What does Walter White teach us about starting a business?

December 27, 2016

Last night, I was watching one of the most famous scenes of Breaking Bad on YouTube for the umpteenth time. The scene in which Walter White truly becomes Heisenberg. Unlike the previous times, something dawned on me. I began to think, how can a 50-year old man, who couldn’t hurt a fly, whose entire life was a bundle of missed opportunities, a timid, self-confessed loser transform into the most dangerous man in America, making millions of dollars and run an “empire business”?

The answer, I thought, is quite simple and apparent, Walter White had a REALLY AWESOME PRODUCT.

To start with, he used his inherent skills. He didn’t go experimenting, nor did he try doing things differently. He just did it the only way he knew how. That way, he, literally, cooked up a product that was unparalleled. That turned out to be something people would pay anything for. Because the product was so damn good, its demand, as it always does, rose exponentially.

But the real deal is in the fact that Heisenberg saw the need for something that he could offer in far better quality than what was out there. He hired, if not the most capable man, but someone whom he could afford and trust. Who shared his passion. He hit the jackpot there.

He sure did face problems, both from his family and from various nefarious sources, but he kept at it. In fact, his resolve only got stronger. Because of his product, he won the interest of powerful people who could afford better equipments, which led him to increase the output and in turn, the returns.

Within few months, he became a millionaire.

That also led to him losing his family, his peace, his reputation and in the end, his life.

He was cooking meth, what else would you expect?

Of course not everyone of us wants to make a living doing illegal stuff. But this is not about what he chose to do, it’s about how he did it.

The story of Walter White, at least his rise, is the best fictional case study ever for aspiring entreprenuers and business owners.

These are the lessons I took away from the guy who knocks,

Build an awesome product | Hire the right people | Collaborate with those who understand and align with your aspirations | Find your own solutions for problems | and Never stop.

Do you concur with my opinion? Let’s fight it out in the comment section shall we?

Outofbox Advertising helps startups and established brands with their design, content and digital marketing needs. We are good at Branding, UI/UX, Content and Mobile App and Website Development. Reach us at think@outofbox.co | +91 9884061496

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What’s it like to work with clients who understand design and how to get them?

In the 2.5 years we have been around, we at Outofbox have always looked forward to working with clients who understood design. Isn’t that the wish of all design agencies around the world? It could be. But we like to think that we wanted that more than anybody else. Largely because before we started Outofbox, we were part of few other agencies that, not particularly because of a fault of their own, dealt with clients to whom design is just another part of a list of services they were outsourcing. As people who love design and strongly believe in the power of design, it was frustrating to know that it was not given its due attention.

To our dismay, even after a year into starting Outofbox, our wish was not answered. We continued to meet clients, who although were great, never took design seriously. With them the farthest we went with a design conversation was about the font and the colour.

But working with such clients taught us one crucial lesson — to work towards fulfilling the requirements of the client.

But is that enough?

Calling ourselves a design agency does come with a lot of responsibility. We think it’s our duty to go beyond delivering to expectations. The client may always know what they want, but it’s the job of the agency to tell them what they need. Going beyond the ‘finish the work and get the cheque’ attitude is absolutely necessary if you want your agency to be taken seriously and be known for doing extraordinary work.

Calling ourselves a design agency does come with a lot of responsibility. We think it’s our duty to go beyond delivering to expectations. The client may always know what they want, but it’s the job of the agency to tell them what they need. Going beyond the ‘finish the work and get the cheque’ attitude is absolutely necessary if you want your agency to be taken seriously and be known for doing extraordinary work.

It is of course easier said than done.

When you are informing your client that they need to think about the bigger picture, to think outside of the box, that they should trust us with the work we are doing, it is always heard as ‘more money’ and ‘more time’ by the client. Can’t really blame them for that. And this where the challenge I mentioned at the beginning of the article arises.

Come once in a good Adam Sandler movie that we get to encounter clients who say “so if you are saying you will not only solve my problem but also transform my brand’s design identity for the better, of course I am willing to give you more time and a little bit of extra money”.

We had the good fortune of working with 3 such clients recently who had not only given us the freedom but also the confidence to do what we thought was best for their brand.

I will share more about these works in my subsequent blog posts this month. Please come back to read about it.

So now, how do you find such clients? Well, most of the times they find you. But you sure have to do your part in it. By

  • making sure that you put everything you got in every work you do
  • not being too calculative, but by being bold and willing to take risks, even though it means you end up giving lots of explanation and doing lots of convincing to the client
  • not worrying too much about the pay cheque — because if you want to do good work, you have to accept the fact that the reward is not always in the form of dollars

Practice these and you will in no time find yourself working with clients who allow you to experiment and explore for their benefit.

Outofbox is a design and digital agency always on the lookout to solve the next big problem for a brand. Do you have one to be solved? Email your requirement to think@outofbox.co. 

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