5 Startup Lessons From 90’s Sci-Fi Hit ‘Jurassic Park’

So, how does a 90’s Sci-Fi movie have anything to do with your business? There is a science to creating a successful startup ...

Photo: Darius Fisher, President of Status Labs; Source: Courtesy Photo
Photo: Darius Fisher, President of Status Labs; Source: Courtesy Photo

In 1993 ‘Jurassic Park’ grossed over $900 million worldwide in its original theatrical run.

“The film won more than 20 awards (including 3 Academy Awards)” … and later “became the 17th film to surpass $1 billion in ticket sales, and is currently the one of the highest-grossing films of all time” (Wikipedia).

Jurassic Park is often considered one of the greatest films of the 1990s, and when the movie came out “it was a groundbreaking marvel. It revolutionized CGI while telling a compelling story” (Business Insider).

Interestingly enough that story is reminiscent—and the epitome—of a startup gone wrong.

In short, huge advancements in scientific technology enabled a mogul, John Hammond, to create an island full of living dinosaurs. But everything didn’t exactly go as planned. The dinosaur theme park was soon held captive by treacherous, ancient reptiles.


Gigantic Startups Lessons

So, how does a 90’s Sci-Fi movie have anything to do with your business? If you are anything like the lead character John Hammond, Jurassic Park’s founder and CEO, you will face challenges in the midst of turning your brilliant business idea into reality.

There is a science to creating a successful startup, whether you are cloning dinosaurs, or trying to avoid the hiccups that come with establishing a thriving business.

Here are five lessons every startup can learn from the blockbuster hit:


  1. Look out for raptors.

    Be on the watch for raptors, what we can fondly refer to as today’s social media trolls. They study your every move, attack from every side, and even adapt to your defenses.

    Be on your toes and monitor your company’s social media accounts for suspicious activity. Utilize social media monitoring tools like Topsy to track your brand name mentions.

    If you are attacked, plan the appropriate course of action. If you do respond, do so tactfully and cautiously. Never sink to a trolls’ level. Remember, some things are better left unsaid.

  2. Find the right park employees.

    If Hammond would have kept a closer eye on his staff, he could’ve prevented the employee corruption that led to his theme parks’ destruction. Find employees that are loyal and dedicated to your business goals.

    Utilize recruiters that specialize in finding top candidates. In addition to candidates having the qualifications and technical skills to do the job, company culture is an important element to consider.

    Conduct the “airport test” and ask yourself after each interview: “Would I want to be stuck in an airport with this person?” By assessing the candidate’s soft skills, you will gain a better understanding of how they will interact with the team and whether or not their values align with yours. Corruption can ruin a startup faster than you can say “extinct.”

  3. Get rid of your ‘Jurassic’ habits.

    Positive change is good, even if it means altering the way things have “always been done”. Innovation is key when it comes to differentiating yourself from the startup herd.

    Sites like 750Words.com encourage creativity to boost you out of a mental rut. Be original, and find out what unique aspects your business has to offer. Don’t be a dinosaur.

  4. Prepare for eminent attack.

    Ready or not, sooner or later a crisis will occur. Be prepared. Have a crisis management plan in place. Anticipate and list what could go wrong.

    Take a position and draft a plan of action for each scenario. Create a strategy to prevent crisis situations from coming to fruition. A public relations firm or crisis management team may save the life of your business when faced with ferocious predators.

  5. Avoid startup extinction.

    As Hammond explained in the film “All major theme parks have had delays. When they opened Disneyland in 1956, nothing worked, nothing.” Don’t be discouraged if your startup endures obstacles or failures.

    Inventor Thomas Edison made thousands of unsuccessful attempts at inventing the long-lasting light bulb. Utilize tools to help get your startup going and increase investor interest such as Angel List.

If you can survive raptor attacks, corrupt employees and social media disasters, your business will be its strongest, even if you come out with a few scratches and bruises.


This article has been edited and condensed.

Darius Fisher is an entrepreneur, investor, and the President of Status Labs, the premier online reputation management, digital marketing, and public relations firm with offices in Austin, New York, and São Paulo. His goal is to help his clients look their best in search results, fix online crises, and grow sales via effective digital marketing and public relations strategy. He lives in New York City. Connect with @StatusLabs on Twitter.


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