Shaper: Will Butler-Adams

Show aired on 27th May 2017

Transcript

Will Butler-Adams

Will Butler-Adams is the Managing Director of Brompton Bicycle. He studied Mechanical Engineering and Spanish at Newcastle University, followed by a Chartered Mechanical Engineering course at the Institute of Mechanical Engineering. He began working as a Project Manager at ICI, a former chemical company and as a Plant Manager in DuPont, a science-based products and services company before moving on to Brompton Bicycle.

In 2015, Will was awarded an OBE for services to manufacturing.

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Follow Will on Twitter @Will_Brompton.

“…as the world is full of weird things, I was sitting on a bus going from London out towards Henley next to a bloke who happened to be the best friend of the inventor of the Brompton Bicycle…”

“I thought, oh that’s a bit peculiar, never heard of this weird looking bike, sounds intriguing I’ll go and have a look”

“This thing was awesome and then I met our customers and they loved it and I’m thinking, we need to be doing more of this and then I was just totally sucked in and sort of it just ate me up and I’ve been at it ever since.”

“We had no monthly management accounts, we had no budgets, we had no meetings, we had no meeting room.”

“London, you know, people going down a hole in the ground looking pretty grumpy, that’s no fun. But I wasn’t doing that I was whizzing across London on this bike.”

“I did weird expeditions into weird parts of the world and was always quite keen to do things a little bit different on the basis that, you know, when you’re twenty eight really what have you got to lose?”

“There’s another part of a degree which is irrelevant of what subject you choose, it’s just about learning and anybody who has learnt to learn can do anything that they apply themselves to.”

“I think the measure of success at the end of each year is taking the number of screw ups you’ve made with the number of successes you’ve made and if you happen to have more successes than screw ups then you’ve done pretty well”

“We live in great cities with amazing architecture and cool parks and we’ve got to get people back on a bike and that’s what makes me happy, that’s what floats my boat. Seeing people all round the world on our bike.”