Minimum Viable Products and other schtuff

If you aren’t familiar with Pulp Fiction, Harvey Keitel makes a cameo  appearance as The Wolf.  The Wolf is a consultant that solves problems.  The perfect founder of any company embodies the qualities of The Wolf.  If you haven’t seen Pulp Fiction, make sure you watch the video at the end of the post for better understanding.

Have a Clear Mission Mission – What do You Do?

The Wolf’s mission is clear, he solves problems.  Marcellus knows the Wolf’s role in any project.  He’s the ideal contractor.  He has a three word mission and people automatically feel better when they know he will be involved in a project.  Look at how Samuel L. Jackson’s face lights up when he hears the Wolf is coming.  He automatically feels a level of comfort and that the situation will be okay at that point.  Your mission should be this clear.  Your goal should be to make customers feel as comfortable as Samuel L. Jackson.

Assess the Situation and Understand Key Objectives

The Wolf understands the most important factors of the situation.  Cleaning the visual elements of the car, masking the odors, checking the car for problems, and cleaning Jules and Vincent are crucial in accomplishing the goal.  The Wolf knows the situation, knows what needs to happen, and makes sure the bases are covered on the four key objectives.  The task at hand becomes much more manageable when you break it down into these key objectives.Picture of The Wolf From Pulp Fiction - He Solves Problems

Thorough Understanding of Potential Pitfalls

A thorough understanding of things that can go wrong helps ensure success.  The Wolf knows the worst possible scenario is getting pulled over.  He diligently asks the men if there’s anything wrong with the car.  Once he gets an answer, he isn’t satisfied and considers car problems the guys may have overlooked.  If you ask if there’s anything wrong with a car, few people may not mention a broken tail light – a broken tail light is a typical reason a cop would pull someone over and its crucial to their mission that no tail light is broken.

Know How To Communicate With Your Audience

The Wolf understands his two audiences, Vincent And Jules (the gangsters) and Jimmy (the home owner) are his two main audience segments and The Wolf speaks to them accordingly.  The Wolf is always extremely polite and mannerly with Jimmy.  He says please, he says thank you, and he acknowledges a good cup of coffee.  At the same time, Jimmy is not as courteous with Jules and Vincent.  Talking to the gangsters, he curses much more frequently, he isn’t nearly as courteous, and doesn’t say please and thank you as much.  Pay attention to the tone and frequency with how he speaks to the two segments.  He uses very distinct speaking voices when speaking to the two segments.

Understand your Environment

The Wolf understands  his environment and what he’s likely to find to achieve the goal.  He realizes there’s a very good possibility he will find linens and cleaning supplies since the house looks “domesticated”.  Not only does The Wolf make use of supplies, but he also makes use of the hose in the backyard as a quick way to clean off the gangster’s outfits.

Keep Your Cool

Remaining calm and thoroughly thinking through the situation is the most important part of the problem solving process.  The Wolf takes his time to think of the solution and goes to great lengths to appear calm.  He intentionally asks Jimmy to make him a cup of coffee.  He intentionally brings the men back into the kitchen to discuss next steps.  He could have discussed next steps in the garage in order to save precious seconds, but instead he asks the men back into the kitchen.  Going to great lengths to remain calm helps show other members of your team that there’s nothing to worry about.  If people think there’s nothing to worry about, they will remain calm and diligently get the job done.

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The Wolf From Pulp Fiction


This post was inspired by a tweet from Sean Lindsay

§133 · January 8, 2012 · Startup Wisdom · · [Print]

1 Comment to “The Wolf From Pulp Fiction is the Ideal Startup Founder”

  1. Andrew Wells says:

    I hope you haven’t given up on your blogging project. I was getting a lot of inspiration from it. Best. Andrew

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