How Forrest Gump, Don Corleone and James Bond helped our Startup
Note : This article was published on LinkedIn.
I am hazarding a guess that most people would have watched The GodFather, Forrest Gump, and at least some of the James Bond movies. Either when they were young, or for the younger folks, as classics.
I continue to watch them now and again. But over the years, I have started to view them and see messages that are relevant to us in many walks of life. And once we were a Startup, I picked some messages from the dialogues in these movies, that made a lot of sense to us.
Here are 3 famous quotes from these movies that I thought, fit the Startup DNA.
Actually, it applies to any company or employee as well.
“Life is a box of chocolates, Forrest. You never know what you’re gonna get”
Mrs Gump/Sally Field in Forrest Gump (1994)
Attitude is everything.
Remember, the things you planned before you set out? The blueprints, the business plans etc.? Most probably, you will throw them out (or threw them out) once you started running your business. Your plans constantly evolve. Your customers change. The Segments you are addressing may evolve to include more or go deeper into a niche. But change will happen.
And change follows challenges. Challenges, that you will invariably face in the early days of your startup.
Don’t have a closed mind about the purpose of the business. Keep your options open and evolve with the business as you go along. You never know what you get next. Where your next order comes from. What your future holds.
Have a positive attitude. Irrespective of what hits you.
Life is a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get next.
“Bond. James Bond.”
Sean Connery in Dr No (1962)
What is your brand? Do you have a brand at all? Are you just one more of those startups or companies or employees trying to get by?
Are you working on it? If not, you should. How you position yourself and carry yourself and your company makes a huge difference.
Everything about you that touches your customers, clients, or other people should carry your brand- and make it stronger.
And it is not just the Logo.
The presentations you do. The communications that go out of your company. The mails. The proposals. The Website.
How do you carry these off? Are you seen as a “me too”? Do you see anything “different” about it?
Look at every communication as an opportunity put you and your company as being “different”.
If it does, you are in the right path. If not, it is time to look at it and start the rebranding exercise.
Bond. James Bond.
You are not just another Agent.
Remember, you are not just another Startup.
I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.
Don Corleone/Marlon Brando in The Godfather (1972)
For a Startup, the first chance you get to tell your story and offer a solution to a customer, is the window of opportunity to blow his socks off. To do that, you need to do your homework. Understand the challenge the customer is facing, get into his boots, and then work on the solution from inside out. You are not bound by any restrictions of having to follow their rule book. You have the opportunity to show a bigger, broader vision to your client.
Design a proposal and an offer that makes it compelling for the client. Something by which he transitions from a “do I need this guy” to “how do I get this guy to help me”.
Make an offer he cannot refuse. Remember he has problems for which he is seeking solutions. Make the offer compelling. Make it relevant. Make it memorable.
Make it an offer he cannot refuse.
All the best. The journey is exciting. The opportunities tremendous. There is an opportunity behind every desk. Start somewhere and start making those changes today.