People are grateful when you make a difference in their lives. That is the essence of any successful business
Successes are always unique and hard to copy. The fact that easyJet became a success is due to a mixture of talent and luck.
I have to manage and protect my brand. For the details I can always hire people who can knuckle down much better. For that I need people who are different to myself. People who compensate for my weaknesses.
Failures teach you more, there's always something fundamental about them.
America has its roots in a tradition of risk-taking pioneers. In more conservative Europe, if you fail in business or actually end up going to jail for it, you're finished as a businessman for good.
I think that my original drive as an entrepreneur was precisely that desire to get away from the image of the shipping magnate's son.
You can divide airlines into two camps: expensive and cheap. But I believe that we will only distinguish between long-haul and short-haul airlines in the future.
I'm sure there are managers who have had far greater financial success. But my companies such as easyJet have changed the lives of many people. We haven't just made flights affordable for a lot of people.
All things start in California and spread to New Jersey, then to London and then throughout Europe.
Passengers don't like changing planes. That means waiting time, stress, running around. There's a joke that the hub principle is supposed to have been invented by cargo firms. The baggage doesn't care where and how it's pushed around.
I didn't want people to say: Stelios does everything on the cheap at work, and in private he lives in the lap of luxury. That's not me. I don't need those status symbols. I don't need a private jet either when I can go everywhere with Easy.
Even if someone is competent, it's so damned easy to crucify him as long as he's only working on his father's account. So at the beginning I certainly wanted to prove myself to my father and the rest of society. That quickly turned into a greater challenge. My lifestyle hasn't changed as a result.
Unfortunately I have no rags-to-riches story to tell. Money never played a big role for me. My parents just had it.
Greek shipowners like to boast, 'I bought ships at the bottom of the market, and now they're worth ten times as much.' It goes back to the days of Onassis and Niarchos competing with each other over who had the biggest fleet, the biggest yacht and the most famous girlfriend.
This industry attracts more capital than it deserves.
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