Last week saw Richard Branson joined by three of the most exciting young entrepreneurs working in America today, as Outdoor Voices founder Tyler Haney, Hello founder James Proud and ClassPass founder Payal Kadakia flew into Boston for Virgin Atlantic’s third Business is an adventure event...
You can watch a full replay of their discussion below, which was full of bite-size takeaways for any entrepreneur trying to get their own business off the ground. Alternatively, check out their top pieces of advice, from why you need to think twice about outsourcing to the importance of being better than your rivals from day one.
Tyler Haney - Make your enthusiasm contagious
"You need to have an unbounded enthusiasm for what you do and make it contagious, so your team and everyone you interact with feels it. Building a business is really difficult and it takes a lot of persistence. When I grew up my mum had this saying that was ‘TYBB’, it stood for ‘Try Your Best Baby’, so whether it was soccer practice or school work I’ve always tried to bring endless enthusiasm to everything I’ve done."
Richard Branson Business is an Adventure Boston
James Proud - It’s dangerous to think you’re born to be an entrepreneur
"I think it’s dangerous to think that some people are born to be an entrepreneur as it then shuts it off for a lot of people, you’d start to think ‘oh I can’t do that, it’s not for me’. Whereas all that really matters is that you’re able to take being brutalised, learn very quickly and fix your mistakes. When you completely fuck up how quickly do your course correct - that’s what matters. If you can’t do this then you won’t succeed but it’s not something you’re born with, you can learn how to do this."
Payal Kadakia - Think twice about outsourcing
"It’s really important that you control your experience, because that’s the magic of your product. In the early days for us it was really important that we were manually making reservations for customers as we were controlling what we were building. It took us three years to get to the right Class Pass model, we pivoted and during that time kept throwing away things that didn’t work."
Richard Branson - Be better
"If you’re trying to break into an industry which appears to be impenetrable then it may sound simple, but you just need to be a lot better than the competition. When we started Virgin Atlantic 30 years ago the other airlines were dreadful, so we came in with something which people actually wanted to fly – it became fun to fly. Nobody had used seatback videos before, we were the first airline to do that. Being better means your staff and customers will stick with you when the going gets tough."