Sausages, hot dogs and Rolls Royces

Posted on December 17, 2013 | in Confessions of a Serial Entrepreneur | by Richard

Kids just don’t know how to say “thank you”. As a child who grew up in a foster home, I was very lucky to have had some wonderful schoolteachers who looked out for me and made getting an education enjoyable. When I finished high school at 17 though, I just walked out of the school yard one last time without as much a “good-bye”, let alone expressing any gratitude. Years later I looked back on that and felt truly awful; I just hoped my gross selfishness didn’t at all impact on those teachers’ enthusiasm and willingness to give time to students who followed me. So I was thrilled when one of my favourite teachers, Peter Rolfe, contacted me on his way through London and I could treat him to dinner at a good restaurant.

be yourself but dont get eaten

Be yourself but don’t get eaten

Posted on December 17, 2013 | in Confessions of a Serial Entrepreneur | by Richard

It would be unfair to blame it on the crocodile. This, I thought, was definitely the strangest technique of any player, in any sport, in the history of the universe.

And I thought what I had seen back in Monaco a few years earlier would never be surpassed. On that occasion I was playing doubles tennis and one of the players was rather uncoordinated, a bit like a Mr Bean with fleas. Nevertheless, he loved to try to put lots of spin on his shots. So when he hit the ball he would flick his racquet from very near the ground to above his shoulder. At the same time, he was kind enough to shout a friendly warning, “Top spin!” which in his heavy Austrian accent, was more amusing than alarming. Hitting the ball like that though, he would often do mis-hits, which would sometimes send a ball flying over a fence. But on that occasion it wasn’t the ball that misbehaved.

strong thinking can sort out

Strong thinking can sort out our global hangover

Posted on July 23, 2013 | in Confessions of a Serial Entrepreneur | by Richard

I like people with strong views, especially of course, when I agree with them. Here are a few of my own. They’re rather radical.

1.The current economic crisis was caused by China. In warfare, you can bring an opponent to devastation by dropping bombs. China didn’t need war or bombs, they had a Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction, which proved far more powerful.

The End #1 1993 by Edward Ruscha born 1937

Masterstroke of brilliance that questioned our beliefs about art

Posted on July 16, 2013 | in Confessions of a Serial Entrepreneur | by Richard

As I sat in my apartment in Monaco and opened the package, my excitement quickly turned to disappointment. Friends were visiting and they were unanimous. “That’s not a painting, that’s a print!” someone said, with nods of agreement all around, and some pitied glances were directed my way. I was very confused. The work of art was expensive and I had bought it unseen through a reputable and knowledgeable dealer. I looked closely and there were no visible brush strokes or blobs of paint. “I’m sure it’s a painting. Well, it was supposed to be.” Time to call the dealer.

lifesaving idea

Lifesaving idea that might have failed to impress the Dragons

Posted on July 9, 2013 | in Confessions of a Serial Entrepreneur | by Richard

Dragons’ Den is a great TV show. When I appeared as a panelist, it was into its third series so I knew what to expect. It is reality TV, but it’s not people doing stupid and unreal things, it’s people doing business. And it has brought a lot of concepts into people’s living rooms – like first mover advantage, patent protection, business plans and margins. It has also de-mystified to many people the process of assessing a product, gaining investment and launching a business.