Marvel-Seeing Failure as Opportunity
The Marvel universe is by far one of the most famous superhero franchises loved by children and adults all over the world. The Marvel comics and their superheroes were the role models for many children; girls and boys alike, (obviously with not being gender biased by giving room for female superheroes their space to fight crime).
It might be surprising to know that the famous comic books enterprise Marvel Entertainment group filed for bankruptcy in the late 1990s after facing declining revenue, losses, and delisted stock.
The point of filing for bankruptcy came to being as a result of questionable investments, and over-diversification. The fact that children discovered video games, which they preferred over comic strips and books did not help (especially because it was not something they had anticipated).
Peter Cuneo’s entry into Marvel as the CEO and CFO was what turned the ship around to lead towards profit and the success they are basking in right now. Being a person who knew a thing or two about picking up businesses that fell deep into a well, Cuneo introduced a policy at Marvel that made it take responsibility for the mistakes made, he introduced a cost-conscious culture that helped immensely for the revival of the company. “People joke about Marvel counting paper clips every month, and really that’s only a small exaggeration. We wanted all of our employees thinking about spending every day.” Is what Cuneo had to say in an interview of his policies at Marvel.
He was very much conscious of the mistakes that were previously made in the company and was very much aware and determined to not make it again. Even though he imposed a strict financial culture, of tying employee incentives to cash flow instead of profitability and cutting costs across the company leading to a 71% drop in warehousing and merchandising costs, Cuneo drew a line at sacrificing talent, for he believed that laying of talented workers for cost savings had a role in the demise of the company in the 1990s. Marvel invested in talent where it counted, but they kept a tight ship otherwise.
Another major factor for Marvel’s turnaround was ‘movies’. The company decided to license out its comic properties to other film studios, which created hits like “Blade,” “X-Men” and “Spider-Man” in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Later on, Marvel launched an initiative to creatively control its films and create a “cinematic universe” where the stories and characters will be interlinked to each other, under the Marvel Studios banner. The move not only rapidly increase Marvel’s value to $400 million by 2003, but also transformed the conventional movie landscape.