More than a twitter conversation with Richard Branson

Richard Branson (sockless) [pic taken from his blog]

Richard Branson (sockless) (pic taken from his blog)

So 4th of October 2011 was when Richard Branson opened up to a conversation on twitter. Prior to this, he was merely broadcasting his thoughts/voyagers/experiences instead of actually having a conversation with anyone on the twittersphere.

This was his tweet that prompted twitter followers to converse with him:

Join me for live-tweeting at 3.30pm BST – ask me your questions, tag them #askrichard. There just happens to be a big prize up for grabs too

I thought of trying to get his attention by tweeting this about 3 hours before his scheduled answering time:

Willing to put away $1 for every RT that this tweet will get, and give the collection to any of @richardbranson‘s charities #askrichard

That got 29 RTs by the time he was answering questions, but I guess his team either overlooked the top tweets or they just missed it somehow (or saw it and was going “LOL, this guy is good :), though too smart for our liking” ).

So I took the opportunity as well and tweeted a few times with some serious questions and bit of some less serious ones. Most of them were along the lines of ‘Will you invest in Sri Lanka” as can be judged based on this tweet:

@richardbranson WOOHOO,great to hear about #askrichard & opp to interact, so any interest in investing in Sri Lanka now that war is over 🙂

There was also a non-‘come invest in Sri Lanka’ tweet that I thought was a sensible question to ask:

@richardbranson Teleportation, would you pursue and make an industry out of it if it were possible? #askrichard

Unfortunately, there was no attempt from his end to reply, odds were little with the many other tweets that were coming addressed to him via the hashtag #askrichard. But looking at things from a positive perspective, what was peculiar to observe was indeed the questions that were being raised to him. It was a good means of seeing what other people wanted addressed or had in mind about him/themselves etc..

While some were asking him whether he would invest in their ventures, others were talking of green initiatives and the humane side of things and what an influential person like him could do about it. Whether he answered them all was not the important part, but that he might have noticed most of them is the positive that we can take from the 1 hour of Q&A he had on twitter.

A   tweet question that caught my eye was asked by chad stephenson
If you could go back and do something over, what would it be? #askrichard
to which Richard Branson replied:
@StephensonChad7 Wish i had got Nelson Mandela & Kofi Annan one day earlier to Iraq to persuade Saddam Hussein to stand down…
Having read his 3 books, I actually thought he had mentioned this in his ‘Business stripped bare‘ book, and even tweeted it
@richardbranson Yep,its all well documented in ur book ‘Business Stripped Bare’ @StephensonChad7#askrichard

However, I was wrong, he had actually mentioned it in his ‘Screw it, lets do it‘ book instead, under Chapter 14, “Think Young” where he elaborated on how Mandela was prepared to take the risk of being taken in as hostage by Saddam Hussein since he thought at his age, he was expendable!If you haven’t read the book already, would highly recommend it no doubt.

So overall, the session proved to be worthy (for me at least) since it sparked a few more things in the mind and that’s always a good thing 🙂 Also, hopefully, he will make it a habit to converse with more tweeps in his time he spends on twitter.

You can follow Richard Branson on twitter via and follow up with his blogposts at

2 Responses to “More than a twitter conversation with Richard Branson”
  1. Nishadha says:

    Ha ha, I guess the that tweet was too smart for your own good, I have visited his Twitter account before and there wasn’t much content so didn’t follow it. Maybe I will this time. Some nice tweets anyway.

  2. Elmo says:

    I bought Screw It, Let’s Do It a few weeks ago. Coincidentally, before reading this blogpost, I was planning to start reading it today.

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