Making business, making fun!
For the sake of reflecting on a documentary about Funko under the theme of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship, we were gathered on one of PNU theaters on October 4th, 2018. At beginning I expected to see a success story of established business that have several branches in the world. Instead, it was an exciting experience to get to know a inspiring success story for people who have started with nothing much but passion and desire to enjoy what they are doing.
Funk-O, Fun company…?
This is how the entrepreneur Mike Becker came up with the idea of Funko in 1998. Mike was the main point of focus in the documentary as business founder representing what entrepreneurship was characterized back in late nineties. He established Funko as a bubblehead company using uncomplicated technology and an overall aim of touching the audience feelings and emotions. In the documentary published by Netflix earlier on 2018, Mike had talked about the basis of his expansion plan, his inspiration, and strategies he implemented in order to reach the target segment and serve them properly.
Mike was characterized with number of manners that made an entrepreneur out of him. He was a passionate, self reliable, and a risk taker. He didn’t panic about how people around him were firstly perceiving his business idea, and the process of production and distribution was totally done by him and his group at the earlier stage of the business.
How did Mike find his way to the business world?
I truly believe that the strategy Mike followed was the main driver for his business success and expansion. One concept that became apparent to me is customer-oriented approach, which aims at customer’s interests first while not excluding those of all other stakeholders[…] in order to develop a long term profitable enterprise” (Deshpandé et al., 1993). We can use that as a great lesson to today’s young entrepreneurs that in order to sell your product or service, relate to people’s emotions and make them feel that they really have to buy it to satisfy an inner need.
While watching the documentary I related Mike’s experience to the Saudi entrepreneur Noor Alabdulakrim, who has been in business development for 14 years. And I was thinking whether Mike’s experience would have been successful if he started his business here in Saudi Arabia? One of DICE lectures have mentioned that there are almost common challenges entrepreneurs all around the world face in different scales like dealing with the unknown regarding the business lifetime and profitability, as well as the risk involved with the process of investing in a totally new business. However, I think Saudi market and customers are a little bit different. I’ve read lately about the obstacles Saudi entrepreneurs were facing before such as the lack of guides and the scarcity of guideline programs, these along with the purchasing behavior of Saudi customers and level of engagement between them and businesses have led me to believe that not every success business can work anywhere unless there was an environmental scanning applied before.
End of journey..
Summing up my experience with Funko documentary, I learned that in order for an entrepreneur to succeed in a world of a tough competition, having a great idea or a promising way of funding are not enough. You will desperately need to either have an innovative idea or a creative application of that idea. Linking this to Funko’s case, although Mike had supporters ( check loyalty ladder for more ) not only customers, he never stopped being innovative in the way he was communicating with his customers and the way he was announcing new products. This learning matters to avoid exerting your effort and money in something that is not likely to be the customer’s number one choice in its category. If not convinced yet! check out this article explaining how Nokia and Kodak were overlooked due to the lack of innovative ideas and applications.
In light of this learning, I personally would be more open to take the risk of going for new create ideas when it comes to university projects and my professional life, because I was the one who wear the black hat each time my group and I meet for a group work, and not believe that the novel ideas will always succeed.
Thanks for reading! before you leave the page make sure you sum up the words in BOLD! (=
- Al-Rasheed, N. (2018). [online] Available at: https://eng-archive.aawsat.com/n-al-rasheed/business/saudi-arabia-entrepreneurship-sector-faces-challenges [Accessed 12 Oct. 2018].
- Deshpandé, R., Farley, J.U. and Webster, F.E. Jr (1993), “Corporate culture customer orientation, and innovativeness in Japanese firms: a quadrad analysis”, Journal of Marketing, Vol. 57 No. 1, pp. 23‐37.
- Mckinney, p. (2018). 5 Innovation Blind Spots That Killed Nokia and Kodak S11 Ep9. [online] Killer Innovations: Innovators Talking About Creativity, Design and Innovation. Available at: https://killerinnovations.com/5-innovation-blind-spots-that-killed-nokia-and-kodak-s11-ep9/ [Accessed 12 Oct. 2018].
- Scribd. (2018). The Ladder of Loyalty | Customer Relationship Management | Sales. [online] Available at: https://www.scribd.com/doc/35278140/The-Ladder-of-Loyalty [Accessed 12 Oct. 2018].
- Shop.funko.com. (2018). About Us – Funko-Shop. [online] Available at: https://shop.funko.com/about-us [Accessed 12 Oct. 2018].
- WEST MICHIGAN BUSINESS (2018). [image] Available at: https://goo.gl/images/E4hyia [Accessed 12 Oct. 2018].