As you may recall, this was a movie starring Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway. Not a great movie as movies go per se, but it has some hidden meaning for management and startups.
The nominal story is that a president of an internet startup (Anne Hathaway) hires an old codger (Robert DeNiro) as an intern, after she gets the idea that she should have some age diversity in her company.
He’s just looking for something to do because he’s bored being retired, but he has a lot of management background that she lacks, that the whole firm lacks, because it’s gone from one person to 200 in 18 months.
And the company is a disaster waiting to happen….at one point, a guy who looks like he might be the CFO lists the faults, besides management: poor customer service, slow changes to the web site in a fast industry (fashion), no organizational structure, VC’s in an uproar because of the aforementioned problems.
At one point, Anne asks if she can ‘take CEO pills’ to get smarter about running a company. Robert demurs, but he convinces her to look for a professional CEO, which is a good idea, to bring some order out of the chaos. She does find one, after some false starts; her husband, with whom she started the company, but who has ‘retired’ to raise their daughter, validates her choice.
Presumably, the company goes on to remain a roaring success.
But, there’s a lot of sturm and drang on the way, most of which might have been avoidable with more adult supervision. Even a board of directors, beyond Robert DeNiro.
Makes you wonder if a lot of this is going on in Silicon Valley and elsewhere because all the founders think they’re too cool for school, when they’re really not.
So, if you’re a startup, take some CEO pills on the American School of Entrepreneurship website. Or you can just call us at 1-800-716-9626 for that old school personal touch