Be Like Deadpool: invaluable start-up lessons from Deadpool
Can an entrepreneur just watch a movie without thinking of start-ups? Probably not.
Deadpool is a total laugh riot and its garrulous humour is meant to, and bound to entertain – but if you watch it with a keen entrepreneurial perspective, you’ll find some key messages – albeit completely undirected – for entrepreneurs. I know, digging a funny movie for lessons doesn’t sound like too much fun. I did it so you don’t have to.
There’s a sequence of scenes in the movie where Deadpool starts targeting all the confidants of his nemesis, Francis, and we see how his superhero outfit evolves in the process. It struck me how aptly this captures the spirit of entrepreneurship, and offers some key points to keep in mind when starting up, such as:
Get to the market quickly: There’s nothing like a perfect product. You can spend hours thinking and working on making the product perfect but it’s more important to get your Minimum Viable Product (MVP) out in the market. Deadpool starts off on his hunt, to find his nemesis, in a grey jumpsuit that isn’t the most practical choice of outfit but at least he gets out there to fulfil his mission.
Don’t give up or get demoralized: Through the challenges faced fighting in a grey jumpsuit, Deadpool learns how to tweak his outfit. He doesn’t get demoralized by the ineffectual solution he had used. Instead he gets back to the drawing board and thinks through better ideas.
Keep testing and rebuilding: Build, Test, Rebuild, Retest. The product and offering will always evolve. Therefore, it is more important to keep testing the product than build a fully-baked product. Deadpool’s outfit evolves as he goes out to attack his nemesis’s confidants. For instance, he improves his mask so that his voice does not get muffled. His outfit evolves based on how effective a solution it is for him and the way his target audience – in this case his enemies – react to his product.
Keep collecting feedback: It is really important to understand your target customer and their needs. Understanding their needs will only help you better your product / service. Sometimes you might get invaluable feedback from the most unexpected sources. Deadpool switches to a red-coloured outfit based on a random interaction with a visually-impaired woman at a laundry mart. The key is to keep an open mind, hear what people have to share and then execute those ideas that you think are relevant. This article probably makes the idea of finding lessons everywhere self-evident.
Execute what you believe in and execute fast: After all the feedback, it is you who decides which idea to execute. So what if your investor recommends another solution? So what if Deadpool’s friend wanted him to be a horror movie actor instead. You are the ultimate decision maker. You have to analyse and execute quickly, because if you don’t someone else will.
Although, I wouldn’t aspire to imbibe Deadpool’s brash demeanour, there are elements in his character that really do exemplify a strong, passionate, never-give-up attitude that is ideal in an entrepreneur.