Ask Phillip Williams: Larry Garfield- Other People’s Money (1991) ‘Failure to Innovate, Obsolescence’

Failure to Innovate, Obsolescence - Other People's Money - Danny Devito

Source:Ask Phillip Williams– Larry Garfield (played by Danny DeVito) in Other People’s Money (1991)

“Larry the Liquidator discusses how to kill a company.”

From Ask Phillip Williams

Larry Garfield (played by Danny DeVito) is right about one thing in this speech (and that might be the only thing) which is when you stop innovating and you get comfortable, you lose your edge, that’s when you start falling and stop failing.

When you stop innovating and stop progressing, that’s when your competition catches up and even passes you and you lose customers to the businesses that are not just keeping up with the times, but are driving them and giving them quality, affordable services that customers want.

Gregory Peck plays the President of a very old New England family company that’s been losing money and is at risk of going out of business, until Larry the Liquidator comes along and buys up stock in the company, because he wants to take it over, before he runs into into the ground. Or perhaps try to turn it around before he sells it off.

Other People’s Money is not that different from Wall Street (1987) except that it’s funnier because you have Danny DeVito in the lead instead of Michael Douglas. Not that Douglas is not funny, because he’s an excellent comedic actor with excellent comedic timing, but he’s not Danny DeVito and perhaps no one is when it comes to comedic acting from that generation.

And what Garfield is doing in this scene is using humor and sarcasm to make a serious point that this family company has stopped innovating and has lost its creativity, has lost it’s edge, and that the company is so far lost that its not even worth trying to save, at least under current management. And he makes a good case here, regardless of what you think should be done with this fictional company.


About Rik Schneider

Blogger/writer on a lot of different subjects.
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