Tag Archives: Management

Finding Fortune and Self: A Philosophical Exploration of Mackenna’s Gold

Mackenna’s Gold is an adventure film released during a time when the technical limitations of filmmaking were more pronounced. However, despite these constraints, the movie manages to create an immersive experience through its captivating storyline and engaging characters. Drawing upon Joseph Campbell’s hero progression, the protagonist’s journey in Mackenna’s Gold reflects a profound philosophical exploration of the reluctant hero archetype.

At the heart of the story lies a protagonist who resists his calling, embodying the essence of the reluctant hero. Initially, he doesn’t want to be a part of the mission, as he is content with his current circumstances and does not seek adventure or glory. This internal conflict adds depth to the character, as it highlights the tension between personal desires and the call to fulfill a greater purpose.

Joseph Campbell’s hero progression, which encompasses various stages of the hero’s journey, offers a philosophical lens to analyze the protagonist’s transformation. The protagonist’s reluctance and initial resistance align with Campbell’s “Refusal of the Call” stage. Here, the hero hesitates to embrace the challenges ahead, clinging to the familiar and the comfortable. This refusal, however, sets the stage for personal growth and discovery.

As the story unfolds, the protagonist’s true character becomes a guiding force that saves him in the end. Remaining steadfast and true to himself, he navigates the treacherous canyon and passageway in the hills, defying the warnings of the wise Apache old man. This aspect embodies Campbell’s notion of “The Hero’s Ordeal,” where the hero faces trials that test their resolve and character. By adhering to his principles, the protagonist not only overcomes the physical obstacles but also triumphs over his internal struggles.

In a beautiful symbolic twist, the pot of gold at the rainbow’s end serves as a fitting reward for the protagonist’s journey. This evokes the idea of the hero’s ultimate boon, as described by Joseph Campbell. The treasure represents not only material wealth but also the fulfillment of the protagonist’s inner desires, acquired through his transformative journey. It serves as a reminder that the hero’s quest is not solely about external accomplishments but also about the discovery of self and the realization of one’s true potential.

Despite the technical limitations inherent to the time it was made, Mackenna’s Gold manages to incorporate these philosophical elements, offering a thought-provoking exploration of the reluctant hero archetype within the framework of Joseph Campbell’s hero progression. This convergence of storytelling and philosophy elevates the film beyond its technical shortcomings, making it a captivating and enduring cinematic experience.

“Deewar: A Cinematic Masterpiece Reflecting Values, Entrepreneurship, and Love”

“Deewar” is a classic Bollywood film released in 1975, directed by Yash Chopra and written by the renowned screenwriting duo Salim-Javed. The movie revolves around the story of two brothers, Vijay (played by Amitabh Bachchan) and Ravi (played by Shashi Kapoor), who find themselves on opposite sides of the law, with their mother (played by Nirupa Roy) in between.

One of the notable aspects of “Deewar” is the powerful portrayal of the angry young man persona projected by Salim-Javed and Amitabh Bachchan. Amitabh Bachchan’s performance as Vijay is captivating and intense, showcasing his ability to bring out the complex emotions and conflicts of the character. The film explores the turbulent milieu of the time it was made, capturing the societal issues and conflicts prevalent in Indian society.

The film’s narrative is driven by the terrific blending of love for one’s mother sentiment, which serves as a strong emotional anchor throughout the story. This sentiment is highlighted through the character of Vijay, who has a deep affection and respect for his mother. The dialogues in “Deewar” are iconic and have become part of Indian cinematic folklore, with lines such as “Mere paas maa hai” (I have my mother) becoming highly memorable.

From a management perspective, the character of Vijay offers several interesting pointers to entrepreneurism and leadership. In the iconic scenes where a younger Vijay refuses to take money thrown at him and demands control over planning and execution in his first assignment, the film portrays a sense of assertiveness and self-confidence that are often important traits in entrepreneurship. Vijay’s character represents the determination and drive of an entrepreneur who aims for success on his own terms.

However, the film also presents a cautionary tale for entrepreneurs who grow too fast and lose sight of their moral compass. Vijay is forced to reassess his progress and methods, and it is his mother’s values that guide him in his decision-making. This emphasizes the importance of core values in guiding entrepreneurs and their businesses when faced with difficult choices or crossroads. While in the case of Vijay, the outcome is fatal due to the nature of his criminal activities, in real life, entrepreneurs can use their core values as a compass to navigate challenging situations and make ethically sound decisions.

“Deewar” is a masterpiece of Indian cinema, combining powerful performances, a compelling narrative, and memorable dialogues. It successfully explores themes of family, love, and morality while also offering valuable insights into entrepreneurship and leadership.

Super interview with Amazon Jeff Bezos


Interesting points

  1. Classic Amazon  Refund principle demonstrated at the beginning of the video by Jeff Bezos (Mentioned by a user below)
  2. Amazon model of Customer obsession, as opposed to Competition focus (imitiate the best in competition s etc), explained in detail. “Don’t just listen to customer, invent for them, as it is not the job of customers to invent for themselves or in most cases do not even know what they want ” (Steve Jobs used to say something very similar)
  3. “Invention is a result of experimentation and experiments are dotted with failures. But you should take the chance.”
  4. “Invention is not Disruptive, only customer adoption is.” Similar to Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point?
  5. “At Amazon we invented a lot of things, that customers did not care about.”
  6. “Good to have stellar quarterly results, but these are pre-decided about 2 years ago. Planning for future and putting in efforts for a few years ahead is the way to go. I am more interested in what could happen in 2020 than in my upcoming quarter.”
  7. “Rich get slowly isn’t a good theme for infomercials.”
  8. “Half of our sales is third-party sales, coming from a lot of small businesses we work with. There are many who make 100KUSD a year. With Kindle Direct, we created the environment and many authors have found a readership that otherwise didn’t exist for them. Same with AWS too.” Platform, services, eco-system.
  9. “I have noticed all overnight successes take about 10 years.”
  10. “Hope our approach doesn’t change–customer obsession, the willingness to invent, the patience in letting things develop, accepting failure as a path to getting success.”
  11. “Acceptable Failure should be out of an experiment, where you accept beforehand that you do not know the outcome. Not that results out of a poor execution, a result of bad operational excellence. For instance, it isn’t a failure if we botch up a new fulfillment center, as we have 134 worldwide and our tech is in Generation 8 maturity level.”
  12. “The main job of a senior leader is to identify 2 or 3 important, BIG ideas and then enforce great execution against those ideas. Good news is it is incredibly easy to identify these BIG ideas. For Amazon, the consumer business, the BIG ideas are low prices, fast delivery, and vast selection. The BIG ideas should be obvious. You need to steer away from distractions and get back to these. And they will be stable over a period of time. “
  13. “Basically there is no institution in the world that cannot be improved with machine learning.” Alexa, echo, drones, natural language understanding.
  14. “(On usage of machine learning beneath the surface) Improved search results, improved product recommendations for customers, improved forecasting for inventory management. Most exciting thing is making machine learning more accessible to a lot of companies that cannot afford, through developers etc of AWS.” AI to be easily deployable; Salesforce.com?
  15. “Last year we saved 55000 tonnes of waste as a result of this (internet packaging) program.”
  16. “3.6MN megawatt-hours per year (renewable energy).”
  17. “I love space a lot. I am investing my lottery (Amazon) winnings in Blue Origin which is the space company.”
  18. Internet Vs Space. Entry for admission in space very high. “When I started Amazon, the heavy lifting was in place.”
  19. “Some of you should go to a museum and see a dial-up modem.”
  20. At 80 I would like to be able to say that I created the heavy lifting for space entrepreneurs.
  21. I have won many lotteries, but the best one was with my parents. I got lucky.

Related links:

  1. Package Rage on Wikipedia
  2. Space camp
  3. The Everything Store
  4. LN’s first book on Amazon was a similar one to the interviewer.