunk person and a stoned person on the phone and ask them a series of quiz questions. The point? Well, which one affects your mental state the most? Spirits/Ale or a spliff/bong?

"Why are you promoting this show, Sir Richard? Isn't it a bad example for our children?"

Yes, but so was dropping out of school and starting my own magazine, record shop, record label, and damn near everything else I've ever done. And look at where I am! Enjoy it for what it is, a very funny nightly quiz.

Stevie's still not back

Well, Stevie's a survivor. While we still haven't found him, I know he's a tough old sod, and is out there somewhere waiting for us.

I'm going to start talking about other things in the next few days, but most of my thoughts and focus these days are all on my fellow adventurer, Steve Fossett and the search for him and his plane. I'll be posting updates as I get information.

(By the way, the search teams have been absolutely fantastic. We should have more of these guys around.)

Thursday, 6 September 2007

"Feed" yourself full of Sir Dick

So my advisors tell me that people can read everything I write here without actually stopping by this site. Wow!

(This could be important for news like updates on Stevie, who is still missing.)

They say that if you just click on this link, you'll be able to read it with your favourite RSS reader. (RSS originally stood for Richard's So Suave, according to my stylist. What do I know? He's damn expensive, that's for sure.)

My new spaceport... now with pictures!

So I've talked before about my brand-new spaceport for Virgin Galactic, designed by Lord Foster. Well, I'm happy to show you the pictures here.

So the first picture is classic "sunset" photo, with a number of our fleet around on the ground and in the air.

The next one is what the spaceport will look like if you separate the layers inside.

This photo shows what inside the terminal will look like for all of our future astronauts.

Finally, this one shows what the place will look like from above. Brilliant, don't you think?

So I know some of you say that the place looks like a big toilet seat, but what do you expect from the architect that designed the Gherkin? It also shows the Virgin style and spirit. Is British Air taking you into space with hot flight attendants?? I don't think so.

Warm regards,
Sir Dick

More on Stevie

Okay, now I'm starting to get a little worried. If Steve had just run out of fuel and landed somewhere safely, he would have already walked back home and been telling stories at the local pub by now.

So, I'm hoping he's just injured (or just stayed with the plane) and we haven't found him yet. Believe me, I know this guy, and he's got the Virgin can-do spirit; I use him for inspiration, and it takes a lot to inspire Sir Dick. I'm confident Stevie will be able to hold out until we find him.

I also gave him one of those cool watches (only practical for adventurers) that has a manually operated distress beacon, and that doesn't seem to have gone off, which bodes well for the bloke. All of us at Virgin are still hoping for his very safe return, very soon.

Latest info from CNN can be found here.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Stevie's missing

As you may have heard by now, Steve Fossett is missing.

He's an adventurer of the first rate, and we're all hoping he's found safe... and soon.

CNN Story here.

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

The benefits of being the boss

I generally don't like being referred to as "the boss." Just call me Sir Dick and move on.

But there are times where I get to do interviews with some fit birds ("hot chicks" for you Americans) that make all the trouble of being a boss worthwhile. See what this lovely lass wrote about me by clicking here.

A quick quote:
On Tuesday, I interviewed Sir Richard Branson in first class on an empty Virgin America flight pre-LA/NY launch. The disco lighting, the scintillating conversation with the cosmopolitan billionaire, the roomy leather seats…I could live like this!

Sir Richard Branson, captain of industry of global hip

Oh, yeah, baby. It's too bad I'm not my 19-year-old self, otherwise she could have joined the Mile High Club with me. Too bad.

Monday, 3 September 2007

2 versus 4

So, I realised that two planes burn less fuel than 4 planes. Wait, two engines burn less fuel than 4 engines. Or something like that. My advisors tell me this is a smart move to make.

So Virgin Atlantic is getting rid of our 4-engine planes, and replacing them with 2-engine planes. I've been told that even if you're in a Virgin Atlantic flight over the ocean and one engine goes up in flames, there's still a pretty good chance you'll live. (Read those safety cards!! In the event of a water landing...)

Anyway, as an airline, we need some good press on "combating global warming," so it's something we're going to publicise. (We were going to do it anyway since two engines are cheaper than 4 engines, but this way we get yet a little more attention.) This is business, Virgin-style.

Princess Diana

I had the honor of attending the memorial service for Princess Diana recently. It was a beautiful service for a beautiful person.

So many funerals these days are just too dreary these days, and it's nice to see some that aren't. Perhaps there is an opportunity here. I'll have my advisors look into it...