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Unicorn Tears by Jamie Pride

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CHAPTER 7HOLLYWOOD GOT IT RIGHT

Now you are aware of the myths surrounding startups, you’ll want to know where to focus your efforts to succeed. Here we are going to compare the way the companies in America’s famous film-making hub, Hollywood, and those in the hotbed of startup culture, Silicon Valley, go about their business. They have more in common than you might think. Essentially, both Hollywood executives and tech founders bring together a team of creative people to produce a commercial product. A notable difference is in the failure rates, with the movie industry enjoying much lower rates than Silicon Valley startups. I’m interested in why this is so.

The best way for me to explain it to you is through an example. Roll up Jurassic Park! It’s a story that I use often when speaking to founders. For me, the analogy is this: most people have seen this film. Technically it’s a ‘Unicorn’, having grossed more than a billion dollars at the box office.

As you may know, the film was based on a novel by Michael Crichton. Most people who have seen the movie haven’t read the book, but what is interesting to understand is the journey the book took on its way to becoming a blockbuster movie. There are parallels every step of the way between the Hollywood way and the startup process. Let’s begin by thinking about the book itself and comparing it to your startup idea.

Crichton’s idea was simple: bring dinosaurs back to life. The novel sold over 12 million copies. But a best-selling book ...

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