Don’t be mistaken, the Virgin Group overseeing over 40 different businesses in seemingly every continent on the globe, headed by billionnaire founder Sir Richard Branson, once started off as a magazine, Student, then morphed into a mail-order record distributor in the 1970s. Living entrepreneurially and taking chances is something that Branson has done nearly his entire life.
We are all familiar to a certain degree of Mark Zuckerberg‘s rise to the billionnaire club, and if you saw David Fincher’s The Social Network you now have a fictionalized perception on just how Facebook came to be. Boy from Long Island attends Harvard, drops out when his website becomes the coolest thing on earth since James Dean; website dominates college campuses, then the United States, then the world.
The shift in Facebook since its beginnings somewhat mirrors the professional trajectory that Branson chose to take Virgin. Both companies started off as a way to keep students entertained in one way or another. The Virgin Group shifted from the music industry to what feels like every apparent industry imaginable on earth – wine, air, fitness, finance, vacations, trains. Facebook, since its inception less than a decade ago, has seen a number of changes in not only its appearance, but its services as well – instant messaging, marketplace, timeline, possibly a phone, and many more of which you can learn about on their blog.
The point of it all is a good entrepreneur evolves alongside their clientele. I’m particularly interested in seeing if/how Facebook will translate its brand from the web to actual products and if it effectively takes the Virgin route and plans on total global domination.