What The Avengers: Age of Ultron teaches us about SaaS

Well, nothing really. I mean It’s just a movie.

In fact this is just another click-bait article blatantly designed to mask some pretty basic principles with the intent to push my brand and business.

And you know what? That’s OK!

You see, sometimes we forget that we subscribe to a platform where that kind of thing isn’t just OK, it’s encouraged. LinkedIn is like a big, online trade show where each of us is our own vendor. We are selling our resume, our ideas, and our business. Not only are we selling ourselves but we are expecting to be sold. Can it get a little cheesy and out of hand? Of course. But as long as we are honest with ourselves then we have no reason to feel taken advantaged of.

And isn’t a little honesty kind of refreshing?

So without further adieu, here is a downright remarkable take on how a blockbuster movie can somehow relate to the workplace:

1. Never Go Full Automation

“All your business belong to us”

In The Avengers we see that the big bad Ultron became a reality because a philosophical belief that Artificial Intelligence could relieve the Avengers of their duties and do the job just as efficiently. Normally Tony Stark works in tandem with his A.I. ‘Jarvis’ but he begins to imagine a world where instead of dangerously fighting crime he could quite safely be sipping piña coladas on the beach while a dutifully created robot could do all his work for him. His follow through on that idea ends up almost destroying the planet.

We are starting to see a similar philosophy attempted in the workplace. IVRs replace secretaries, Marketing Automation replaces personalized emails, and if you’re in Japan you might actually run into an actual robot that just might be taking your McDonalds Order.

“yikes”

Stick to the Ironman methodology when it comes to advanced automation tools. Your reps are Tony Stark. Decent on their own, but equipped with the right suit, they are super. Arm your team with weapons (technology) that helps them fight crime (sell) and save the world (increase revenue). Avoid investing in tools that will completely replace your reps. Look for tools that enhance your reps existing capabilities. There is a time and place for automated tools but we need to remember who we’re dealing with: Humans. And humans love other humans. Study after study tells us that even though we love social media and texting that we still love and need human interaction.

Don’t turn your office into an Ultron office. It never works out.

2. Use Individual Strengths In Unity

“United they stand, divided they fall”

While the Avengers might not be the poster child for corporate diversity, they definitely know how to use their individuals strengths together and win as a team. You might think that the Demi-God Thor or the super rich Ironman might be the ones leading the team, but instead they defer to lowly Captain America. They do this because he is the one with real leadership ability. The Hulk is an absolute powerhouse, but without the guidance and training of Blackwidow he would be completely out of control. Even the least powerful member of the team Hawkeye provides the help and support that the team needs to carry out their missions.

We too have roles in our respective companies and we need to know our place. There will be the Ironman investors and the self appointed Thor managers who seek control, but we need to make sure we have in place the people with true leadership skills. Our Hulk salesman need our Marketing Black Widows just as much as our Quicksilver New Hires need our Hawk Eye Training and Education specialists. Each piece is integral to the success of the team and without the one, the others stumble.

Every member of your team is an Avenger and you need every Avenger to win.

3. Sometimes You Need a Little Vision

“Do you see what I see?”

This is the part where I make a plug for my companies Email Tracking tool called Vision. It’s pretty great. You should consider it.

http://www.insidesales.com/products/communications/vision-by-insidesales

But in all reality you need to make sure your team has the right perspectives in place. Sometimes we don’t know exactly what we are doing and need some help from an outside source. We need a different opinion. The Avengers leaned on the Wisdom of The Vision to determine how to solve their problems. We too must seek out experts in our fields and make sure our course of action is a wise one.

4. Make It Look Good

“Oh yeah.. that slow walk”

What are the top three biggest opening weekend movies to date? The Avengers, The Avengers 2, and Ironman 3. What do they all have in common? They look good. From a film perspective they are just OK stories. But Joss Whedon’s secret sauce is that he knows how to make super hero’s sexy. From Scarlett Johannsons eyes to Chris Hemsworths immaculate hair the Avengers series is a beautiful cast. And the action sequences? Buttery smooth. The dialog is crisp and the cinematography is epic.We flock to the avengers for the same reason we flock the the Sistine Chapel or Niagra falls. Because it is looks so good.

“You want to watch this movie again just for this one scene”

And while we might not hire anyone with abs like Chris Evans, we can polish our products and services so that when people are looking to buy, they immediately think of you. They imagine your product slow-walking away from an exploding building and say “That. That is what I need”.

But it can’t just be pretty on the outside. It has to be pretty all the way through. Even the dashing Ryan Reynolds couldn’t make The Green Lantern appealing because it didn’t have the whole package. We too must not rely on one area to define our imagine. Our customers need to see it, our IT needs to see it, and our competitors need to see it. Apple isn’t always the most powerful or the most advanced. But it dang sure is the prettiest. And that’s coming from someone who really doesn’t like Apple.

“Feel free to paste your teams faces on this picture”

And there you have it.

Now could I have just said those things without attaching it to super-heroes? Sure. But would you have clicked the article? Maybe, maybe not.

But was it a fun read?

You bet your Mjölnir it was.

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