What startups can learn from McDonalds?

McDonald’s and startups might seem to be two diametrically opposite concepts. McDonald’s founded in 1940 is the world’s largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants. The success of McDonald’s teaches us three invaluable lessons which is very critical to success of any company and more so for startups.

  • Focus – Be very focused on what you do. McDonald’s picked up the easiest menu a restaurant can have and their burgers are nothing but the simplest form of burgers. They didn’t fall into the trap of making gourmet burgers and complicating the menu options by offering too many products. Startups too should focus on solving a particular problem scenario and be the best at it. Follow KISS principle!.
  • Consistency – When customer goes to McDonald’s, he know what taste he is going to get from the hamburger he orders, be it in New York City or London or Beijing. McDonald’s for customers represents consistency which builds a trust in relationship. Startups too should aim for similar consistency in the value proposition (in other words the promise) they are offering to their customers.
  • Operations – The secret sauce of McDonald’s success is it awesome operations and management. Right from making a hamburger to customer service, everything is very well-defined in its operating manuals. Most of the startups in a rush to launch and expand forget this critical aspect of running a company. Rapid growth and expansion in startup leads to confusion and chaos and ultimately can be fatal.

If you still think that McDonald’s success formula is limited to fast-food restaurants then let me present to you Aravind Eye Care Hospital founded by  Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy. To many it was a crazy idea when Dr Govindappa said that he wants to make a chain of eye care hospitals modeled after McDonald’s.

Seeing is believing hence watch this video (listen to comments at 56sec):

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