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Strategize For Your Startup With These Lessons From Game Of Thrones

Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t read the books or haven’t seen the previous seasons or the new season, continue reading at your own risk.Game-of-Thrones

There’s an ethos of startups out there in the market today, all of which have decided to be their own boss and are striving to get more power. To make their empire stronger than the others, they are ready to put anything at stake. Doesn’t this sound familiar? It reminds us of Westeros, doesn’t it? Where everyone wants to sit on the Iron Throne; everyone is struggling to protect the honor of their house. George R.R. Martin’s book series ‘A Song Of Ice And Fire’ which culminated in a TV show, is followed by half the world like a religion. It’s fantasy, but at its heart, a story of men and women embroiled in a bloody battle for rather an uncomfortable chair, the Iron Throne, the ultimate source of power. The story line is full of trials, crisis, joy and pain, similar to what one will experience in a startup. It naturally follows that there are characters in the series that have exhibited strong leadership skills, competent in navigating the complex challenges and emotions that their situation presented them. So here are some lessons that the members of different houses of the show teach us.

House Stark: Winter Is Coming

One of the most loved houses and one of the most popular sayings seen everywhere on the internet ‘Winter is Coming’ which implies preparation for the worst. The most celebrated and respected Stark, Lord Eddard Stark, taught us the greatest lessons in the very first episode of the series, to do one’s job oneself. He did all his beheadings himself. Etailer BigBasket’s cofounder Hari Menon, for instance, manages correspondence, cleans his office, books tickets and fetches his own chai. Neeraj Kakkar, the chief executive of Hector Beverages often takes public transport. Somewhere between delegation and a DIY style is the leadership sweet spot.winter is coming

One more lesson that Robb Stark, son of Ned Stark, teaches us is to keep one’s promise. Robb married Jeyne Westerling{book} (Talisa Maegyr of Volantis {TV series}), despite being promised to marry one of Walder Frey’s daughters, which cost him his life and we witnessed the tragic ‘Red wedding’. So, look before you leap; NEVER make a promise that you cannot keep. Otherwise, you’ll lose your faithful customers.

House Lannister : Hear me Roar.

We’ve heard Cersei Lannister say “Power is power”. There wouldn’t be a competition without power and as an entrepreneur of a startup, it is extremely important to have a fairly clear notion of the power you possess. Become a formidable force, just like the Lannisters who won the losing war. Find the weak point in the market, be smart, move in and capture it.power-is-power

We cannot speak about the Lannisters without mentioning their most renowned quote “A Lannister pays his debts”. Coming from the richest house of Westeros, this saying is apt for everyone. So, get rid of your debts, as soon as you can, they defile your balance sheets. And this advice is not only applied to your business debts, but also your personal loans and bills because your financial credibility would definitely be considered when you reach out to an investor.

Related Article: Entrepreneurial lessons to be learned from the Noble Men and Women of Game of thrones!

House Targaryen: Fire and Blood

Entrepreneurship is all about leaving your comfort zone to follow your dreams which might be unconventional and defy the normal course of actions and instill confidence about it in others as well. Daenerys has a vision of an Essos free from the shackles of slavery. And taking this idea to traditional slave cities such as Meereen, Yunkai, and Astapor, she captures the attention of millions of residents and finds her place as the ruler of Meereen. The mother of dragons’ greatest quality of her is her vision – she uses it to foster belief in the hearts of her followers. She started her journey with minimum yet critical resources, but with a view to change the game. She wanted to be a queen who believed in equality and not in slavery. Remember what she told Tyrion, ‘I am not going to stop the wheel. I am going to break the wheel.’ A strong, clear vision is essential for startups. Moreover, they must be able to express it and sell it in a way that is compelling, in order to win over clients and investors.daenerys

Samyak Chakrabarty, managing director, Social Quotient, a cause marketing and communications company says, “As an entrepreneur, it is key to first have the faith of your own team in the idea and win unconditional loyalty. This includes the ability to sell your collective vision. To get people who are ready to die for your cause — that’s the first test.”

House Tully: Family, Duty, Honor

A mantra for all, we can’t survive this game alone. Our team i.e. our family is very important in this game. A team that believes in each other, and their executives, and is willing to fight day and night for their cause, and to support them, is the most important thing for a company.

House Baratheon : Ours is the Fury

Though many of us don’t like Stannis Baratheon, we can’t deny his potential and honesty. Remember Stannis Baratheon and Davos’ talk with the Iron Bank of Bravos? Bankers asked questions about the resources Stannis has and ultimately deny him the funding due to his lack of resources. But Davos shares a story of Stannis’ honesty and his potential to become the protector of the baratheon

Your idea should have the potential to grow, do not think much even if all you have is an idea with a great potential. Just go ahead with it. Investors will come your way automatically.

House Tyrell: Growing Strong

As the motto goes, the Tyrells’ ambition makes them one of the strongest houses. They helped the Lannisters win the war. Furthermore, Margaery Tyrell, widowed twice over, is still shrewd and sharp enough to face the world. It’s very important to have a focus that is clear as a crystal about the end result you want for your company.

Moreover, we remember Margaery going to the people of Westeros and helping them in all possible ways when the city was a complete mess under the rule of Joffrey. People started loving her more than anyone else. So, win the trust of your customers, meet all their needs. The customer is the king, so, try and fulfill their needs.Petyr Baelish

Petyr Baelish: Though he doesn’t belong to any notable house, Littlefinger is the embodiment of an idyllic startup business. He wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but his  perseverance, hard work, and tenacity gave him the vast network of political power. Besides that, his knowledge helped him stay in the game and turn it around as he wanted it. Any successful businessman knows that these traits are essential and that they are characteristics whereby the rewards are seen after a long time. He says, “Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some are given a chance to climb; they cling to the realm or the gods or love. Only the ladder is real”

‘You are in the great game now and the great game is terrifying.’ – Tyrion Lannister, Game of Thrones.tyrion lannister

The startup venture is really a game, know your game and play it well without the fear of losing.

Also Read: Content Marketing Strategies to boost a Startup

What do you think, will these strategies help startups to get success? Share your comments below.
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The Author

Deep Mehta

Deep Mehta

A startup enthusiast & a digital marketing specialist. Founder of a digital marketing agency - DigiChefs, likes to read, research, debate & predict the trends in the startup ecosystem.

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