Thursday, 3 July 2014

The Branded Gentry – Vallance and Hopper 2013

A book about British people who gave their name to their brands. Although it was not that much of an exciting read, it contains really interesting stories and quotes by the entrepreneurs:

“’E-mail is a monologue and I prefer telephone dialogue,’ he (Lord Bell) says.” (Vallance and Hopper, 2013, p.31).

“One of the things I’ve been trying to learn is avoid being co-dependent; to stop imagining that other people’s behaviour determines your life. You have to stop trying to control other people’s behaviour, which you can’t do.” (Vallance and Hopper quoting Lord Bell, 2013, p.34).

“He explains how, when things are going badly, he tries to be the first to take responsibility: a kind of fault-owning from the front. He says he hates blame culture ab defensive behaviours. Hence, he likes upwards appraisals, where junior staff give feedback on seniors.” (Vallance and Hopper, 2013, p.56).

“I’ve got a lot of parallel lives unlived, but you suddenly realise it’s probably not going to happen. It’s the inherent sadness of ageing …” (Vallance and Hopper quoting Emma Bridgewater, 2013, p.64).

“When you find something that works, you can absolve yourself from decision making. I’m keen on not having to make decisions all the time.” (Vallance and Hopper, 2013, p.76).

“The trouble wth then being an entrepreneur is that you never think you’ve finished. You’re always thinking of things you haven’t done.” (Vallance and Hopper, 2013, p.77). “I’ve built a switch off mechanism (…). I can remember the horror of sleepless nights I’ve had. Sometimes, you have to sort of use an escape like fiction; theatre is very good; cinema is brilliant; cinema and alcohol are very effective.” (Vallance and Hopper, 2013, p.77).

The “bits of America (…) that nobody ever visits. (…) It fills me with an enormous sense of a life unlived: the vastness of America; the opportunity and the stimulation of it.” (Vallance and Hopper quoting Emma Bridgewater, 2013, p.80).

“I’ve always said that if you don’t love yourself, you can’t be loved by others, and then you’ll look for love in all the wrong places.” (Vallance and Hopper quoting Kackie Cooper, 2013, p.98).

“the key to entrepreneuship is (…) the ability to make something out of a difference.” (Vallance and Hopper, 2013, p.103).

“Never got back in debt. Never. Debt brands you and it’s all pervasive and you don’t have any control.” (Vallance and Hopper quoting Jackie Cooper, 2013, p.103).

“being the outsider. (…) Everyone else is a stranger, so you become strange.” (Vallance and Hopper, 2013, p.113).

“like the psychology of the race, because you have to accelerate when you feel the most tired, because that puts off all the other runners.” (Vallance and Hopper quoting Sir James Dyson, 2013, p.118).

On trying to please his Japanese partners: “He became known as the large, smelly, unattractive gaijin. (…) ‘They will bever like you’, he says, so you have to stop being  so desperate to please them. (Paul Smith would take a small train set into meetings with Japanese businessmen, and would begin to play with it when he got bored. Of course, they just assumed that this was normal gaijin behaviour, no less insanely Western than eating Cornish pasties or peeing in the bathtub, si ut never mattered much.” (Vallance and Hopper, 2013, p.125).

On ideas: “If you can have one (…) you can have a thousand and one, or an infinite number; and that is the sudden realisation of confident certainty. Shouting at people is a lack of confidence; a sign of panic that you think you can only do a fixed number of ideas and then you’ll dry up.” (Vallance and Hopper, 2013, p.139).

On never presenting creative material in the pitch: “’If we really believed in the superiority of our creative product, we shouldn’t give it away for free.’” (Vallance and Hopper quoting Hegarty, 2013, p.141).

Enthusiasm: “a point about the etymology of the word, which, he (Hegarty) explains, literally means being with God.” (Vallance and Hopper, 2013, p.143).

“My father always told me that he had given me the best education that money could buy, but he could not leave me any money – and I told him that I was deeply grateful for it being that way round.” (Vallance and Hopper quoting Hsicox, 2013, p.154).

“’Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgement; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.’” (Vallance and Hopper quoting Hiscox quoting Burke, 2013, p.160).

“I’m still not a good sleeper. I don’t know if it’s to do with worrying. I do find that little things become monstruous at night.” (Vallance and Hopper quoting Hiscox, 2013, p.162).

 “If we made some money as we went along, all well and good, but it’s the wine itself that gives you the reward …. That’s where it starts and finishes.” (Vallance and Hopper quoting Laithwaite, 2013, p.171).

 “I knew the danger: the job always changes you and you never change the job. (…) You’ve got to somehow keep your purity but still get your income, even when each pulls you in an opposite direction. (…) So I decided to earn money on five days of the week selling fabrics and suits, and keep the purity of the stuff I wanted to sell for the Friday and Saturday.” (Vallance and Hopper quoting Sir Paul Smith, 2013, p.263).”

“Dear Paul, I don’t like fashion but I like you.” (Vallance and Hopper quoting Sir Paul Smith, 2013, p.270).

“When you get there, there’s no there there.” (Vallance and Hopper quoting Warburton, 2013, p.290).

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