‘The Rich List’ is past its sell-by date.


Last weekend I picked up The Sunday Times Rich List. And I promptly put it down again - the whole idea feels about two decades past its sell by date.

I’m passionate about entrepreneurship. I admire anyone with the guts to take a risk, to start their own business, to build something out of nothing. Whether you’re Jamie Oliver or Jane Ní Dhulchaointigh, I think it’s amazing you have taken your raw talent or an idea for a product and gone global with it.

And I think it’s important that these people become role models to inspire future generations of entrepreneurs.

But publishing an annual Rich List? It feels a bit eighties, recalling the sight of City Boys and Yuppies on oversized mobile phones boasted about their wealth. The list is also flawed; as Richard Alvin reminded me on Twitter, “So factually incorrect its worthless too. Person owns £5m house, has £3m mortgage, Rich List says (they are) worth £5m not £2m.

But it’s not the maths that bothers me, it’s the idea that financial wealth — whether earned, stumbled upon or inherited — is the definitive indicator of success.

Let’s be proud of our achievements, let’s champion entrepreneurs and talented people who've made a success of their lives, who've created something out of nothing, who provide jobs for others. But let’s stop this ‘wealth porn’, let’s stop measuring success by £, let’s stop celebrating who has the most dosh.