Business is an adventure. Make it epic. That’s our ethos at Virgin Atlantic. It’s also the story of how we came to be. A lot of people thought Richard was mad when, coming from a music background, he started a transatlantic airline over thirty years ago.
With a single 747 flying solely between London Gatwick and Newark, Virgin Atlantic was born. We had little experience, but lots of flair, and went up against the big guys in an effort to change the aviation industry. The strategy worked; today we fly to over 30 destinations worldwide with a fleet of 39 aircraft. Along the way, there have been many highs, the occasional low, lots of laughs, and a few ruffled feathers. It’s been a wild ride, and one we continue to enjoy taking every day. To say it’s an adventure is an understatement.
With that sense of adventure in our DNA, we’ve always been focused on enabling the entrepreneurial spirit of our flyers. In the last few years, we’ve really seen this spirit take off, and are inspired by the role that travel plays in encouraging it. We’ve noticed a new type of customer that embraces all of the opportunities that business travel offers and regularly mixes business with pleasure. According to research we conducted last year in the US with international business flyers, three in four view business travel as an exciting call to adventure, with new people to meet and new places and things to experience.
That insight has been a driving force behind our North America marketing platform, which over the past three years has included everything from advertising campaigns to a multi-city event series to our first branded podcast, The Venture. "Business is an Adventure" builds on our global platform "Let it Fly", and allows us to tap into the mindset of our flyers. It also serves as a rallying cry to reach an even bigger audience of like-minded people, and demonstrates how Virgin Atlantic is committed to supporting them as they travel around the world to make their ideas happen.
We’ve had a blast meeting people that share this philosophy, and are fortunate to have had some of America’s most inspiring entrepreneurs join us at our events and on our podcast.
In telling their own stories, they’ve reinforced how important it is to get out into the world and make those adventures epic.
Here are some of our favorite quotes:
"We encourage the team to travel... when you start out as a small little start-up, you sort of think you can capture the essence of every country from just being where you are, especially now that information is so accessible... but I was shocked how when you talk to people how Tinder has a different definition based on the society and people’s backgrounds. For us to grow the company, we need to understand how people look at the product so we know how to make it better for every constituent there is."
"We underestimate the value of being physically in a room together. You can’t translate physical interaction and there’s just nothing like enjoying an experience together."
Sean Rad, founder of Tinder, as told to us in LA.
"Genius is not centralized in any city on the planet... there are amazing, incredible entrepreneurs everywhere in world who should no longer be told they have to move to make their idea successful. [Through travel] I have a front row seat to see these people and help these people."
Donna Harris, co-founder and co-CEO of 1776, as told to us in D.C.
"We’ve been on an incredible ride. That ride has got ups and that ride has got absolute terror…there is no certain book…the adventure I’d love to encourage is to find in your heart the fire, the passion, the courage to get out of the basement and give it a shot."
Kevin Plank, founder of Under Armour, as told to us in D.C.
"At every turn, I think the fun of it is to learn something new so you can apply it forward…when you think about how much of your business life consumes you, man, it better be fulfilling…for me, it certainly is an adventure with trials and tribulations and pain, but I like to look for the fun too."
Jonathan Sposato, Chairman and co-founder of Geekwire.com and CEO of PicMonkey, as told to us in Seattle.
These business leaders, along with so many of our flyers, embody what Virgin Atlantic is all about: embracing adventure. As a global airline, we’re lucky to join them on their journeys.