10 Lessons Startups Can Learn From Superheroes

Sep 23, 2008 30 Comments by

What should the core values for our company be? Being a HUGE comic buff, I took this as the opportunity to frame our mission and values within the metaphor of an epic adventure. So here is the list of our core values, based on 10 Lessons Startups Can Learn From Superheros. (substitute “Superheros” for “Your StartUp Company”)

Superheroes Never Give Up

Like Batman, you have to keep pressing on to the very last breath. Challenges are overcome by wholeheartedly committing to unrelenting persistence.

Superheroes Always Get the Job Done

There are no excuses if you don’t save the girl from the burning house. There are just results, not reasons, you either save the day or you don’t. Gray area is for Kafka not comic heros.

Superheroes Are the Best at What They Do

Flash is the fastest and we all know it. . If you’re the back end developer, you are the best developer in the world, and everyone on your team knows it. Let great talent excel in areas where their superpowers are most needed.

Superheroes Are Crystal Clear of their Purpose

Captain Marvel may be a cheeseball, but he knows what he stands for. Startups die when they are not clear on their mission.

Superheroes Are NOT Flawless

Superheros have flaws, every member of your team will also. The goal is not perfection, it’s the pursuit of perfection.

Superheroes Do Not Seek Glory…But They Get it Anyway

Don’t do it because you want the attention.
If you do it right, you’ll get it anyway

Superheroes Help Others

Superheroes help people by solving problems. Startups should be obsessed NOT with themselves, but with how they are going to help other people and solve their issues.

Superheroes Can Do it By Themselves But Are More Powerful in Teams

You always have to have each other’s back. Its you vs. the world and brining together your own team of superheroes, and the mutual respect, loyalty, and camaraderie of that team is vital.

Superheroes’ True Strength Comes From Their Character

No matter how super you think you are, you’re strength comes from your character not your talent. Be courageous, be respectful, be honorable, be selfless.

Superheroes Accomplish Huge Feats

The same effort it takes to start a lemonade stand or college club, is the same raw effort it takes to change the world. Your goal is not to build a product or get traffic… Your goal is to accomplish the most amazing feat imaginable. Make the Product, Save the World.

And here is a presentation I gave on the topic with the presentation:

Part 1

Part 2

Ten Lessons Startups Can Learn From Superheroes

Featured, Stuff

About the author

Jason is the Co-Founder and CEO of Docstoc.com, the premier destination to start and grow businesses, offering the best selection of documents and content resources. Jason is also the creator of Startups Uncensored the long running and most widely attended tech mixer in Southern California. Before starting Docstoc, he was a partner in a venture consulting firm in Los Angeles where he worked with dozens of startups. Jason holds a BA from UCSB and his JD/MBA from Pepperdine University, where he was the Student Body President of both Universities.

30 Responses to “10 Lessons Startups Can Learn From Superheroes”

  1. Jason says:

    i can relate with the spiderman post. i always tell my buddies that in a startup, everything is working against you. there’s never enough time, money, or people. but nobody cares unless you deliver results because regardless of your reasons, the girl died.

    thanks for your 7 tips yesterday. i joined twitter last night, how do i ping you to get that list?

  2. Jason Nazar says:

    just send me an email to jason at docstoc, thanks for the comment

  3. josh stomel says:

    Awesome, tell Sean I said hi next time.

    Very awesome analogies….

    We should make a motivational poster :-)


  4. michael arrington says:

    love it. reminds me of a post we did on which superhero you are:


  5. Mohamed Marwen Meddah says:

    Great post; really love it.
    I couldn’t agree more :)

  6. Arthur Madrid says:

    i love this post, dude.
    Really well done!

  7. Kevin C Jones says:

    “Make the Product, Save the World” – haha. Saving the world one client at time :)

  8. David Abrahams says:

    Great post, I think it really could bring out different personalities with in a team, strengths and weaknesses. Superheros never let their weaknesses get the better of them and always come up with a solution.

  9. Hessie Jones says:

    This is a truism in a time when the longtail is bound to flourish. The net in this social network scene provides the collaboration for small businesses to flourish, the sharing mentality to be able to provide value, help others and continue interating and growing. Suddenly it seems like the start-ups are no longer an island. There’s a wealth of knowledge and like-minds willing to help each other along. Thanks so much for validating this.

  10. Revised 10 Lessons Startups Can Learn From Superheroes « Anthony’s Weblog says:

    [...] September 24, 2008 — aargenz1 I just read Jason Nazr’s Blog Post “10 Lessons Startups Can Learn From Superheroes” and loved it! [...]

  11. B Altman says:

    Great Post. I am going to keep up with you.

  12. Startup analogies | Wrangling the nerds says:

    [...] a really cool article today about what Startups can learn from Superheroes. It is a neat little blog post that shares a lot of the same values we have around here, basically: [...]

  13. Superhero Start-ups… » Hiconomics says:

    [...] be paralleled with super-hero qualities. I thought this was quite a funny (albeit cheesy) look at how start-ups should position and identify [...]

  14. Start-ups and Superheroes…..what striking resemblance??!! « HessieJ.com says:

    [...] I happen to stumble onto Jason Nazar’s Blog and I saw this post titled, “10 Lessons Startups Can Learn From Superheroes” and I was quite taken at the parallels he was making between the two. Some of the analogies were a [...]

  15. babu says:

    enthonna ethu. kure cartoons kaanichu super heros aarennu padippikkunno? adyam manushyan nannakaan para. ennittu hero aakaam.

  16. 10 Lessons Startups Can Learn From Superheroes says:

    [...] Jason Nazar, co-founder and CEO of DocStoc (and friend) visited the Dealmaker Media office yesterday – and he gave us his thoughts about Startonomics based on his own experiences as an entrepreneur. He has an awesome blog post about Superheros – which provides an entertaining and education read as we get nearer to the event… You can view the original post here. [...]

  17. Recent Links on Ma.gnolia at Fast Wonder Blog: Consulting, Online Communities, and Social Media says:

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  18. Roderick Price says:


  19. Jagtesh Chadha says:

    Hey Jason!

    Nice post. From my personal experience, I can tell that this post is absolutely relevant in a startup like ours.

    Good luck, cheers!

  20. Cliff Minifield says:

    Hi webmaster – This is by far the best looking site I’ve seen. It was completely easy to navigate and it was easy to look for the information I needed. Fantastic layout and great content! Every site should have that. Awesome job

  21. How to Become an Entrepreneur Superhero – Startups Uncensored #18 says:

    [...] check out this presentation on “10 Lessons Startups Can Learn from Superheros” or read the original blog post Ten Lessons Startups Can Learn From Superheroes Uncategorized Jason [...]

  22. Karen Goddard says:

    You are a super hero! Great post, very motivational ..even for the Wonder Woman in me ;0)

  23. Entrepreneurial Superheroes – Startups Uncensored #18 | Matthew Burgess says:

    [...] from Nazar, who’s a big comic book buff, and who wrote a nice blog post not too long ago on 10 Lessons Startups Can Learn From Superheroes. The discussion last night was about the qualities of these superhero [...]

  24. Roniet says:

    Would be great to read about some of your favorite lady superheros. Thanks for sharing – nice inspiring post

  25. ongkhy slank says:

    i like u wallpaper

  26. Mıchael Motta says:

    I find irritating the content, tone, and framıng of the slingshot labs “core values”. Their formulation reminded of the sıgn at the South end of Tiananmen square I saw in 1997. To paraphrase, the sign told us what to think in order to be a contributing member great China. “We like our job”!!! Indeed. Further, what especially nauseates me is the “we”. It sounds vaguely lıke I sound when I tell my 3 year old “we are giong to the potty now”. We use the 1st person plural to make more acceptable the fact that “I” am asking you to do somethıng. “we” is like fabric softener making things feel all cuddly and fresh smelling. The framing is improved and made more entertaining by wrapping it up in superhero gear.Why don’t we back up to ask the question “why do we need a core values statement at all?” Do we not lıke our jobs at Slıngshot? Do we not talk to each other? Are we not getting it done? by the way, Isn’t OVER-communıcating a waste of time?

  27. 10 Lessons Startups Can Learn From Superheroes | Rivers Corbett | Meet Rivers says:

    [...] 10 Lessons Startups Can Learn From Superheroes by Jason Nazar [...]

  28. Superheroes (2007) | All Films Blog says:

    [...] Superheroes jasonnazar.com [...]

  29. tiffypop says:

    do you now a dude that weres an eye patch and has no hair and looks exactly like a dude . it is a superhero ,please answer in the next 10 mins

  30. carrie says:

    POLL: what superhero power would you choose? (I borrowed one of your pictures for my post, Jason. Thank you!)


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