Posts by Luke Johnson

Sharing upstarts? No, they are tax-avoiding skimmers

Sharing upstarts? No, they are tax-avoiding skimmers

29th January 2017

First published in The Sunday Times on 29th January 2017.  Capitalism can be adroit at presenting itself in a cuddly light, and technology businesses are especially good at this trick. A sector engaged in “collaborative consumption” has been branded the

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To succeed, keep in touch with your inner psychopath

To succeed, keep in touch with your inner psychopath

22nd January 2017

First published in The Sunday Times on 22nd January 2017. I met an eminent psychiatrist recently who told me about the “dark triad”. This is not a criminal gang, but rather a trifecta of malevolent personality traits possessed by certain

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Could Whitbread’s bosses make a frothy cappuccino?

Could Whitbread’s bosses make a frothy cappuccino?

15th January 2017

First published in The Sunday Times on 15th January 2017. One of my core beliefs about business success is that domain knowledge really matters. What I mean by this is that directors should possess a deep understanding of their industry,

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Oh Lord, make it new — just not too new

Oh Lord, make it new — just not too new

8th January 2017

First published in The Sunday Times on 8th January 2017. I used to chair a marketing business called Loewy Group. Its original industrial-design operation was founded by a brilliant Frenchman called Raymond Loewy in 1930. Loewy died in 1986, but

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I spy a way to help companies steal a march

I spy a way to help companies steal a march

1st January 2017

First published in the Sunday Times on 1st January 2017. The business world generally thinks it can learn nothing from the public sector, but, of course, this is nonsense. One specialist arm of the state which could teach many companies a

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We must not let the vegan bullies intimidate business

We must not let the vegan bullies intimidate business

18th December 2016

First published in the Sunday Times on 18th December 2016. I received an email from the Humane League recently. At first I assumed it was from the 1980s band that sang about the waitress in a cocktail bar. Unfortunately it

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How to bring up children to become entrepreneurs

How to bring up children to become entrepreneurs

11th December 2016

First published in the Sunday Times on 11th December 2016. Will any of my children become entrepreneurs? It is hard to say, since all three are under the age of 12, but in my experience, the most powerful influence on

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Who said our job is not to make profits? Bah humbug!

Who said our job is not to make profits? Bah humbug!

4th December 2016

First published in the Sunday Times on 4th December 2016. I fear the symbol of Christmas this year for many companies should not be Santa Claus, but Ebenezer Scrooge. All sorts of industries are experiencing the worst margin squeeze for

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There’s room at the inn for nimble investors

There’s room at the inn for nimble investors

27th November 2016

First published in the Sunday Times on 27th November 2016. I have backed a few companies in the hotel and resort business over a number of years, but recently I have committed more capital to the sector after buying a

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Succeed as a leader rather than fail as an emperor

Succeed as a leader rather than fail as an emperor

20th November 2016

First published in the Sunday Times on 20th November 2016. Confidence is an obvious requirement for business success — but humility is an asset, too. You need self-confidence to start an enterprise — a powerful belief in your ideas and

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