Thursday, August 23, 2012

Startup's are like Movie Making

I believe movie making is like a start-up, building a company from scratch. It goes through all the phases of a startup life-cycle. I have put the similarities here..

Research and story: A start-up is to fulfill a story and  research should be put into it. Visualizing as a story and dig into features  is the best way to approach the product development. In movie making, story is the crucial element and basic research should be done around it for authenticity.

Start Fresh: A start-up is full of energy and fresh mind with no hangover whatsoever. Approach to a movie should be like this even for an experienced film maker

Creativity: Creativity is the core aspect in movie making and you cannot proceed anything further without it.
Being creative is essential quality to run  a start up in implementing new business models, creating a better customer experience, forming a culture inside the company, working on process improvement, product development, customer support

Detailing: Detailing is an essential and handy skill to have and very critical in building a product. In movies, detailing every aspects from characterization, screenplay and choosing best out of it is important.

Observation and Log: To succeed in film making,  you need to observe the outside world and follow the daily affairs. Even you can get new characters, ideas for your movies from people you meet and news you read. When running a company, we need to observe different business models, emerging technologies, practices. Maintaining a log of all the observations is handy

Coordination: In a start-up,  we need to co-ordinate with various resources from marketing, development, finance, legal, admin..etc.. We need to utilize the services of external vendors who are best in it and get the things done. Care should be taken on contracts and negotiations. Its all the orchestration of these things make the product successful. Same applies to movie making.

Copied vs Inspired: There is a thin line between copied and inspired. You can inspire from anything from successful business models to great customer experience. Use of best practices always do goodies for the business. Similarly, in movie making you can inspire from screenplay,camera angles,background , characterization.etc from other movies.

Small Things Matter: Small things matters and  add value to overall objective and goal. For instance, even changing the size, color of an action button in a website or changing the tone of  FAQ section may plays an role in overall conversion. In a movie, even a small eye reaction, a minor object in the background plays a role in catching the attention of audience and makes a scene likeable (knowingly or unknowingly).

On Track: Product should be on track with the vision(Project Requirements). We have to clearly identify what level we need to do a particular feature at that point of time and plan our time, effort and resource accordingly. Finding which is important at that point of time is the crucial aspect in running a company.
A movie should be in line with story and screen play and not to carried away with non important things.

Scope of Improvement: A product can be iteratively improved and even rework can be done. Similarly a scene can be re-shoot latter, patched up and even can be improved during editing. One difference - In-case of a movie, nothing can be done after launch.

On Budget: We may need to do some adjustments here and there to manage within the budget. Similar case applies to a start-up.

Cognitive Psychology: If we know what people perceive,think and react to a scenario, we can try to capitalize through product features and services. Same applies to a movie. We have to think in the audience shoes and predict how would they be reacting to a scene.

On Time: Meticulous planning helps to complete a movie within a schedule and launching at the right time.
A proper product road map and planning helps to complete and launch the product on time.

Scope of Marketing: Finished product can be marketed in all unique and novel ways depending on the context of the product. Same applies to a movie. Apart from posters and ads, I believe lot of potential is there in marketing movies in all  novel ways. For instance,  for a children movie we can uniquely target children of particular age groups with campaigns and competitions. Leveraging social media and engaging the audience is also important.

Launch and Post Launch: Product Launch is  important to create a hype around the product. Same applies to a movie. Press release, music release, still release, trailer release, road shows  plays a crucial role in creating a hype around movie.

Doing in a phased manner with the audience feedback is very important. Doing by this way(phased manner) also helps in building up the necessary hype.After the launch, engaging the audience and make them talk about your product gives tremendous result.

Customer / Audience  - The Ultimate Decider: Finally, the customer/audience decides the success independent of hype and who creates it..