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"For those who think business exists to make a profit, I suggest they think again. Business makes a profit to exist."
For those who think business exists to make a profit, I suggest they think again...
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208 comments
 
Dear Richard, just in case you are interested to invest in India in Education, Healthcare, technology sectors. scipkm@gmail.com
 
I think the saying goes [there is No wealth made with out a crime.] I will look up the book -and saying today.I don't want to hurt a BUSINESS feelings ..But hey put the slackers to work on this.LOL.LOL HA
 
Your statement foster thought, concern,and a sense of urgentcy. In this capitalistc society that we have become accustomed to, turning a profit is paramount. If we cant turn the corner through good and services then??? SUPERPOWER who? I look foward to the day when we can see more products being made here, and and incentive being given to create or bring back good paying jobs into the US. It one of those "take care of your own first". American culture is great, in that we help all over the world; its high time we reinforce our self before we become complacent with mediocracy. Thank you for your insightful reflections.
 
Hmmm... Really? Then it's not profit is it. Roll-over Adam Smith... The rate of return still goes to zilch... How esily one forgets. One for the household and one for the lord. And with that, it costs twice as much to buy a house as it does to pay the builder. thx for the reminder Sir +Richard Branson
 
There are so many contradictions and ironies in so many of the statements here... if people really believe the conspiracy of "businesses must walk a line between right and wrong" and "businesses are meant to control people through fascist control", then stop using the internet, the computer in which you're publishing your views, Google, etc.  Im not saying you're right or wrong, just be consistent in your views, otherwise it looks like delusional ranting.
 
The great thing about capitalistc [is] you can make money and jobs ON BOTH SIDES....USA...I LOVE IT..
 
So, Mr. Branson ... When you calculate profit, do you include total real cost of your business?

You know, environmental cost, social cost ... The kind of things you businessmen exclude with ease when making these arguments, even though quite a few professors of economy claim this should be done? You know, actualy evaluating the damage you do to reach your earnings as cost instead of ignoring it?

Yeah, I thought so.
 
Don't you know or see the new repbaick of rome.. just don'tsplit apart like they did....
 
Unfortunately Sir Richard the reality of how business conduct themselves and who benefits doesn't support your statement. The majority of businesses especially in the united states of America are neither committed or concerned with people and the further they can control their environment to attain their goal is an everyday thing. Maybe one day in the future but definitely not now.
 
Just choose which side you want to make money on :-$
 
If you choose the wrong side to make money on, you may negativly effect the home team.
 
Very true, and Profits are nowhere as fantastic as people believe (I blame the media for that perception). Media tends to focus on the "gross" margin of sales, not the "net" margin of services and products.
 
But we need both for it to work. Sorry they go hand in hand that's why we are a superior power. We got our fingers in a lot of pies ps. Study chips when they run out of food. They go to war, and eat the loser in trees.
 
+Peter Jovanovic I dont want to spark some debate over conspiracy theories and the like, personally, I believe following conspiracy theories is sort of like paranoid delusions of science fiction mixed with fantasy, rationalized by real world events.

Its not "fact" because obscure websites with an agenda of their own tell you so.  There are no secret meetings of the world's top 5,000 wealthiest, CEO's, etc. to come together in huge secret conferences discussing how to enslave the masses, pull the wool over their eyes and keep everyone stupid because its easier to control.

Actually, the majority of business, its personnel and potential clients/customers benefit from the opposite... a lazy, controlled, complacent, dummed down society would kill capitalism.
 
Sorry, he's smart. He's just making money on this side today. And you wouldn't?
 
Look he's getting his name out for free. And you're helping sped it for free ..I have to hand it to him.
 
Your quote regarding profit is a noble one Richard unfortunately you are relating an ideal not a reality.  How many lives and business have Banks destroyed over the years because of what profit and greed.

How is private business preventing the sale of arms to third world countries.  How influential are lobby groups representing big business on government and for what reasons.  Mostly their own interests.

Look at Ireland did private business protect the Irish government when the banks failed. Banks  fooled  government into taking on the bank debt as a sovereign debt.
 
Though, to be honest, Richard, business exists to give the founder/grounder pleasure and the fact it creates jobs for others and manages to propogate itself through making a profit is a bonus for everyone.
 
Where's you're supper model on your back.Trump claimed bank rupsee on a cisnio .now how do you lose money on that?The house always wins.Lol..
 
Despite some shortcomings in what we collective call the "capitalist" economic system, it has proven quite adept in creating self-organizing systems and institutions that have allowed more people to live long, productive, and happy lives.
 
SIT BACK and think about thining out the heard..And then you will see the fighting about heath care and so on------
 
thank you .But just read your history book.
 
Not sure what you mean Joseph, but I can tell you health care is much less of a problem in capitalist coutries than it is in socialist countries. Some people start distributing pamphlets, some people can get enough capital to open a cafe, others learn money making skills. But everyone starts somewhere. Richard didn't start Virgin Airlines when he left school, he opened a record shop.
 
please leave profit out of the NHS
 
So that's why virgin media tv is so expensive then...
 
Apologies for my delusions, they stem from previous experience where I did my job diligently yet could not meet targets. I asked a colleague he could possibly achieve his targets, he advised me to “look like a racehorse and work like a donkey”.  I know business has to make a profit and I certainly agree that, if it wasn’t for business we would still be in living in caves.
 
It is ,but i can only give a small part.I can't type that much.LOL  HA.
 
My hand's are cramping time for a brake..
 
Yeah, profits are evil..    Well coms profits are eviler than others.  If you're Dick Ceney, of Blackwater,  then it's appaling,  But if you're a liberal like Ted Turner, well then they are okay.
Seriously folks,  profits is what makes the world go around.  It puts food on our tables.   It's what makes us a living, creates wealth  & makes life worthwile.
 
+Andy Jones Jones, this is not intended as an insult, but the NHS couldn't make a profit in a million years the way it is.
 
NO they are not .how do you get jobs for every one....!
 
Sure capitalism is the best of a number of bad systems - the exploitative reality of capitalism during these past years however has more in common with atheistic communism.  Profit is necessary but so is distributory justice.  
 
Read beteen the line's.I could go on.but my hands cz\an't...
 
I think this really depends on the kind of business and if it is a privately owned business or not. 
 
How about when we run out of stuff to run this moster..
 
if they are not out to make a profit its because they are under selling the competition!
 
You're making him money right now, with out him spending a dime...
 
I'd really have liked one of my business enterprises to make enough profit so that I could be a social philosopher and a philanthropist. But they didn't.  It's easy to say things from a particular perspective.  I'm not saying it's wrong to do things to improve the world while you're checking your offshore bank statement, sitting in the sun on the balcony of your home in a Caribbean paradise - it just sure makes it easier, AFTER the profit has been made first.
 
Envry i think thats how you spell the sin?
 
Hey, making a profit is not a bad thing.. It's the excess people are willing to pay above fair costs -- the motivation can be dire need (to exist) or greed/pomposity (like a nice big oversized hat?). If the excess (profits) are used, in spite of our excessive stupidity, to improve our condition, good for you Sir Brandson. On the other hand, if the lord of the manor gives in to big hats and excess - shame on us for having given in to our excesses and having paid too much for our need "to survive"!!
 
..I knew there was a reason I always liked you...-:)
 
So... Do you think we are ready for a "charter of responsibility" for business? Hmmm... Like what the Magna Carta did to kings?
Wouldn't it be cool if the Lords once again came out in favour of the plebes or do you think they are still enamored with the excesses of self importance... am just saying:))
 
So, one day you play the lottery. You win 1000 of whatever currency you have. All of a sudden, everyone in your street comes running up and insists you owe them 50 of what you won, so everyone walks away with 50, including you, that's socialisms ideal, how would you feel?

@ Brandon, isn't 'Distribution Fairness' a polite term for Socialism/Communism?
 
Pretzel logic at its finest.
 
There are some interesting views on this topic. Some that seem to be rooted in shall I say bitterness because business ventures they were involved in didn't turn a profit? Who knows! I don't think that with that statement Richard is saying hey this is how businesses are run but how businesses should be run. A company that cares only about the bottom line will not be as successful .
 
The only practical difference being "Screw the shareholder"?

"Higher purpose"? Have you read the paperwork?
 
One last thing..I want all the women's allthecars ,all the money,and all women over 21 with pig tails!!!!!!!!
 
business is not like a king. you can't control, or kill a business so easily.
 
I have just started a business in Munich from which others will earn part time cash. I get standard Government support of 340 eruo per month 'til next February (for one year since I took on the comitment.) For the first six months I get an extra 187 Euro per month. After which I'm on my own. I can assure you, after commiting to this risk, I will earn and enjoy as much as I can and anyone who hasn't taken such a risk can...
 
Thats not how He satrted iam sure.right?Exist to make money in business,then after you make it post what Sir Richard just posted.
 
Business is business.  The uber-rich are the uber-rich.  Posting philosophy online does not make you the salt of the earth.
 
I guess if you already have money .you can set back and make absurd comments
 
If my comment is interpreted as "bitterness" because of "not having made a profit", it is just so completely misunderstood. Suppose Angelina Jolie made a speech about how unimportant looks are, and how important it is to be compassionate and tolerant and charitable.  Suppose a very ordinary-looking girl, a perfectly pleasant and secure girl struggling with the normal stresses of existence, said "Yeah, it's dead easy to say that sort of thing when you look like Angelina Jolie", that is NOT "bitterness" about "not looking like Angelina".  It's just true.  Similarly, it's true that if you have millions it is easy to say noble things about the purposes of business.
 
:-O  No offense to Amanda, but I dont think she is 'uber-rich'  XD.
 
Well I a shame others don't think that way sir Richard Branson
 
Businesses exist to make profits and businesses make profits to exist. I'm not sure I see any profoundness in either statement.
 
i cant believe how easy it is to take a poll via social media!thats what he is doing.
 
Mr. +Richard Branson , I wish your sentiments were shared by US corporations that have nearly $2 trillion on their balance sheets, but won't hire. Profits really are the only reason the vast, vast majority of businesses exist.
 
I have never heard of someone going into business to break even
 
Maximum profit or just profit?
 
Don't we all want as much as we can get out of life?
 
that would be the united states postal service
 
Very true, but having fun is also an important part of course......ian
 
Some people have the guts to go get it and others want it as a gift.
 
Well put Mr Branson. Successful people are the ones, like yourself, that can think outside the squares that society puts us all in and than can relay those thoughts in simple messages to others to awaken them.
 
so what abt loss..?buisiness makes a profit/loss to exist..
 
Ayn Rand said it better than anyone else.
 
Sounds like survival of the fittest, as long as business is not a parasite that kills its host species - us. But then 'some of us want to abuse you, some of us want to be abused.' 
 
They both came at the same time or there would have been no egg... Lol
 
Its easier to make such philosophical comment when you are filthy rich, but sorry the middle class and the poor see things differently. they will always think about the proft first then perhaps if they get rich as he is will probably talk more complicated financial philosophies which may even be impracticable.
 
Just another story, ages ago I worked for an industry market leader. Of course I was not privy to the financials, but you can tell when all is going well. It was a great place to work I had a great manager. There would be company sponsored sailing and also formula one racing etc you know all the stuff that Virgin does so well. My manger even gave me a pay rise with out asking for it – I was stoked! Anyway – It all changed, they decided retrench everybody all the a senior managers as well and move to a interstate, were it was cheaper (at least they paid retrenchment money then! Now they dive you to suicide)
I meet the new manager young manager, at the time I guess I thought he was a race horse. But now looking back the at the company’s performance he was a donkey. I don’t think this company to date has recovered its original place. 
And you know what’s very sad for this organization. The old manager advised gave them a strategy that the current market leader is now wining with and in return they retrenched him. 
 
This would be the sorta pics that are played one by one in a sideshow with his voice in the background sharing those exact words. And then at the end u just here some Mexican guy say " se abla espano " really fast
 
Profit employs people, feeds families and provides people with the goods of their desire.  How is that not noble?
 
Making a profit is just one of the reason for a business. There is employees, the community, and government. Each can make or break a company. The way these are addressed by money, training, and just plan good sense   
 
Stephen, as a side comment, when you state: "... There are no secret meetings of the world's top 5,000 wealthiest, CEO's, etc. to come together in huge secret conferences discussing how to enslave the masses, pull the wool over their eyes and keep everyone stupid because its easier to control."

For a fact, they meet for real. Yep, in huge conferences. They try to keep it somewhat a secret, but it is more on the discrete side. The Bilderberg group is just that. They meet every year, if I am correct, and their "agenda" is also very well kept for themselves. I wouldn't go to the extent of stating that they are "discussing how to enslave the masses" but most certainly they are not doing a mass birthdays or pajama parties, either. Sorry for my english, not native language.
 
Business is the exception that proves the rule, you can't have your cake and eat it to, it is the only way business can exist.
 
If something has a weak link, that is still where it breaks whether or not you''re talking like yoda
 
which came first, the chicken or the egg? the Rooster.
 
London underground system has never made a profit but will continue to exist regardless.why, because people use it-most businesses that make profits that don't reflect their use to society are exploiting people, no other reason
 
Sure, but a little more exposition would do!
 
+Graham Lawrence Here is my point and this is just my interpretation of what I believe Mr.Branson is saying. The really successful businesses in my opinion start with simply a passion first and foremost not with how much money can I make. You have to believe in something first because believing in the bottom line only will only sustain you but for so long but a true passion can sustain you for a lifetime. Having said that you then of course need to make a profit on your passion in order to continue doing it full-time and not doing it as a hobby. So the profit is very necessary but I think what he was speaking of was in terms of creating a business and only thinking of the bottom line. As far as the Angelina Jolie reference there are plenty of actresses who are not what you would consider attractive at least not on par with Angelina and have had successful careers many more successful than hers who I have heard say exactly what you said about not worrying about beauty and being honest and charitable. The only reason people take issue with people who are already successful make a comment such as this is because they are already doing it. But from what I have read about Richard these are views that he has had from the very beginning since he first started. 
 
+Pamela Murphey, yea m sure he is got some wisdom thru out the years making money in business n i agree wit +Michael Garcia-Beard,only a few succeed by focusing on the bottom line.reasons come first. they must be a cause besides just cashing up otherwise you will fail.
 
time you sorted virgin out then 
 
+Garion Evans have you not heard about the trillions of debt we have incurred to "safeguard" the credit system???!! However, it may be kinda cool to do a mind-experiment to see where the "new" money ends up. What you think, if it ends up in the coffers of the 1% and corporocracy, would it then be fair to have them go into debt to repay our new debt to the "social contract"?? Or is it SYS (save your souls) and lol (last one loses) still??!
 
I think you have to separate the entity from the people within it. Corporations exist to make a profit, but the people within them may want to extend the goals further. And that's not a semantical distinction. As an aggregate entity, a corporation will always choose to stay in business over doing what may be morally right--and there's nothing wrong with that. But, as is the case with governments, the people within that framework have influence for good or greed. My point: don't confuse "corporation" with the "people within that organization." They're different things, with distinct motives, and their own approaches and goals.
 
To the cynics: As an individual, I work to pay my bills, much like a business sells it's goods and services to pay it's bills. With some of the money I have left over, I make improvements or do maintenance on my home, car, etc much like a business does for it's PP&E. So if I have money leftover at the end of the month (i.e. my profit), does that mean I am evil and cheating people? Anyone have a savings account?
 
I worked for you once at virgin union sq you came down to the basement that day so many woman came trying to bag a rich husband ...lol good day sir

 
Straight from the Ayn Rand lexicon. Love it.
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The comments by the delusional anti-capitalists in this thread make me want to hate humanity.
 
It's nice to hear you say this...reminds me of Druker.
 
"In addition, to avoid paying taxation by having holding companies based offshore. Otherwise known as tax-dodgers."
 
Testing...not sure Google+ is taking a page out of Sir Branson's book. 
 
businesses exist to control not to profit. to mock, not to serve. to insult rather then understand. businesses are nothing but pure evil, business is the foundation of government.
 
In today's climate, were I a business owner in the US of some establishment and substance, I would severance all my workers at a comfortable rate and according to service time. Then, I would invest all my monies as carefully as I can in other interests and close shop.

Now, folks, if all the 'evil' and 'greedy' corps did this, how much longer would you eat, leave alone, be online to moan? 
 
Corporations are overtaxed now. USA has highest corp tax in world. no wonder companies are leaving. 
 
GE and Citigroup paid no taxes last year.  How are they over taxed?
 
Not that I want to sound harsh, but to me they just sound one and the same.
 
They told me in school that business exists to maximize the wealth of the stockholders/investors. You cant do that if you don't survive, but jobs, wage increases, etc only happen if they serve the main goal of maximizing the wealth of the stockholders. 
 
Without profit there is no company.
 
who does not make business with themselves never know this basis.
 
The poet Ambrose Bierce once said, 'corporations are an ingenious device for obtaining individual profit, without individual responsibility'. Corporations are too dangerous to be allowed into a completely laize-faire capitalist system.  Corporations are only worried about the bottom line. They equate the value of human life with the value of the dollar. 

Is there a difference between Capitalism and consumerism?  Could it be said that 'consumerism' is in itself a system?  Perhaps its the mixture of capitalism and consumerism that blinds us to the original and  deeper values related to pure capitalism  in America when people really mattered.
 
we all reap what we sow, and I agree corporations are an attempt to avoid that, but it like trying to avoid death
 
Makes sense. When a business makes no profit, it becomes a charitable organisation.
 
Exploitative capitalism can be stopped.
 
I wish you could get U.S. manufacturers to think that way.
 
that's a nice way to put it..."a charitable organization." but its probably more like unsustainable. it's ability to continue as a going concern comes into doubt
 
I thought again..profit is key motive
 
"Don't just created customers, create raving fans." -Ken Blanchard
 
Companies need to make profit, To reinvest to employ more staff and without profit there will be no work.
 
Would like to receive some business advice a network marketing systems if anyone is interested. lokiriggs@gmail.com
 
Mr Branson, followed your instructions. Thought again (and again...and again) and still feel that businesses exist only to make a profit. Everything needs money, even charity.
S Munoz
 
Businesses do both. Tf?
 
Business makes a profit to exist, therefore existing to make a profit.
 
profit is socially acceptable, as long as wages rise proportionally with profit...this has not been the case for the past 40-50 years though. Technology has allowed people to become more productive in that same time frame. Go ahead an do the math...More production + no wage increase = mucho profits  
 
Technology is what is killing our jobs Todd
JoPa Mi
 
Perfect example of the disconnect between corporations and people.
 
capitalism is an economic system, not a political system...we can make capitalism serve the people or the people can serve capitalism.
 
business is profit. no matter who is bad with it is always that. 
 
He's some jerk that lives in a ravine.
 
There actually are meetings where the extremely wealthy come together. I don't personally know what it is they talk about but anybody who thinks rich people don't like to come together and discuss how they made their individual fortunes is naive (in response to Brendan Walsh)
 
If it don't make profit then it ain't bizniz; we engage in bizniz to transact with an objective of making profit so that it can sustain itself and in addition earn the proprietor a reward for his/her investment...ain't it so!?
 
(Actually in response to stephen kershaw) sorry brendan walsh
 
The proprietor has to be rewarded for the investment and the workers have to get paid there is no incentive without profit
 
Richard, great play on word meaning.... Think of Sir Winston Churchill's comment... "Never give up, Never, Never, give up.... Terry Atha
 
Technology doesn't kill the jobs chinese people get the jobs not robots
 
I like blakes idea the problem is that the higher ups raise their wages because they are selfish... Thats why our economy is in the crapper because of the misuse of funds by the government and the corporations that actually have more cot then the governments that should be regulating them
 
yep, thats pretty much what you say AFTER you made all the money ;)
 
I fail to understand the importance of the comment.  Aside from its obviousness, it hardly represents any virtue that I can see.  Will this end up being a Romney sound bite??
 
+Ivan Handler  This statement doesn't really have any bearing on the "goodness" or "badness" of business in general.  

But... from the point of view of someone like Branson who owns several businesses, it is easy to see that the "Business makes profit to exist" is much more flattering, as it indicates that the business has a purpose higher than profit.

You can make a parallel to people.  Are you the kind of person who exists to eat, or who eats to exist?  Those who eat to exist have purpose, those who exist to eat do not.
 
As far as I'm concerned anybody who posts their opinion is very american considering that our nation was formed around the principal out free speech. However, criticizing someone based upon their beliefs is downright wrong. Frankly I do not believe that Dan OBrien has or will ever have the authority to deem someone else un american
 
"Business exists because it makes profit" is a rather cute saying, Sir. Richard. There are plenty of non-for-profits, doing just fine serving the cause whatever the cause it maybe-and I am not talking about charity, or art organizations etc -
 
I agree, and it is refreshing for a CEO to bring this topic up.  Businesses can provide a livelihood and creative outlet, self-esteem, and a sense of contribution to society.  It is the most common social structure for contribution.  I think there are some of those at the top of businesses that believe they are only for profit (not all).  Those are the type of people that led us into this recession, and that are constantly manipulating politics.  They want massive wealth and basically feudalism.  But in the end, they eat their own tail, although with the expansion of the world markets, the tail is much longer.  Adam Smith proposed the theory of capitalism with a strong moral component.  Without a moral component, capitalism worsens society rather than improving it.
 
Too often people lack a comprehension of the economics human society. Specialization results in efficiency gains that allow the free time we enjoy, and a business model that leads to capitalism.
 
Well said!! To extend or compliment, may I offer up an idea I've personally found both amazing and deadly in that if you are ever lucky enough to be find a position where you are willing to take the thing love doing the most to a place where you need to either seriously consider renting some office space somewhere so your wife can have the spare room back then don't you DARE even think not building the next you think you can almost justify... LOL!!! Anyone need a million or so concentrated leads?
 
I love my blog, thefashionexaminer so my challenge is to make it profitable so it can continue to exist. It's good to have work you love!
 
Those who think businesses exist to make a profit are thinking small thoughts. Everything exists to be elevated to their highest potential. Why stop at profit?
Sam Foy
 
thanks now i know why i ran out of cash after 30yrs in'business.'
 
Btw Virgin Air rocks, and to the pilot yesterday that kept everyone calm by talking, during RIDICULOUS turbulence (people were linking arms) good to know you pay ur pilots well (looked it up). . . and glad to see someone with business ethics I can look up to.
 
This is what all CEO's say to themselves, they start to believe the institutional propaganda that serves them.  Any consumer organisation of such scale, especially if its accountable to shareholders, is primarily driven by profit.  

+Richard Branson can think what he likes, and he may think honest intentional thoughts, but it doesn't change reality.
 
See, profit is more ellusive than people think. When you get it, hold on to it!
 
It only makes sense to say that 'Business exists to make profits' otherwise it'd have been better if one would engage in 'Non-profit making ventures' straight on coz the whole idea doesn't make sense!?
 
I need to exist/Because I do exist/ I need to make profit, to provide shelter....Glitter kissesXxo
 
Business ,  Those who use thier talents , vision to make a difference, is most effective autonimous (non political) , is essentially the natural fount of (individual) freedom and liberty.
 
Rats sir +Samir Bekaert .. this video's link is currently dead? I'd love to watch it if you have better resource perhaps? THANKS!
 
Exists to make a profit, makes a profit to exist, the statements are oxymoron like the active word is profit.  
 
"Y[]U MUST L[]VE,WHAT Y[]U D[], F[]R IT MAKES Y[]U=Y[]U!"
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