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Ideas. Insights. Inspiration.

Lessons from Tetris

I watched Tetris (the movie) on Apple TV+ last night.

I want to take a moment to let you know how much I enjoyed this film; it was an unexpectedly excellent movie filled with comedy, action, and drama, and I think it may even earn Taron Egerton a "Best Actor" Oscar nod.

But since most of you are here for my business thoughts and not my film recommendations, here are three business lessons that fell into place for me* after watching Tetris.

1. Ideas are Everywhere.

Resident Evil. Mortal Kombat. Super Mario Brothers. The Last of Us.

Movies and television series based on video games are nothing new.

But if I told you that the story behind the creation of "Tetris" (a game that simply involves four-component blocks falling at increasing speeds) would make for a compelling movie, would you have believed me?

I doubt it... some of you probably don't believe me now.

Yet as it turns out the story behind this game is both unexpected and thrilling. And most of us would have never known that if Noah Pink hadn't discovered the story and written a script for the film that was appealing enough to get bought and produced. (You can read more about the film and how it came to life here.)

Ideas can come from anywhere. The trick is learning how to recognize them.

2. The "How" is just as important as the "What"

How many times have you heard a good story ruined because the person telling it included too many details or went off on too many unnecessary tangents?

I thought "Tetris" was a terrific movie... but it could have just as easily been a complete disaster.

The idea isn't enough. How you execute it matters too.

3. People Love a Good Underdog Story

I don't know exactly what it is about underdogs that make their stories so compelling, but it's an almost universal fact that we tend to cheer for the Davids, not for the Goliaths.

If you're an underdog, you are, by definition, not expected to win.

But that doesn't mean you shouldn't try... or that people aren't rooting for you to succeed.


* Sorry, I just couldn't help myself...


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