Crazy Dreams

I left school at 16 with two English O levels and that was it.

At that age I still had the imagination of youth and it never got educated out of me — I didn’t have teachers and parents to crush my dreams and put the fear of God into me about the future.

If I had told you then that my new business idea involved eating raw fish off conveyor belts or sleeping in seven-square-metre airport hotel rooms with no natural light — you wouldn’t have bought it.

But when I actually launched those things people said the magic words “This is so obvious – why didn’t someone do this before?”

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Most new businesses fail because they produce a product that people don’t want. But people often don’t know what they want before they see it.

Not everything will work, of course. I discarded re-inventing the funeral business (we thought it might be called YO! Below) and capsule hotels with shared bathrooms (too much cultural change).

I discarded YO! Ships (Zeppelin- type dirigibles that could take you across the Atlantic in luxury in two days and land in a field using a couple of Volkswagen engines ) and too many others to count, but ….

Invent things

Jeff Bezos

I make it my job to imagine how everything I come across, from queues at airports to how to spread butter on bread, could be improved. And it’s fun!

When I have a new idea, rather than listing all the cons and reasons why it won’t work, I’ll run with it, call people up and tell them it’s the next new project — and see what happens.

You can’t market research a market that doesn’t exist!