TRON is still a superb film, I was too young when it was first issued, but watching it recently started me thinking about business strategy and business models for startups.

In basic sociology, we learn that society is reflected in films and films are (then) reflected back in society. What this means is that you can analyse a film to learn about (business) culture from that time and look to see if any stereotypes are carried forward into reality.

Management Lessons learned from TRON

  1. Small time startups need a break - but they get their lucky chance only from their greedy business manager.

  2. Startup success is down to good business acumen - not innovation or by doing the right thing.

  3.  The  Big American Corporation is run by a power hungry but paranoid CEO. His real power comes from having good business cunning. But he really got to the top by stealing.

  4. You must go on a Quest to Right Wrongs - Like all good films, the True Hero is a small time developer / hacker who must become the Knight-Adventurer to prove it is his work.

Social Stereotypes that carry forward

  1. The altruistic Company Founder is forced ‘out of power’ by the Master Controller Program / Dillinger character because he has cunning and his business acumen made everyone rich.
  • Many a good startup or founder has had to hire a CEO to lead their company - many larger companies today have stories about management infighting between the original founders.
  1. Every developer wants to be the one who wrote the programmes TRON (and even CLU)
  • A whole generation of ‘developers’ probably, secretly, still want to believe they will write these programmes. This probably can be shown to shape peoples’ views of good code and coding practices.

So have you seen TRON?  what do you think of it now?


You can buy Tron & Tron Legacy on Blu-Ray (via Amazon)

Tags: management, strategy, Tron

Read more from my blog for an introduction and quick tips on developing in Hugo or UCTD.

Meet the author

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Damien Saunders
An experienced management consultant and business leader interested in digital transformation, product centred design and scaled agile. If I'm not writing about living with UCTD (an autoimmune disease), I'm probably listening to music, reading a book or learning more about wine.