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Business Ideas: My Favourite 5 Gutsiest Entrepreneur Launches of All Time
Gutsiest Entrepreneur Launch #5: Dana White Saves the UFC
White agreed and put his business on the line. The show became a huge success which ended with Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar fighting for a six-figure contract. White credits the show for saving the UFC and continued airing new seasons of The Ultimate Fighter to expand the awareness and popularity of his company.
Gutsiest Entrepreneur Launch #4 – Philip Knight signs Michael Jordan:
The Air Jordan became the most valuable footwear franchise in Nike’s history. It was so popular that launch dates had to be postponed to weekends so kids wouldn’t be tempted to skip school to get their hands on the latest Air Jordan. The move took Nike from being a running shoe company with no exposure to the basketball market to now owning as much as 85% of the basketball shoe market.
Gutsiest Entrepreneur Launch #3: Bill Gates Pitches a Product that Doesn’t Exist
Bill Gates and long time friend Paul Allen turned their passion for programming into a business when they saw a picture of the Altair 8080 on the cover of Popular Electronics. Gates called Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS), the company that was manufacturing the Altair, and told them that he and Allen had developed a programming language for the computer that was ready to launch.
With not a single line of code written and no Altair to work on, Gates and Allen worked around the clock on Harvard computers to do what they said they had already done. Eight weeks later, Allen flew to MITS headquarters in New Mexico to present their code. Without even a test-run, their program was a success and MITS bought the rights, making it an industry standard. Within one year, Gates had dropped out of Harvard and the two high school friends established Microsoft Corporation.
Gutsiest Entrepreneur Launch #2: Richard Branson Drives a Tank into Times Square
To launch Virgin Cola he rode into Times Square in New York City on top of a tank, promising to battle with Coke and Pepsi. To launch Virgin Mobile in Canada he repelled into the heart of Yonge-Dundas square. Branson has also made several world record-breaking attempts. With “Virgin Atlantic Challenger” and “Virgin Atlantic Challenger II” he raced to have the fastest Atlantic Ocean crossing. In “Virgin Atlantic Flyer” he created the world’s largest hot air balloon and was the first to cross the Atlantic in a balloon. He then tried to become the first person to go around the world in a hot air balloon.
Branson is always thinking of new ways to launch and promote his businesses – the more high profile, the better. Even when his stunts don’t work out they garner so much attention for his businesses that it’s all worth it for him.
Gutsiest Entrepreneur Launch #1: P.T. Barnum Puts on a Show
Even if you didn’t have a ticket to his show, when Barnum’s circus was in town, you would know it. He would sweep into the city with gusto; elephants would be paraded through the streets, clowns would be sent to local hospitals to visit with sick children. Barnum provided a pre-show to his circus that he hoped would get people talking and raise excitement about his show. He would give tours of his circus to anyone who wanted to see inside the Big Top, and also put on multiple free contests in order to attract crowds to his show.
Barnum was always thinking of ways to promote both himself and his circus. From making splashy entrances to using cross-promotion, Barnum did what it took to make sure people knew who he was.
Story of the Week | Sir Richard Branson
Branson recounts the rise and fall of Virgin Cola, a David vs. Goliath story with lessons for startups large and small.
Richard Branson Reveals His Customer Service Secrets
Forbes.com contributor and communications coach, Carmine Gallo, learned 7 valuable customer service lessons in a day with Richard Branson and the Virgin America team.
Richard Branson: Life of a billionaire
Richard Branson is at the helm of one of the world’s biggest at most diverse companies, as well as being a keen adventurer. He chats to Sunrise about his early life, business ventures and future endevours.
You don’t learn to walk by following rules – Sir Richard Branson
Richard Branson announces an amazing opportunity for budding entrepreneurs
52,000 reasons to start your own business
Calling all young entrepreneurs. To support the Government’s Start-Up loans scheme, we’re offering one lucky start up the once in a lifetime opportunity to sponsor Newcastle United. We’re calling it The Big Kick Off, because it’s a fantastic way to launch your new business in style. Just think, your brand new venture associated with Newcastle United, on pitchside hoardings, advertising and more, in front of the TV cameras and 52,000 of the finest fans in football. It’s unmissable.