Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sherwood Forest Incorporated

In my second post for this blog, I wrote about The Dam Busters and how that movie provides a fine metaphor for a startup company. I recently re-watched another favourite movie, 1938's The Adventures of Robin Hood with Errol Flynn in the title role. The parallels with a startup company jumped out at me, and here's the resulting movie-as-metaphor post.

The Adventures of Robin Hood features a visionary founder (Robin of Loxley) with an innovative and disruptive idea (stealing from the rich to give to the poor) to solve a pressing problem (the oppression of the people by Prince John and his cohorts). There are co-founders (Little John, Friar Tuck, and a few others) who support Robin through the hard work (freeing various peasants, retrieving ill-gotten gains) of proving that his idea will work.

Having successfully launched his startup company (his band of merry men), Robin goes to market (larger scale interference with the Prince's nefarious looting of the countryside) and builds a loyal following (more merry men and supporters) who buy into his vision (now expanded to include freeing King Richard from a foreign prison).

Robin's success as a leader (his followers have clarity on his vision and work hard to deliver on it) makes the merry men a great success (they even steal from Guy of Gisbourne and the Sherriff of Nottingham). Their competitors strike back (capturing Robin during an archery contest) but Robin's team perseveres (rescuing Robin in dramatic fashion) and build on their lead in the market.

Robin and his men continue to work hard and when an unexpected opportunity arises (King Richard returns to England and finds Robin) he capitalizes on it (executes a plan that restores Richard to the throne in place of Prince John) to decisively win the marketplace.

Robin steps aside as CEO and turns over his company to an experienced executive (King Richard) while negotiating a great payoff for his team (pardons all around for the merry men). As founder, he is amply rewarded (various new titles from Richard) and retires (to marry Lady Marian).

The movie is loads of fun, if you like this sort of thing (which I do).

No comments:

Post a Comment