There is No Secret Ingredient (In Business and Marketing)
You’ve seen the movie Kung Fu Panda, right?
As the father of two young boys, I’ve seen it probably a dozen times. But for those of you that haven’t (or for those of you that need a reminder), let me summarize. Spoilers ahead, but it’s been out since 2008, so you had your chance!
There’s a panda named Po (voiced by the always-entertaining Jack Black) who loves Kung Fu and loves to eat.
His father is a goose who owns a noodle stand. His noodles are famous, in part because of his secret ingredient.
Po is chosen as the legendary “ninja warrior”, much to his surprise and the chagrin of Master Shifu and the “Furious Five” team of warriors.
Hilarity ensues as the portly Po learns Kung Fu and struggles with his ever-present appetite.
There’s a bad guy named Tai Lung who threatens to destroy their home.
They consult the legendary “dragon scroll”, which only the dragon warrior can open, but it turns out the scroll is blank.
Po learns that the secret ingredient in his father’s soup is “nothing”, and that it’s special only because people believe it is.
Right before the big showdown at the end, Po realizes that “there is no secret ingredient” and that he needs to believe in himself. This allows him to defeat the bad guy and save the day using the legendary “Wuxi finger hold”.
They all live happily ever after, until the sequel, anyway.
It’s a great movie, and I must admit that I’d probably watch it even if I didn’t have kids! I think the lesson is a universal one, and has broad implications in life and business.
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