It’s that time of year again! The world’s newest official international holiday is upon us—May the Fourth—a day to celebrate and discuss the greatest film franchise ever, Star Wars.
Odds are you are a Star Wars fan, and if not, there are even greater odds that you have seen, read, purchased or played something Star Wars. The numbers don’t lie: Star Wars has earned billions over the past 39 years because the world is absolutely mesmerized by this story. It is the modern myth of our time; a story that combines the most ancient of character archetypes with the wildest dreams of the post-Space Age generations. And generations, indeed, have come to adore the film. Baby boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials, regardless of gender, race, religion or geography, have all found common ground in their love for these films. Last December, at the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it was not an uncommon sight to see children, parents and grandparents take seats side by side to watch the latest installment of this story.
With all of this success, it’s hard to believe all of it started with one man from Modesto, CA. Star Wars wasn’t George Lucas’ first venture, but he clearly showed promise in his early experimental film THX-1138 and his nostalgic American Graffiti. Lucas developed the script for years and years while working on other ventures, revising and rewriting, after his initial pitch to make a Flash Gordon film was rejected.
However, after “The Star Wars” was finally greenlit, it still almost was never made. The stress of tight deadlines and set destruction from sandstorms almost had Lucas cancelling the shoot, let alone the fact that the technology needed to create the special effects Lucas needed did not even exist. The young company known as Lucasfilm was nearly finished before it barely got off the ground.
However perseverance paid off. Ever the futurist and technologist, Lucas hired the right people to tackle his visual effects and pushed the art of filmmaking light years beyond where it had been. With the success of Star Wars, Lucas went on to push technology forward even further as well, and was instrumental in the areas of cg effects, digital filmmaking, and digital streaming/content delivery.
There’s a lot that MSPs can learn from Lucas. An unlikely businessman, his fiercely independent spirit found him running a company while behind a camera, and as such, he learned to delegate, find his strengths and run his business while not being inside his business. For many years, Lucas took a step back from directing and focused on producing, writing and editing, while hiring for key positions in his organization that could get the job done.
Additionally, Lucas is an improviser. If there is no model that fits, he creates his own. Lucas understood the power of vision, and let technology be the medium through which to execute his projects. It’s an important distinction; instead of letting the limitations of technology create barriers for his business, he made technology adapt to fit his strategy. While MSPs may not have the power to change the technology they use every day, it’s important to remember that technology is in perpetual flux. Managed IT services is about providing the best service delivery possible to clients; providing that piece of mind and leadership is the vision for success one must have no matter what the technology that is being used.
Finally, George Lucas was not afraid to try new things. Granted, not all of his creations were as beloved as the original Star Wars, but as an independent business owner, he understood the need to take risks and forge ahead. Just a few years ago, managed IT services was the new area to move into. Today, managed backup and disaster recovery (BDR), managed security and other managed IT services are at the forefront of the channel. So, on May the Fourth, let the independent spirit of George Lucas guide you to forge ahead in your MSP business and seek out what’s next.
By Gretchen Hoffman