Branson tells Entrepreneur that Virgin Galactic is a new experience after previous ventures focused on industries that were already established:
First we’re taking people to suborbital space travel, then orbital, and then we’ll be able to put satellites into space at a fraction of the price it currently costs. One day, maybe even hotels in space–who’s to know? Whatever happens, it’s going to be ridiculously exciting. It’s the start of a whole new era.
Like other Virgin ventures, Galactic grew out of consumer frustration:
I thought when I saw the moon landing all those years ago that one day NASA would be able to fly me into space … soon it became apparent that government-run companies don’t have any interest in worrying about you or me going to space. They have other things on their minds.
He is spending more time focusing on causes like those promoted through The Elders group led by Archbishop Desmond Tutu:
A lot of my entrepreneurial skills now are spent in setting up not-for-profit organizations. We’re a little more secure now, so we do things a bit differently … I enjoy life too much to become complacent. I was on the phone this morning with the president of the Maldives–there’s been a coup there, and I’m trying to see if I can help him not get arrested. I’m in a position where I can make a difference and think I shouldn’t waste that. Life is far too much fun and interesting not to throw myself wholeheartedly into it, and I suspect I’ll keep doing so until I drop.