Five fascinating lessons from the Virgin Disruptors Podcast

This year we’ve been lucky enough to be joined by disruptive and creative thinkers from so many different walks of life on the Virgin Disruptors Podcast, who have share some truly unique perspectives on life. Here are five of our favourite...

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, an individual, or an organisation, this series is packed with plenty of tips and tricks that you can apply to your own thinking - to disrupt the way you work and the world around you. If you'd like to subscribe, head over to iTunes.

You can also listen to more Virgin Disruptors Podcasts episodes right here.

1. "As soon as we impose limits, we seem to break them," Dr. Andy Walshe, Red Bull Head of High Performance.

When Roger Bannister ran the first four minute mile. When Usain Bolt destroyed the 100 and 200 metre world records. When Felix Baumgartner jumped from space and back down to the earth. And countless other examples. It makes you wonder: do we have any limits? Because every time we think we’ve reached one, someone breaks it.

"Human potential is wildly untapped," says Andy. And as the limits we try to impose keep being proved wrong, Andy keeps being proven right.

2. "Don’t build solutions that don’t have a problem," Dom Price, Atlassian Head of R & D.

In order to not build solutions that don’t have a problem, you need to empathise with your (potential) customers. Then, once you understand them, what they want, what they're scared of, what they're hoping for, what they need - you can build a product or experience around that. And, instead of having to convince people that your product or service or experience is right for them, you’ll already know it’s right for them. You won't have to convince people (as much), because they already want what you're offering.

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3. "Two billion adults worldwide are unbanked, Bitcoin could change all this," Peter Smith, Blockchain co-founder.

"Roya Mahboob, a prominent Afghan business woman, set up Women’s Annex, a digital literacy programme that trains Afghan girls in digital skills so that they can make money online. Unfortunately, PayPal and Woo Commerce shut down in Afghanistan, so there was no way for these girls to actually get paid. Until they started using bitcoin. Hundreds of women are now getting paid for contract development work entirely in bitcoin by companies in New York and London," notes Smith.

One of these girls was Parisa Ahmadi, top of her class but who’s prospects was 'limited by my room’s walls and school'. Whilst Ahmadi didn’t have a bank account of her own, all she needed to receive bitcoin was an internet connection and a digital wallet, like Smith’s company Blockchain provides. 

4. "Civil society needs better branding,” Sara Khan, Inspire founder.

"Britain First has more than 1.5m likes on Facebook," Khan says, "There is no civil society counter-movement with that many likes, promoting a positive counter-message. That tells you about the scale of the problem." She adds, "If you look back at how we dealt with far-right extremists in this country, we recognised it was the wrong thing to do and it became an issue of political correctness. I am offended if we don’t challenge things. Anyone advocating the dehumanisation of others, should be called out and we shouldn’t feel that we can’t challenge them."

5. "It’s about data science, not funny GIFs," Solly Solomou, The LADbible co-founder.

The LADbible is synonymous for its shareable and bite-size content, but backstage Solomou says that it’s not necessarily the number of clicks and views they can generate that sets them apart from the traditional outlets; it’s the understanding of their audience and how they use that to shape future content.

"We’ve got our data scientists who analyse it, its performance, how readers are engaging. That information is being fed back to our creators."

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