Over 5 years ago Marvel Entertainment, famous for its superhero comics, was in the shadow of bankruptcy.Disney bought it in 2009 for $4.3 billion. Over 5 years of development and licensing, the Marvel films have become the most profitable business in the film industry and films of superheroes are constantly the blockbusters on the screens even with two versions of Spiderman on the screen at the same time!
The technology advancement of digital pictures and animated scenes is certainly one of the key drivers that cannot be ignored. This year, the winner of several awards, The Gravity, demonstrates the ability of digital power in which the shots of the space were entirely animated in the studio. The films of superheroes too are never real – thanks to the current digital technologies. As video games are the best showcase and test platform for digital and graphic power. The superheroes are certainly a good way to show the capability of film studios.
However, the film is always more than the quality of picture. Often it is the story that attracts people to cinemas. The first time global popularity of comics in 30s was in the background of World War II, such as Captain America. They were good examples of certain culture at the time where people were hoping for peace during the war. Nowadays, the background is simply different. But the principle still applies. There is a financial crisis in the West, while huge economic development, in the East. Many businesses are facing uncertainty and disruption of innovation, and the tech industries are almost affecting every other industry globally. The stories of entrepreneurship have been widespread and even ‘worshipped’ in many parts of the world. Individually, we have never been able to access such powerful computerisation before. The smart phones, the crowd-funding platforms and digital market places, all enable us to be more capable on our own.
I was wondering if those big names, such as Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, are the superheroes of our era. They have tremendous power to change the entire industries and have great impact on people’s lives, but at the same time they had been nobody when they were young. The story of those entrepreneurism was simply the dream of young developers, the creative teenagers (i.e. Apple developer conference tickets were completely sold out in 2 mins in 2009). The idea of creating your own web/app and becoming the next Zuckerberg attracts so many people to those self-developing short courses, talks and networking events. On the other hand, we all become the superhero of ourselves to some degrees. The smart phones enable us ‘split’ our minds and body in different social spaces and time. Work does not mean office, talking to someone does not mean siting with someone. Google glasses, smart watches are all those examples of super power showing us what we can possibly do.
What does it mean to you and business? I guess the entrepreneurship is the point to start. And then, don’t forget to enjoy those latest superhero films, and be a superhero yourself.