Posts by Luke Johnson

There’s no disgrace for entrepreneurs in honest failure

There’s no disgrace for entrepreneurs in honest failure

23rd April 2017

First published in the Sunday Times on 23rd April 2017. The most dramatic and painful event in business life is going bust. It is perfectly captured in Schumpeter’s terrifying phrase “creative destruction” — the moment of commercial death often giving rise

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Founders should not hang around for ever

Founders should not hang around for ever

16th April 2017

First published in the Sunday Times on 16th April 2017. A family business can be the best of all ownership structures — both for society as a whole and financially. Public companies have transient institutional owners that tend to be

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Cry into your beer over the strange death of country pubs

Cry into your beer over the strange death of country pubs

9th April 2017

First published in the Sunday Times on 9th April 2017. Sometimes you just have to accept defeat, and move on. So it proved for me recently, in the case of The Red Lion pub. Four years ago, I bought the

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Investor activists: the good, the bad and the ugly

Investor activists: the good, the bad and the ugly

2nd April 2017

First published in the Sunday Times on 2nd April 2017. Public companies suffer from a defect usually absent from private, family businesses: the agency problem. This arises because in public companies control rests with the board, while the shareholders provide the

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Praise the Lord and keep the faith in start-ups!

Praise the Lord and keep the faith in start-ups!

26th March 2017

First published in the Sunday Times on 26th March 2017. Is it possible to be a good Christian and a successful entrepreneur? I was inspired to ask this question thanks to an excellent new book entitled A Voice to be

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We may have hit ‘peak club’ but I’ll keep paying my dues

We may have hit ‘peak club’ but I’ll keep paying my dues

19th March 2017

First published in the Sunday Times on 19th March 2017. In the past decade, Wikipedia has rather replaced Who’s Who as a directory of society’s movers and shakers. Generally it is a more up-to-date and informative record. But in one

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Clobber the rich with too much tax and we’ll all suffer

Clobber the rich with too much tax and we’ll all suffer

12th March 2017

First published in the Sunday Times on 12th March 2017. What have the following people got in common: Sir Richard Branson, Guy Hands, Lady (Tina) Green, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, Jon Moulton and Lewis Hamilton? Answer: they are all tax exiles.

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Property barons change the world — and now they rule it

Property barons change the world — and now they rule it

5th March 2017

First published in the Sunday Times on 5th March 2017. Donald Trump’s seizure of the White House is perhaps the crowning glory for that formidable breed, the property developer. They dominate the urban landscape and the rich lists, yet somehow

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Judge this tech hero by his failed investments

Judge this tech hero by his failed investments

26th February 2017

First published in the Sunday Times on 26th February 2017. It is always painful to lose money on an investment. Not simply because of the loss of spending power, but also because of the damage to one’s pride and confidence.

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I know what I don’t like about the art world

I know what I don’t like about the art world

19th February 2017

First published in the Sunday Times on 19th February 2017. The art world is the perfect collision of culture and commerce. The very rich people I’ve known spend much more money on artwork than on other aesthetic and creative pursuits

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