Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The American GeniusThe American Genius

Opinion Editorials

Richard Branson’s advice rebukes the popular “fail faster” theory

(EDITORIAL) Richard Branson suggests a more efficient approach to the elevator pitch. Should you incorporate his new idea into your business strategy?


It’s a long way to the top

We’re all familiar with an onslaught of tempting tales that communicate fast and furious successes. Some products seem destined for notoriety the moment that they’re released. The seemingly instantaneous popularity of a new product can launch businesses into the spotlight at breakneck speeds.

Stories like this seduce us with the idea that overnight growth is possible for all, if only we have the materials ready, and believe in our work enough. How often though, have we heard the tangential tales of too-good-to-be-true bubbles bursting, and companies dying out just as quickly as they rose to notoriety?

The world knows billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson is a fan of the fast track elevator pitch. However, Branson sang the praises of a slower, arguably more efficient approach in a post on the Virgin Disruptors blog: taking the stairs.

Branson opines that the method of the slow and steady climb when it comes to building a business helps entrepreneurs prepare for challenges they may meet along the way, or even at the top. I would agree, noting that climbing stairs builds muscles more effectively than taking the elevator.

Stairs to success

While this approach certainly does not appeal to the instant gratification of a quick success, it’s easy to understand.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The more time you allow yourself to investigate fully the specific challenges your product or services may face, the better equipped you will be at managing them when they arise.

There is much to be said for experience and failure. Quick success is lucky, but what happens when you find yourself suddenly at the top, with a problem you’ve never encountered before?

The stakes are much higher, and there’s potentially much further to fall if you make a single misguided decision. Give yourself the time you need to stabilize your company, and poise it for growth in even the most challenging of climates.

strike it like it’s hot

To Branson, longevity requires stamina, but more than that. If we are breaking down his popular elevator pitch advice beside the slow climb, it seems that successful businesses are always going to rely on a magical mixture of two components.

It requires intuition to strike when the iron is hot, and intuition is a powerful tool itself.

More often than not though, the fire needs to be stoked and the iron carefully monitored so we can anticipate and plan for the perfect time to strike.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.


Caroline is a Staff Writer at The American Genius. She recently received her Masters of Fine Art in Creative Writing from St. Mary’s College of California. She currently works as a writer as well as a Knowledge Manager for a startup in San Francisco.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.



Business Finance

Goldman Sachs joins the ranks of the many companies tightening belts in preparation for an economic downturn, but in a big way.

Business Entrepreneur

Twitter releases Blue for Business, allowing companies to identify employees on the platform. This could go wrong or be a positive move.

Business News

(BUSINESS) The former CEO of Highrise used a fake website to weed out toxic clients. How can you keep problematic customers out of your...

Business Entrepreneur

(ENTREPRENEUR) Acquiring a business can be a key part of future growth, but there are some factors you should consider before signing the deal.

The American Genius is a strong news voice in the entrepreneur and tech world, offering meaningful, concise insight into emerging technologies, the digital economy, best practices, and a shifting business culture. We refuse to publish fluff, and our readers rely on us for inspiring action. Copyright © 2005-2022, The American Genius, LLC.