Superman is a fictional superhero appearing in comic books, TV shows, movies, etc. Superman helped to create the superhero archetype and establish its primacy within the entertainment industry. Characteristics of Superman created huge impact on target audience and one can learn from him lessons for business and life of an entrepreneur.\r\n\r\nThe origin story of Superman relates that he was born Kal-El of House of El on the planet Krypton, before being rocketed to Earth as an infant by his scientist father Jor-El, moments before Krypton's destruction. Discovered and adopted by a Kansas farmer and his wife, the child is raised as Clark Kent and imbued with a strong moral compass. Here is the lesson to be growing up as a startup in unchartered territories and unknown geographies.\r\n\r\nStartup Lessons from Superman\r\nResources and Team\r\nVery early Clark started to discover and in turn display various superhuman abilities, which, upon reaching maturity, he resolved to use for the benefit of humanity through a secret "Superman" identity.\r\n\r\nThe Potential of Unique and Gifted Children\u00a0\u2013 Normal is overrated. \u00a0A boyhood Clark had difficulty fitting in. Perhaps your startup does as well. \u00a0If so, it may simply be poised for future greatness.\r\n\r\nHe joins hands with Batman and Superwoman and builds a team to save the world. He knows how to build his strength by associating with the partners with either equal or more strength. Similarly startups need to join hands with the entities in their ecosystem to build the strength of symbiotic partnerships.\r\n\r\nHe knows his weak spots. One word: Kryptonite. You\u2019re not going to see Superman embrace Kryptonite, but instead find ways to work around it. How many times have you found yourself making the same mistake over and over because you keep embracing your Kryptonite? It can be your pitch deck, sales presentation.\r\nBusiness\r\nHis business is to undo wrongs: and knows how to market his skills.\u00a0Leaping over tall buildings with a single bound and being able to fly, are not skills everyone can emulate, but you have to admit the guy knows how to make others appreciate him. He\u2019s not afraid to offers his skills to a wide range of industries, and isn\u2019t afraid to take risks. Being able to always\u00a0demonstrate your value\u00a0is critical throughout the business.\r\n\r\nHe maintains his moral compass.\u00a0Superman has drawn his line in the sand and never crosses it. Can you say the same about your startup? Or, have you succumbed to bottom-line pressures or other factors that have you breaking a personal and professional morale code of conduct? Maybe it\u2019s time to figure out what you stand for \u2013 and\u00a0stick with it.\r\n\r\nAlso, he doesn\u2019t use his powers except for the welfare of the society. Startups can learn that one needs to understand the target customers or market segments to be catered with their services and products and keep pivoting in business as and when required to serve the target audience better \u2013 course correction is a matter of pride and not disbelief.\r\n\r\nWhen Jor-El, attempted to dissuade General Zod from a political coup then General Zod says \u201cEndless debates lead to nothing.\u201d\u00a0\u00a0Remember this during your next leadership meeting. Startups must choose \u201c Speed\u201d over \u201c Precision\u201d \u2013 Speed now and Precision Forever\u2026.\r\n\r\nOne day Clark says to his mother \u201cThe world\u2019s too big mom\u201d and she \u00a0replies, \u201cThen make it small.\u201d If you think your target market is too big then divide it into small chunks and accomplish your targets through incremental progress. Reach your addressable market before attempting to impact the potential market.\r\n\r\nSometimes passion can be quite destructive when misguided and it can be learned through Genral Zod\u2019s dialogue\u201cI exist to only protect Krypton. \u00a0This is why I was born.\u201d\r\nInvestments\r\nSuperman makes sure that he invests his time and resources for improving his strength and activities which will help him continue to scale up the work he intends to do. Similarly startups can invest on growing their business and focus on adding value to the society through their product or service. Self investment always is non threatening however if need be, like minded partners need to be picked up to invest in time, money and efforts.Choose these partners carefully and cautiously. No such partner should have \u201cKryptonite\u201d in their pockets.\r\nUI\/UX & External Communication\r\nSuperman maintains personal appearances.\u00a0You\u2019re not going to see Superman having fight with his enemies in a wrinkled trouser and shirt while saving the world.\r\n\r\nSuperman values the power of appearances, and he keeps those boots shined, the cape ironed and the biceps buffed.\u00a0 Strangers make judgments about you during first meeting based on appearance and Superman knows how to make an entrance. Similarly, a startup should make sure that entry is impactful with catchy appearance through their logo, website, handouts, photographs, videos, etc. First meeting with potential customers and business partners needs to be impressive and must influence them to join hands with you. User Experience, User Interface and Customer Communication impact differentiate one from the other \u2013 and in the real and virtual world \u2013 a seamless impact of UI\/UX must be created by each startup.\r\nImpact Advisors \/ Role of a Mentor\r\nLet\u2019s understand this through some sentences of Jonathan Kent, Superman\u2019s father and mentor.\r\n\r\n\u201cThere is more at stake here than just our lives. \u00a0It is the lives around us.\u201d\u00a0\u2013\u00a0Mentor makes you aware of your responsibility to those in your sphere of influence.\r\n\r\n\u201cPeople are afraid of what they don\u2019t understand.\u201d\u00a0- So make sure that you keep your sales and marketing effort so simple that people understand it. Sometimes mentor tells you something that has implicit meaning in it. Find out what it is.\r\n\r\n\u201cI believe you were sent here for a reason. \u00a0And even if you take the rest of your life, you owe it to yourself to find out what that reason is.\u201d\u00a0\u2013\u00a0A great mentor provides direction and intentionality for her\/his mentee.\r\n\r\n\u201cYou have to decide what kind of man you want to grow up to be. \u00a0Because that man, good character or bad, is going to change the world.\u201d - Great mentors give their mentee a BIG vision for their business idea. \u00a0Subsequently, a startups performance is often directly proportionate to their mentor\u2019s confidence in them.\r\nPerspective and Positive Image\r\nChange doesn\u2019t daunt him.\u00a0 Superman knows he has to change with the times, and his persona has reflected the different moods of a nation going through various wars, upheavals and cultural shifts.\u00a0 He embraces differences and leads through example by treating everyone\u00a0fairly and with respect.\r\n\r\n\u201cHope. The potential of every person can be a force for good.\u201d\u00a0\u2013 Optimistic perspectives provide solutions and are the reason for hope.\r\n\r\n\u201cSometimes you have to take a leap of faith. \u00a0The trust comes later.\u201d\u00a0\u2013 Trust can take a lifetime to earn but can be lost at a moment in time.\r\n\r\nThe Responsibility Of Service\u00a0\u2013 Superman leads by example in that for many people helping others is not an option. \u00a0It is simply part of our identity.\r\n\r\n\u201cYou can\u2019t control me but I\u2019m not your enemy.\u201d\u00a0\u2013 Superman. \u00a0As a leader, you can\u2019t control others if you can\u2019t control yourself.\r\n\r\nPR and Publicity becomes an implicit need of a startup \u2013 and never to believe that every publicity if good publicity. Maintaining a meaningful and positive image is always important and to never be in news for conflicting reasons. If this means that the startup needs to hire professional PR Specialists then so be it.\r\nForward Research\r\nAssessing the situation to approach is what Superman does with analysis, using the information available and tries to collect more information to build his trust on his decisions. This can be understood well when he says \u201cZod can\u2019t be trusted. \u00a0I\u2019m not sure the people of Earth can either.\u201d\u00a0\u2013 While being in business, a forward-looking research must be a continuous process: research is not a pre-startup function. It is an ongoing process that ensures there are regular course corrections. Here we learn that as an entrepreneur one needs to evaluate reality before taking action. Also, research on the same topic can throw up different perspectives \u2013 here what matters is the understanding of overlying assumptions.\r\n\r\nSo triangulation of information from multiple sources and then taking a judicious call on the research outcome is an important part. As a startup, one must ensure that due time is spent in learning from what others have been doing and not to keen on re-inventing the wheel at all times. Every data has a story- and the same must be well read and interpreted.\r\nWrapping it all Up\r\nLike Superman, every startup must consider unpredictability to be a friend and\r\n\r\n \tIdentify, build upon the resources and their strengths \u2013 be consciously aware that building an organization is as important as setting up a product life cycle. Probably early stage entrepreneurs who don\u2019t have tech-comm experience struggle more because of their lack of exposure to working in a culture led organization.\r\n \tAlong-with building a team, associating with like minded or higher capability partners will help startups scale and accelerate faster than otherwise \u2013 if not direct support by partners, still their references and guidance is important.\r\n \tBeing clear about your actual business: with a design thinking led approach with \u00a0target customers at the center and business values + ethics being the key for sustainable business growth.\r\n \tInvest wisely on business growth where adding value to society remains the focus. Have an impactful catchy entry in the market, with strong and effective PR, UI, UX impetus and keep improvising on your appearance in the market \u2013 so called wow factor!\r\n \tListen to your impact advisors and mentors carefully, implement learning and ask right questions to clarify doubts: at the end of the day, you are the founder and its your company.\r\n \tLet learning be the continuous process. Keep yourself up in tough times with hope and optimism; yet evaluate reality before taking decisions!\r\n\r\nYou will encounter Kryptonite at all stages, enhancing immunity is the key.