The Founder



Years ago, I read a book about McDonald’s and found it a fabulous story of a time in America where a hard-working salesman stumbled upon a client who understood the value of his product where others didn’t and bought many more of these products than he “should have.” He traveled to California to find out how they were using this product so he could explain “best practices” to others and sell even more of them. And so, Ray Kroc met the McDonald brothers and was blown away by their creative assembly line way of doing business that allowed them to sell lots of hamburgers for a shockingly inexpensive 15 cents. Plus, by the way, more milk shakes than anyone else, which is why they bought eight of his machines.

The book went on to tell many McDonald’s stories. One that sticks in my mind is about the opening of the first store in Japan. As the unit was on a corner and in a department store, they had overnight to install and open. They rented a hangar, built the store, trained the staff and then moved overnight into the space in Tokyo. It was a great story. Fact is, the book was filled with great stories and I couldn’t wait to see “The Founder” and see how close to the book it was.

“The Founder” has little to do with the book and the story of McDonald’s. It is true to its title. It’s about Ray Kroc, who is portrayed as a man who had Aha! moments, and each time dropped everything to pursue them. When he saw what the McDonald brothers were doing, he dropped everything to pursue that business. When he saw the wife of one of his franchisees and fell in lust, he dropped his wife to pursue her. When he felt that the McDonald brothers were standing in the way of his corporate growth, he dropped them. The focus of “The Founder,” unfortunately, is Ray Kroc’s sociopathic behavior.

Michael Keaton plays Ray Kroc, the sociopath. I was hoping for more.

Doug Anderson




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