7 Lessons From Entrepreneurial Supervillains - StartupWizz | StartupWizz

7 Lessons From Entrepreneurial Supervillains

Lux Luthor | Superman

These evil masterminds have to finance their world domination schemes somehow. Here’s how they do it.

Superhero universes don’t always follow the laws of physics. But they do follow the laws of business, especially where supervillians are concerned. These 7 bad guys have done quite well as entrepreneurs, creating mega-corporations in order to pay off the bills that come with big schemes. Here’s what their successes–and failures–can teach the rest of us about dominating an industry. –Em Maier

Industrialist Norman Osborn–the man who becomes Green Goblin–is ruthless in managing Oscorp Industries, creating chemical products and robotic prototypes. Lesson: Be flexible.Oscorp begins as an electrical company, but switches to become a chemical manufacturing plant as well as a research facility investigating new chemical agents.

Veidt Enterprises is quietly taking over. Run by the smartest man in the world, Adrian Veidt (or Ozymandias), the company creates products ranging from the perfume Nostalgia to energy hydrants. Lesson: Branding is key. Although superhero vigilantes have been legally banned, Veidt still manages to capitalize on his image, cashing in on action figures and functioning as a celebrity and world-class athlete.

Wilson Fisk (Kingpin) is a large man fully aware of his impact. After being run out of his city, he creates a spice business to build wealth. With enough funds in his pockets, he returns to New York, stepping into the role of crime lord. Lesson: Brains over brawn. Despite Fisk’s lifelong pursuit of bodybuilding, he educates himself with stolen books. Thanks to reading about psychological and strategic techniques, he understands how best to manage his team.

Though raised in poverty, Sebastian Shaw creates a munitions empire, making him a millionaire by 20. Shaw Industries produces weapons for numerous military agencies, upgrading Sentinel robots. Lesson: Network. When Shaw realizes the prestige and potential of joining the elite Hellfire Club, his charisma and ambition help catapult him through the ranks to oust the leader.

LexCorp owns almost every media corporation in Metropolis and has both legitimate and alleged criminal connections. While a philanthropist in the public’s eye, Lex Luthor’s staff keeps blackmail files on individuals throughout the city. Lesson: The sky is the limit. Running on a technology platform, the industrialist becomes the President of the United States.

Roman Sionis quickly rises to vice-presidency at his family business, Janus Cosmetics, and after killing his parents, who disapprove of the woman he loves, inherits the company. Lesson: Take your time. After one of Sionis’s ideas fails miserably, he begins throwing money into the company, urging them to bring the new makeup to market quickly. The toxic product disfigures countless women, resulting in lawsuits that bring the company to bankruptcy. Bruce Wayne bailed them out.

Clifford DeVoe is an intelligent man, but a terrible lawyer. He withdraws his first case when a woman is put on the stand, rather than offend the jury by harsh questioning. Lesson: Fill a gap. After DeVoe gives up on the law, he realizes most of city’s criminals don’t have the brains to succeed. He becomes the orchestrator behind dozens of mob bosses, taking the alias “The Thinker.”



7 Lessons From Entrepreneurial Supervillains
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