Tucker: The Man and His Dream
When starting an entrepreneur venture, many things are important to the success of ones product or service and the movie Tucker The Man and His Dream shows many of the goods and bads, ups and downs. Beginning with an idea, entrepreneurs have to take careful steps and cover all areas of the process in order to accomplish their dreams. In Tuckers case, with a revolutionary idea and motivation like know other, he had an excellent opportunity to change the car industry and went for it. Throughout the movie he made very strong moves, and some not so good ones that ultimately restrained him from his hopes. Initially, Tuckers car concepts including an engine in the rear, shatter proof glass, and seatbelts were all something never see before. In addition to those features the automobile had plans of going over 130mph and the capacity to get 20 miles to the gallon. It had a futuristic view like no other car of its time and was appealing to many. With all this, it seemed that Tucker was going to shoot his way to the top with no one stopping him.
The opportunity presented to Tucker and his crew had success written all over it but after many obstacles everyone realized that developing a corporation wasn’t as easy as they planned. When creating something with such new innovations, entrepreneurs need to assure that what they have built and the process required is measurable, which Tucker failed to do. He presented a drawing with good ideas but had little knowledge on everything that went into constructing the futuristic car. Instead of building the car first and making necessary adjustments to the parts and issues, Tucker decided to take the idea right to the public, which eventually would end up hurting him. Tucker also was granted the opportunity to take over the largest factory building in the US, located in Chicago under the conditions that he have 50 cars built by the end of his first year with a certain amount of money in assets.
Again, before assessing the opportunity given to him, he rushed the process and took the deal when he had no money and parts to build. By skipping crucial steps it negatively affected all the different areas in the entrepreneurial process making the rest of his journey difficult to achieve After presenting the idea to his family Tuckers first phone call was to a business partner Abe who assisted him in advertising his idea to stockholders and the public. He also funded the first $6,000 of the project because Tucker had nothing. Also involved was his son who was accepted to Notre Dame but instead wanted to follow his dads footsteps in creating the automobile.
Along with them were people Tucker gathered to construct and promote his idea. At first, Tucker had the right motive to bring along someone with knowledge of the business world. This allowed them to meet with people in high places to review the idea and make offers in helping the production. His crew was also knowledgeable about building cars but it was difficult to do under a time restraint and nothing to work off of. Throughout the building of the vehicle the team discovered many problems that were not expected and it began to change their view of how the car was going to be made. Knowing what were creating wasn’t the high-tech car it planned to be, they ignored their values and started using used internal parts, keeping it secret from the public. Tucker himself showed poor values and had little experience in forming a corporation. With that being said, Tucker and his team were not properly suited to venture into this business, which also aided in the downfall of his company. Arguably one of Tuckers biggest problems in entering his venture was his lack of finance. With very little money to invest in his car company, it was a risk from the start that he could easy find himself in financial troubles. Bringing along Abe was a good start to putting money into the business but it wasn’t nearly enough. With high hopes for investors to assist him, Tucker journeyed to Chicago where landed a deal for a dodge factory under the circumstances that he create 50 cars in his first year and build a certain amount of revenue. He also received money from Bennington who later Tucker would find out, had a large control of the company. The point of all of this is Tucker received investments but had little of his own which affected how his business was run. He was so desperate to get funded for his project that he ignored the roles of those involved and it eventually all caught up with him when the Securities and Exchange Commission accused him of stock fraud due to his cheap production parts and false advertising.
The organizational structure of Tuckers corporation was nothing like any of the big 3 competitors at the time, which I believe was another huge factor in their downfall. Although a crew of mechanics, investors, and a board of directors were established for the corporation, there was a lack of communication between everyone, which caused lots of confusion, and big mistakes. Tucker at one point wasn’t even aware that Bennington had more control than he did in his own business. People were making changes to the car and business decisions without communicating with those involved. Another problem that affected Tucker’s company was they began building the car in his shed at his home. This was an issue because everyone wasn’t under one roof to make decisions as the product was being built. If they established a solid organizational structure from the start in one location it very could have changed the corporations outcome in a positive way. I also think that if they had a more expansive organizational structure set up they could have received more feedback and criticism from different areas of the organization. Some examples would be a bigger design team, marketing department, and an accounting department to handle finances and budgets.
By committing the mistake of jumping the gun, Tucker lost the opportunity to properly develop a structure for the corporation. One of the strongest processes the company performed well was their marketing. From the start with just a drawing, Tucker placed his first advertisement in a magazine and people went crazy for it. This made the public aware of Tuckers concept but was rushed due to the fact that the car wasn’t even close to being built. Once seeing the car, Tucker was rushed with investors and buyers but he had nothing to show for it. They continued to advertise strongly and developed an effective publicity tour that continued to inform the world of what they had to offer. They decided to debut the cars showing at the Tucker Corporation factory in front of a large crowd, but had multiple problems with the car minutes before its entrance.
Although, when finally brought out from behind the curtains, the crowd went crazy over its sleek look, and modern capabilities. This was an excellent way to advertise and show off the car but in truth, the car was nothing more than the average vehicle of that time due its poorly put together parts. When a business decides to market its new product or services, they need to assure they have a fully developed and finished idea before people they make the public aware because many in many instances, there becomes production issues that need time to be fixed. In Tuckers case, he began heavily advertising without a product and in return, it caught up to him because he wasn’t able to build the exact car he and the world dreamed about. Tucker throughout the short lived venture had some positive business operations and some that ended up costing him his dream. One thing he did right was he had an excellent location in Chicago at the largest factory building in the United States at the time. Being a populated, financially stable city, Tucker had eager consumers ready to purchase one of his new cars. Having a big space allowed him and his crew to move in and set up shop as needed. On the other side of things, Tucker operated with poor equipment, labor skills, and lack of raw materials. He was using used parts in his vehicles, he didn’t have a big enough labor personnel to meet the needs of the factory requirements, and had few suppliers that give him materials at the price he needed. With the big 3 automobile companies in the mix, it was hard for Tucker to find cheap prices as his competitors were receiving steel for two times less than the price he was. Eventually, Tucker hooked up with a helicopter company in Syracuse that was not controlled by the government where he received steel and a decent price and used a helicopter motor in his car. This was the turning point of Tuckers idea because he finally established what he originally wanted to create. Overall, Preston Tucker was determined to achieve his dream of creating his own car. He had the necessary drive needed to make this dream come true but lacked expertise in some areas. As an entrepreneur it is so important to take your time with each process involved because if not done correctly it will be difficult to find success.
Tucker had some industry changing ideas associated with his car but when it came down to executing he made mistakes that unfortunately caused him to crumble. He experienced success in getting his product out there to the market as well as finding a key location to begin his venture. His biggest mistake of all was jumping the gun and marketing his automobile without any hard evidence. He had no car to show for his idea and began getting further and further into his venture without one. At that point he was so far invested into his venture, there was no turning back which forced him to cheat the system and create something below standards. If I were in the situation of Preston Tucker I would have taken more time to analyze the entrepreneurial process. It’s important to develop a solid business structure as well as a good team to be successful. Taking this approach I would be able to properly construct the car and take care of any issues that may come up before presenting my idea to the world. Also, I would be able to gather a solid crew of people to help promote and expand the business correctly. Even though Tuckers corporation failed, it was a good learning for the do’s and don’t of a business. It shows how a couple costly mistakes can turn for the worse and unfortunately for Tucker it did. In the end, he was ruled not guilt by the jury and was proud to see all fifty of his cars leave the court