Business Lesson From Batman – The Caped Crusader!

Published by MBA Skool Team, Published on October 11, 2012

The Dark Knight, the Caped Crusader, the Batman. Whatever you call him, this comic book hero has dominated the print and the silver screen spaces for decades, and businesses could stand to learn a thing or two from this winged superhero.

The entire Batman series has been big business. According to preliminary box office figures, The Dark Knight Rises has already collected as much as USD 25 million in advance ticket sales. The opening of the movie somewhere between USD 170 - 195 million. This makes it the best performing opening for a non – 3D movie ever.

But Bruce Wayne is no stranger to business. The hero inherited the fortunes of Wayne Enterprises and maintains a USD 7 billion fortune, as per the Forbes’ most recent list of wealthy fictional characters.

So in honour of the Bat breaking more box-office records, a few lessons that can be learnt from the iconic superhero –

1. Gadgets are not toys – the importance of research and development:

Some of Batman’s gadgets have been fairly hokey, but there is no doubt Bruce Wayne spends a large amount of his time investing in gadgets and research and development. Wayne’s lair is filled with sophisticated computer systems and databases, using state-of-the-art technology. But he is also a keen proponent of corporate research and development. An entrepreneur should love his gadgets, but more important would be the need for continual research. All businesses need to make sure that their technology is at the top of their priority list.

2. Does it come in black?

A cohesive brand is crucial to a successful enterprise and that’s something Wayne understands better than most. All of Batman’s gadgets contain the symbol of the Bat – even the famous police signal lights up the sky with his brand. And more importantly, it all comes in black. Let your brands, logos, designs be cohesive and constant. That’s what your customers connect with. A cohesive brand is not just to look cool, but also to make sure you can maintain a consistent voice as a company.

3. A great support network

It could be Batman who grabs all the eyeballs and gets all the attention, but he is far from operating alone. Bruce Wayne has a full support network of allies at his disposal, feeding him information and giving him advice when he needs it. The best known is the butler and mentor – Alfred, who has access to all of Wayne’s systems and technology. But there’s more. There is Lucius Fox at Wayne Enterprises providing Bruce Wayne with all the technology that he needs. And then, there is his own man in the Police Department, Commissioner Gordon. Then there is Robin and the Catwoman who keep popping in, to help the Batman fight. The point is simple. Even Bruce Wayne can’t fight crime alone. Neither can an entrepreneur handle the whole business all by himself. A good support network is crucial to every business.

4. All is not what the eye can see

In the latest flick, the Batman ends up trusting a woman who was actually his major enemy. He found out about Bane, but didn’t find out anything about Miranda. The situation is not always as it seems. Whom you think is threatening you, may not be a major threat at all, while the real threat could be looming right next to you, aware of your every move and you yourself would have told him everything. So keep eyes and ears open in business and analyze situations carefully before making any decisions.

5. Small things go a big way to make you or break you

The Catwoman had stolen Batman’s fingerprints, which went on to make him completely bankrupt. At the same time, the donations that he used to give to the small orphanage, went on to produce a police officer for whom Batman was his hero, and who supported him majorly in his whole fight against evil to save Gotham. Things that look small, go a long way in time to either make your business reach pinnacles of success or to break it down into pieces leaving only debris behind. Always keep an eye for detailing and focus on small things as well.

6. What’s constructive, can be destructive; so always have a contingency plan

The reactor built by Wayne Enterprises was meant to generate clean fuel for the whole of Gotham, but could also be turned into a nuclear reactor when made unstable. Keeping this mind, the reactor had been built beneath the ground level in the course of the river, so that in case of a contingency, the river water could come in to flood the reactor and destroy it. Contingency plans are essential for every business, because things would not always turn out as you want them. So it is essential to have a plan-B so you don’t remain stuck up in the air with the only other option being to fall and break your bones.

This article has been authored by Bhavi Patel from IRMA.

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