In 2011 I was blessed with the opportunity of meeting one of my entrepreneurial heroes, Sir Richard Branson. As chairman of the Virgin Group (comprised of around 400 companies), Sir Richard has achieved billionaire status while having a great time along the way. Here’s three things I learned that I think are super relevant to building an Amazon business:
In the year 2000, Sir Richard founded the Australian division of Virgin Airlines with an initial investment of just $20M and two planes. At the time there were only two airlines in Australia so he was competing in a small but tough market. Little did he know that one of those two airlines was going broke. As a result, 18 months later one of those two companies went into bankruptcy and his $20M investment turned into more than a billion dollars as his airline quickly took up the space created by that collapse.
When it comes to Amazon, you could not be looking at a better time! Amazon is growing at a phenomenal rate and people are only just starting to wake up to the massive opportunity it represents for smart entrepreneurs.
One of the core principles of my program is that we should focus on creating high quality and clearly differentiated products rather than low quality, price-sensitive products that are always open to attack by anyone with a bigger wallet. It is my firm belief that consumers are not stupid and that those who focus on quality will ultimately win the Amazon race.
There is something magical about creating your own brand and building a business that sells physical products you can hold in your hands. For years I built companies that sold services – so being involved in something where I could express my creativity and work with creative people has been a breathe of fresh air.