Notes from The Founder (The McDonalds Story)

4 minute read

Watching “The Founder” tonight (finally!), always been a fan of legendary sales ninja Ray Kroc (who built Mc Donalds 🍟), & what mad customer obsession can do!

Going to use this space to share notes / learnings / personal interpretations / what I love🥤:

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.

Talent won’t.

Genius won’t.

Education won’t.

Persistence and determination alone are the most powerful!

Mac McDonald is seen “sweeping the floor outside” the make-shift cafe when Ray Kroc meets him the first time. And “offers a tour” of the supply chain (which works like magic!).

Founder 101 🙏🏻


And Dick MacDonald’s entry 🔥 — Calling out his brother on fries🍟  being “5% too crisp”, and some more details follow which tell you about the SHEER OBSESSION with delivering quality, happiness, and love – in every piece of what goes out from their shop 🙂

#Founder101 again 🙏🏻


Doing the business with insights 🌟

1. 87% of the sales were “just 3 items” 💡

2. Drive-in (the standard then), neither worker re customer delight, nor did its costs add up.


Never the easiest. And yet always..

As a business scales, it needs processes / structures to become incrementally better, to get ready for scale, to delight consumers who’re growing in number w/ the same love & quality now..

– & we underestimate “how early” can structures change things.

Mac & Dick show that 🧠


When as a founder you get advice from someone who is more experienced / throws a new angle into how you do things (despite however remarkable it might’ve been up till there) – YOU LISTEN 👂🙂

Trust people.

When Ray tells his wife that he wants to be a part of this “revolutionary thing” Mc Donalds / & she says, “Ray, when’s it going to be enough for you..”

And he replies,

“Probably never”

Hits home. Because it’s never about the dollars. It’s always “the impact”.


When you go in, you always GO ALL IN.

When you begin executing, YOU EXECUTE LIKE NO TOMORROW.

There has never been another way to play. It’s blood. It’s life. It’s everything.

When folks did not agree to buy the growth dream, Ray took a loan and leased land himself.


“Be right. Just be right one time. One time.”

This scene about the partnership with Coca Cola, it’s always been the most beautiful hack.

Never underestimate the power of relationships and partnerships.

Back home, who can forget Paytm & Uber :), Vijay Shekhar Sir totally changed the game with that!

Being a founder is a mentality.

In this scene, Ray is seen sweeping the outside of the new McDonalds store. Just like Mac did at the beginning.

Repeat. Being a founder is a mentality.

PS: Reminds me of James AllenArpan Sheth & Leverage edu early believer Deepak Jain 🙂

It’s not an easy journey. It’s not easy for those who are with you on it as well, especially the family.

The support at the end of everyday. It means so much. It makes difference that can’t be put in words or numbers.

Thinking about the wife as I saw this scene 😉


And such an important part of this (the most important perhaps) is being able to “share the vision, the dream”, with others who you want to bring on-board the ship 🛳-

– & Ray did such a fantastic job with it!

PS: Also important to make sure you make everyone win, & win big!

Again, when you get advice from someone who knows ‘some aspect’ of your business better – you listen 👂

Joan, another innovator in the @McDonalds story..

When Ray asks her, “you think big, don’t you Joan?”

She says,

“Is there any other way to” 💃👏🏼

Unfortunately Ray is headed to divorce. It indeed ends up taking a lot at the end for him.

Every one of us is on a journey to figure out how they get to the balance. It’s a unique journey. And it’s not an easy solution.

But personal wins are also every ounce worth playing for!

Unfortunately, Ray & the original founders don’t end up on the same side.

But that’s telling too. Of how they were different. Of how the founders did not envision or dream about massive growth & impact.

Business indeed is war. Founders got to remember that, & play like that.

Everything matters. The smallest of them too. Everything.

Building a brand is underrated when you are early. But tbh, you start to build a brand even before you start.

Like I always say, it’s blood.. you really do build a company with your blood.

And in the end, it really did come down to one word:


Ray didn’t start McD, but his hunger to make it something that was unimaginable in that present, was 🙏🏻

And that’s what building beautiful companies takes. Luckily 🤞, with all Ray’s & Dick’s & Mac’s on the same side till the end 🙂

You GOT to play it with EVERYTHING!!

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