The Founder – Birdman serving you a Big Mac

Audio version
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It’s nice to see Michael Keaton again. Besides Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) he didn’t get quite noticed in the industry since… Batman? The founder. About McDonald’s.

And for me, if you played Batman, you were the man! It was one of the first actors whom I can remember his name. That was in ’90 or something when I was four years old. And since then, like in Birdman, he kind of went in the fog. A little bit in Robocop as I just remembered now. But that was it.

This weekend I’ve been watching 3 movies, all of them based on true stories, recent stories. One was Gold starring Matthew McConaughey alongside Edgar Ramirez, a Venezuelan actor who I look forward to seeing again in other big Hollywood productions. I’ve seen with him The Liberator and I definitely recommend watching it. It’s part of America’s (south) history. As for Matthew McConaughey (so hard typing and pronouncing his name) well, he’s not an actor. He’s a character (like Al Pacino and Robert De Niro) and he really doesn’t act much. All his parts are pretty much the same. And of course, I meant that in the best way possible.

The other one, Patriots Day, is about a tragic event that was too recent if you would ask me and would not like to talk about it (for now) here. As the commemoration is really close let’s take a moment of silence in the memory of all terrorism victims out there and in the meantime let’s reflect on life itself and how fragile it is.

Also, IMDB is suggesting the same 3 movies so it must be legit 🙂

I’ve decided to write a couple of words about this one, The founder, for more than the reason for the main character that’s personalized by Michael Keaton. It isn’t the fact that is about McDonald’s, which I love (and who doesn’t?).

So what if this is a giant McDonalds commercial?

I guess the main reason for this article is because it’s about perseverance. There’s a sequence in the movie when Raymond Kroc, (arguably) the founder of what we know today to be McDonald’s – the most successful restaurant chain in the world- where he, a 50+ something salesman, alone in a hotel room after a hard day work, away from his home and his wife, listens to a record (did they had turntables back then in the hotel room or did he brought his own?). It was a motivational record from a fictional character and the part, soon to memorize, was about persistence.

Knowing about the Self Help – Personal Development literature. I am familiar with the works of Brian Tracy, Napoleon Hill, and Anthony Tony Robbins. Inevitably in our lifetime, we intersect with it. It depends on what and how much anybody wants to get from it.

It doesn’t say more than common sense. And they don’t reinvent the wheel. They’ve just structured our lives and insisted on something and made a (good) living on it. Because it’s about persistence as we find out.

Some people tend to over exaggerate with it. Most of them are young and they are excited about finding out that there is a way of arranging our lives to be successful. Others are old and broke, financially and emotionally, and they hang on to this lifestyle because they don’t have anything else to hang on to (family, religion, future). They are the ones that become like zombies and they are usually in the sales business – but they’re not successful.

And some, like me, became aware of this literature and tries to take what’s important in it. Chris Brogan (a media man whom I follow) said a couple years ago that we should stick to just the same 3 books a year. Instead of reading 30 to 40 something books about the same subject in your industry (could be about sales or social media or chemistry or engineering) you should stick to just 3 industry reference books and read them over and over again and try to apply the things learned from them.

As human beings, we tend to get as much information as there is out there but we barely apply any strategies or techniques we learn from that information. So it kind of made sense. And I did that for an entire year, reading each week and each month (for me, listening to the same audiobooks). It was Self Help literature and it went well. From that, I learned how to structure and prioritize and organize my life, with proven results. I am thinking about starting my own blog about personal development and if (or when) that happens, you will know.

I remember about a conference with 5000 + audience in Romania a couple of years ago. Sir Richard Branson, the Virgin founder, was the main speaker. The conference was sponsored by Jaguar and the CEO of Eastern Europe asked him in front of everybody to name a couple of characteristics of a Jaguar car. He replied something like “It doesn’t make sense to buy expensive cars” :))) Wasn’t that a good investment from Jaguar?

Back to the movie now (or back to Mc). It’s an inspirational one, that will well definitely be in the training program of some companies (like the “sell me this pen” thing from Wolf of Wall Street).

McDonald’s serves breakfast all day

– is so important that everybody knows and talks about it (it’s that an ad? did they pay president Obama for that?). Now, thinking about a brand, that should be the first one that comes to your mind. When you are outside of your country, in whatever obscure country you might find yourself in, and want something to eat, well, McDonald’s should be the safest destination, no matter what. They do enforce a standard and they take care of it.

“Just be right one time, this time!”

Whatever you might hear, nobody does anything alone. It’s the way it should be. You work hard and try to make it, you do make something out of it (money), but the big cut goes to someone else. Because that’s the way it is from the beginning of humanity. For instance, the original McDonald’s founders.

The past can be a blessing or a curse. It depends on your view. Nothing happens over night and that one little thing that the McDonalds original founders used to work in the movie industry might have been the key they didn’t see.

Someone else did. They really needed something from him, something that nobody else wanted. I learned from my Logistics course in University that “There is no penury in the world; just the lack of logistics“.

Because it took just one man with vision and determination plus hard work and a strong belief to make it happen.
Now, I’m out for a Big Mac myself. The “Breakfast all day” add with 9 a.p.m. ad really got to me. Until the next time, I find it opportune to translate in English one joke I heard from Romanian:

Hello there Johnny boy! Long time no see since we have last met You’re doing ok?
– Yes, I finished Law School!
– And I heard you did journalism also?
– Yes, and I think I will enroll on a master!
– Good, keep up the good work! Give me a Big Mac menu on the go please.

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