How to succeed in business by creating a parody

No comments


While it is not quite like the typical topics I cover, I was recently introduced to a slightly off-kilter and quirky show called “Nathan For You,” and it seemed like something interesting I should discuss. If you have not heard of the show itself, you may have heard of one of the numerous business ventures the show’s creator, Nathan Fielder, has gotten involved in.

Essentially, the show is a docu-reality comedy show with both real and staged elements. Fielder plays a stranger version of himself who tries to help businesses and people in various situations. Many of the solutions he offers up are extreme and he often parodies marketing strategies and management styles.

The most well known stunt Fielder was able to pull off was creating a knock off of the popular coffee chain, Starbucks. You may be wondering how he did not get sued for doing so, well, Nathan classified his business as an art gallery and called it Dumb Starbucks. He still sold coffee, muffins and even Dumb Norah Jones CDs.

The first day “Dumb Starbucks” opened for business not much happened. The second day, however, there was a line out the door. Why would people line up to pay the same price or more for a product that is likely equal or less in quality when compared to the original Starbucks?

Novelty. People went there because it was not Starbucks. Not even just that. It was almost identical to Starbucks, but then there was the word dumb. People love a good parody.

Weird Al would not continue to sell hit albums if no one cared about parodies. Nathan Fielder was initially trying to mock something but actually turned it into a successful business for a while.

The show is currently in its third season, though I am not sure any episode got as much attention as “Dumb Starbucks.” It still is definitely worth a watch if you want a good laugh and some unique perspectives on business.

Leave a Reply