In the end, it is Branson, propelled by an overarching sense of boyhood adventure, or desperate folly, and rocketing to establish himself in the pantheon of brave travel pioneers, who has become entangled in a Gordian knot of his own vainglorious making and from which he does not know how to untie himself.
A significant part of their business model extends beyond tourism and into science. Realizing that they will be able to create an environment where weightlessness can be relatively frequently sustained for 4 to 6 minutes, Virgin Galactic has worked hard to create, advertise, promote, and implement true scientific research opportunities on SpaceShipTwo.
All day today at my apartment, I've been hosting a meeting of the B Team, which Richard Branson co-founded last year to change the values that drive businesses, to prioritize people and planet alongside profit, and to move beyond our obsession with quarterly earnings and short-term growth. And before we started the day, I interviewed Richard at AOL's Brand Camp leadership meeting, which reminded me of a conversation he and I had in 2009, on board Virgin America's inaugural flight from San Francisco to Orange County, covering everything from space travel and global warming to marijuana and the music business.