Seinfeld on Startups – Frogger
“The Frogger” episode which aired during the ninth season of Seinfeld, featured the likes of Slippery Pete, Shlomo, and – who could forget – The Lopper ; whom we never actually got to see.
This particular episode offers viewers a number of different scenarios beginning with Elaine eating antique cake, Jerry dating a sentence finisher, and Kramer on the lookout for The Lopper. In the midst of all of this, Georgie-boy discovers he has managed to hold on to the high score on the Frogger game from an old pizza joint he and Jerry used to dine at in high school.
George isn’t what anyone would label as a winner – so his trivial accomplishment with the popular 1980’s video game may have, in fact, represented the peek of his existence.
The point here isn’t to belabor the patheticness of George – we all know this. Instead, let’s shift our focus to how detailed George gets with his plan to ensure his high score lives on forever.
There are a number of metaphors and business comparisons I could write about from this well written script. However, this month I decided to focus on how even the best laid strategies can end up exploding into a million pieces.
As this episode showed us, when you lack execution and follow through, you end up with a semi-truck smashing your arcade game into millions of pieces.
Taking referrals from Kramer should have been that first red flag this full-proof plan would eventually end up to be nothing more than a dream flying on wings of wax.
Our office has the privilege of providing entrepreneurs and small businesses leaders with the education and resources they need to make their business work. During my time here, I come across numerous entrepreneurs and small business leaders who admit to putting in countless hours of their time, in an effort to ensure their business is up and functioning .
They lay out their marketing plans, competitive advantages, and capital requirements. Then, when the time comes to pull the trigger, the execution flops.
So many entrepreneurs and “wanna-be entrepreneurs” never get off the blocks. They plan their ideas to death, instead of scaling back and focusing on the launching.
That is part of the rationale behind the concept of an MVP (Not the Miguel Cabrarer-version). Get something out there, test it, get feedback, and tweak it.
Therefore, when the time comes to move your own Frogger, remember, you only get one shot. But for most businesses, the idea of an MVP is what takes you away from the shallow end of planning into the deeper execution end of the pool.
Dan Beenken is Director of the UNI Small Business Development Center