Branson is interviewed for Gentlemans Journal. He gives previously unknown details on the original funding for Student magazine and Virgin Records:
I started Student with £100 that my mother gave us after she found a necklace on the road near Shamley Green. After three months of no one claiming it from the police station they told her she could have it. She knew we had no money so came up to London, sold it for £100 and gave it to us. A few years later when we decided to open a recording studio I financed it with a bank note which was a gift from my parents and a loan from Auntie Clare.
On whether he stepped over others to succeed in business:
When I was young, every time I criticized someone, my mother would stand me in front of the mirror and say: ‘The flaws you see in others are actually a reflection of yourself.’ That taught me to pay close attention when I looked at others.
How he became interested in sustainability:
It started with a phone-call from Al Gore while I was in the bath; He wanted to show me An Inconvenient Truth and his poignant and elegant reduction of these issues really struck a chord with myself as an interested non-expert. Tim Flannery’s book, The Weather Makers, also had a pronounced effect on me.