Although I am a tile guy by trade, I consider myself ultimately an entrepreneur...and boy, my motor started firing this weekend watching the new film "The Founder" starring Michael Keaton. This is a film about the beginnings of the legendary American company, McDonald's. We've all eaten the food and been to the restaurants but we rarely think, while sitting in the drive thru, that at one time it was a single location in San Bernadino, CA.
Although Ray Kroc is identified as the founder of McDonald's and his character played by Michael Keaton is the lead in the film, it was two other men, the McDonalds brothers who came up with the system that proved to be transferable throughout the country. Ray simply had the vision and the drive to make McDonald's a household name and continually IMPROVE upon the original concept.
What makes a film powerful to me is if I can relate to the characters. The strongest aspect of the movie is that I related to the main character of Ray Kroc. Not only that, I could point to the people and situations in my own world that correlated with people and situations in the movie. The message of persistence really hit home, too. Ray started out as a milk shake machine salesman and by the age of 52 he had built one of the biggest companies in the country and the world. I can identify with a 'late bloomer'!
Now depending on the who you are and your outlook on the world, I suppose you could feel bad for the McDonald brothers by the end of the film because Ray Kroc used his cunning and craftiness to obtain his vision, but to me the film makers ultimately had me still revering the entrepreneur by the culmination of the movie. That is an important message to put across and a very American message at that.
I grew up on McDonalds (for better or worse) so the company has a special place in my heart and to see the story of its creation put onto the big screen and to have the businessman honored as a hero was a welcome break from what permeates modern film, the evil businessman who steals the farm.
My favorite lines from the movie are at the end when Ray Kroc is preparing for a speech in front of Ronald Reagan...
"Nothing in the world can take the place of good old PERSISTANCE. Talent won't. There is nothing more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Education won't. The world is full of educated fools. Persistence and determination alone are all powerful...Only In America, Only in America!!"
If you're looking for an inspiring movie and want to get hungry for fast food.... check out "The Founder" Ben gives it FIVE STARS!