Stan Lee, superheroes and the weaknesses of the entrepreneur

Stan Lee, superheroes and the weaknesses of the entrepreneur

This article was translated using AI technologies from our Spanish edition. Errors can occur due to this process.

The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur’s contributors are their own.

Of the many sentences, stories, and lessons Stan Lee has left us, one seems to me to be particularly valuable: “If Achilles hadn’t had his heel, we might not even know him today.” The phrase reveals the value of our weaknesses, those aspects of our body or personality that make us vulnerable.

Although we usually hide them, we have them all. We don’t talk about them. We better show our strengths: we boast of what we are good at, our gifts, our qualities.

From our superpowers.

Weaknesses and shortcomings remain in the shadows as we walk down the corridors of offices and businesses in the hope that others will never notice them. The worst part is that sometimes we ourselves refuse to see our mistakes. We pretend they don’t exist and we are obsessed with always making ourselves infallible, indestructible like superheroes.

But just like Achilles, with this vulnerability from the day his mother grabbed his heel and then dipped him in the cold waters of the Styx River and wished he was invincible, we too have aspects that make us weak. Instead of shying away from them, we have to recognize them, work on them and accept that they are part of our personality and that they help to make us unique and different.

The charm of weaknesses

By 1954, Stan Lee was already working as an editor at Atlas Comics (a company that later changed its name to Marvel Comics). After going through their golden age during World War II, comics had a bad time: that same year the Comics Code Authority was established in the United States to try to regulate the content of these types of publications because they did considered too violent and an incentive to juvenile delinquency. Hand-tied, the writers struggled to develop products that would captivate young readers, and the publisher basically relied on romantic or old-western comics.

Tired of the situation, Stan Lee confessed to his wife, Joan, that he was about to resign. She said to him, “Before you stop, why don’t you make a story like you would like it to be? The worst that can happen is get fired, right? Anyway, you thought about quitting … “

His wife’s advice coincided with the appearance of the Justice League by the competing publisher (National Comics Publications, later DC Comics) and with a request from Atlas owner Martin Goodman to think about a cartoon with a group of superheroes.

Stan Lee then wrote the first Fantastic Four story and gave his characters what they would do differently: weaknesses, complexes, problems and uncertainties.

Reed Richards was this very intelligent scientist who lived with a brutal sense of guilt for causing irreparable damage to his friends on that mission in space. Ben Grimm was transformed into a monstrous and very strong being made of orange-colored rock, who had abandoned his fiancée because of his terrible appearance. Johnny was the super powered teenager, too immature to understand, and busier with racing cars and dating girls than defending the world from a bad guy. Sue Storm tried to keep the team together and keep her marriage to Reed alive despite her doubts.

The comic was a huge hit, and Goodman allowed Stan Lee to continue experimenting with flawed characters. The Fantastic Four was followed by the Hulk, the story of this man who was doomed to transform into a green monster with an uncontrollable destructive power every time he got angry. Then Spider-Man, a frail and insecure teenager who got his strength from being bitten by a spider. The young man was bullied by his classmates, he had to pay for his studies as a reporter and also did not know how to approach the girl he liked. Later, with the X-Men, Stan Lee addressed the problem of minorities through the social rejection that people with genetic mutations suffered.

Like the superheroes of the golden age of comics, Stan Lee’s characters were strong and powerful, full of incredible abilities, but what made them really different and charming were their flaws, problems, and fallibility. That and the way in which they managed to get on despite everything …


In both life and entrepreneurship, we will always be our greatest obstacle. Our ideas, our fears, and our complexes could prevent us from reaching the potential we really have. To the extent that we accept that, like the characters introduced by Stan Lee, we are fallible, unpredictable, and weak beings, we will have the opportunity to improve.

Just as we are intrigued by the story of this teenager who loses his uncle to a criminal he could have arrested himself and then begins to use his powers to fight crime, our own story could also captivate us. The one who tells the way of beings who are ready to move forward despite adversity and doubt in a complex environment where the only way to victory is to work tirelessly from morning to night believing in the superpower, the ideals and Have goals. dreams

This story of superheroes, of ourselves, of our weaknesses turned into strengths. But above all: from our company.