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What company would you create or work for were you in the Roald Dahl universe?

Roald Dahl day has just passed us by and it got us thinking: what featured companies would bosses most like to work for? And would they create a startup were they included in this vast universe?
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Fictional books, created by the likes of Roald Dahl, Ernest Hemingway and even JRR Tolkein, have long been a source of inspiration for the corporate world. Cited by many as a good read is Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, which places emphasis on getting out of your comfort zone and remembering your journey’s starting point.

On the latter, who could forget this passage: “It’s called the principle of favourability. When you play cards the first time, you are almost sure to win. Beginner’s luck. Why is that? Because there is a force that wants you to realise your Personal Legend; it whets your appetite with a taste of success.”

The Visual Capitalist also pointed to The Master & Margarita and 100 Years of Solitude as among the most read books in the VC community. Let’s not even get started on the attention Game of Thrones has garered regarding financial advice.

It wouldn’t be surprising if fiction conjured up thoughts of possible businesses, were they possible to implement or not. It’s an idea that stuck with us. And given that Roald Dahl day has just passed us by, we wondered what companies people would create – or most like to work for – were they included in his universe.

Standing out for Matthew Stephenson, owner of Sweetdreams, was Willy Wonka’s factory. Though the company did look like fun, it was the similarities found between the Roald Dahl classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and his own company that cemented the place in his mind.

“I am lucky enough to head up one of the leading chocolate businesses in the UK. We are always creating new and exciting products for the public to indulge in – sound familiar? We have just announced the launch of our new factory and, just like Wonka, we have arguably the top chocolate experts in the country working on creating the best products on the market.

“Having Andy Baxendale – star of the recent BBC documentary ‘The Sweet Makers’ – Mike Flower and Mark Robinson join the team really shows the weight that our name has in the British confectionary industry. And while we might not have mastered everlasting gobstoppers or lickable wallpaper yet, I know our Choc Nibbles could definitely give Wonka a run for his money!”

Similarly, Paul Goldfinch cites Wonka’s creation as his Roald Dahl dream company – but there’s a twist. He’d rather take elements found in the factory and bring it to the “real world” with him. He’d also like to nab himself two loveable Roald Dahl characters – one as an employee, the other as part of his supply chain.

“I would have to take a tour of Willy Wonka’s business to pick up some tips for our new factory floor (maybe a Polar Krush river and waterfall?) but I would love to employ George (George’s Marvelous Medicine) as a product developer at Polar Krush,” he said.

“Just like George, we are always experimenting with different flavours to make people smile, though usually with less explosive results… I would also love to speak to James about his giant peach. Our drinks are made with naturally fruity flavours and being able to source enormous fruits would be amazing for our bottom line!”

When it comes to the creation of an own company, however, the co-founder of Full Story Media, Corinne Card, has an idea. Here’s a hint: it involves Matilda.

Read on to see how Roald Dahl and people-favourite Matilda inspired the proverbial creation of the BBLP.

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About Author

Shané Schutte

Shané Schutte is a senior reporter at Real Business, with a particular specialism in employment and business law, human resources, information technology and sales/marketing.

Real Business