10 Startup Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Superheroes

Jason NazarAs part of UC Santa Barbara’s Distinguished Lecture Series, Jason Nazar, Co-Founder and CEO of Docstoc, recently shared ten lessons that emerging entrepreneurs can learn from superheroes.

Jason’s inspiration for this 6 ½ minute talk was a blog entry he wrote in 2008, which went viral within the startup community. You can check out Jason’s original entry HERE.

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You can watch Jason’s presentation below or on YouTube here:  http://youtu.be/fBGT8TVjZXQ


Jason has always been fascinated with superheroes. When he Co-Founded Docstoc, he decided to incorporate superheroes into his company’s Core Values. Each new employee is asked to publicly declare their favorite superhero, which is then added to a large mural on display in the company’s lobby.  

Always the serial entrepreneur, Jason is expanding Docstoc’s mission to include not just documents, but a variety of tools that help entrepreneurs run their businesses, such as ebooks and videos. To this end, Jason and his DocStoc team have created a compelling online course entitled, 21 Critical Lessons for Entrepreneurs. In fact, lesson 19 is the video shown below. If you enjoy Jason’s content and style, you might want to check out his online course.

The ten superhero lessons are listed below. Although each of these images is impactful in their own right, I strongly encourage you to check out Jason’s clever elaboration of each of these superhero lessons.

Superheroes Never Give Up

Superheroes Never Give Up

Superheroes Always Get The Job Done

Superheroes always get the job done

Superheroes Are The Best At What They Do

Superheroes are best at what they do

Superheroes Are Crystal Clear Of Their Purpose

Superheroes are crystal clear of their purpose

Superheroes Are Not Flawless

Superheroes are not flawless

Superheroes Don’t Seek Glory… But They Get It Anyway

superheroes don't seek glory.. but get it anyway

Superheroes Help Others

Superheroes help others

Superheroes Can Do It By Themselves But Are More Powerful In Teams

Superheroes can do it by themselves but are more powerful in teams

Superheroes’ True Strength Comes From Their Character

Superheroes' True Strength Comes from their character

Superheroes Accomplish Huge Feats

Superheroes Accomplish Huge Feats

Jason makes it clear at the outset of his talk that, although superheroes are a lighthearted and fun expression of his company’s core values, he is extremely serious about incorporating them into his “superhero culture.” He tells his employees, “When you come into the company every day, I want you thinking you are that superhero.” Fortunately, Jason does not require his employees to wear capes, masks or tights.

Just like a superhero’s mission, startups are exhausting and demanding. However, by emulating superheroes, startup employees can be inspired to achieve outsized results while remaining helpful and humble. Time to get your superhero on…

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John Greathouse is a Partner at Rincon Venture Partners, a venture capital firm investing in early stage, web-based businesses. Previously, John co-founded RevUpNet, a performance-based online marketing agency sold to Coull. During the prior twenty years, he held senior executive positions with several successful startups, spearheading transactions that generated more than $350 million of shareholder value, including an IPO and a multi-hundred-million-dollar acquisition.

John is a CPA and holds an M.B.A. from the Wharton School. He is a member of the University of California at Santa Barbara's Faculty where he teaches several entrepreneurial courses.

Note: All of my advice in this blog is that of a layman. I am not a lawyer and I never played one on TV. You should always assess the veracity of any third-party advice that might have far-reaching implications (be it legal, accounting, personnel, tax or otherwise) with your trusted professional of choice.

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