Sheldon J. Plankton and his OKR

What do iconic fictional villains have in common? They always lose in the end. In our Villains of OKR series we will analyze the mistakes in their strategy execution and learn from their failures through an OKRs lens.

“Hear me, Krabs! When I discover your formula for Krabby Patties, I’ll run you out of business! I went to college!” — Plankton

Villain Profile

Planktonic copepod.

Co-owner and founder of the Chum Bucket restaurant.

Nemesis to Eugene H. Krabs, owner of The Krusty Krab restaurant.

Mission

Make the Chum Bucket successful.

OKR

Objective Run Mr. Krabs out of business Progress 0%
KR 1 Ruin the Krusty Krab 0%
KR 2 Steal the Krabby Patty secret formula 0%
KR 3 Expand Chum Bucket 0%
Task Employ evil plans created by Karen (his sentient waterproof computer wife) Done (for plans A to Z)

Outcome

Plankton achieved 0% progress on his OKR. Although he comes incredibly close in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie , he was unable to achieve his Objective. (This is the first time we’ve come across a villain in this series who posted 0% across the board.)

OKR Analysis

“I’ve exhausted every evil plan in my filing cabinet…from A to Y. (Karen: A to Y?) Yeah, A to Y. You know the alphabet. (Karen: What about Z?) Z? (Karen: Z. The letter after Y.) W, X, Y, Z. Plan Z! Here it is, just like you said. (Karen: Oh, boy.) Oh! Oh! Ohhh! It’s evil. It’s diabolical. It’s lemon-scented. This Plan Z can’t possibly fail!” — Plankton and Karen

Plankton could not, for whatever reason, see that his mission to make the Chum Bucket successful could have been achieved by producing a good quality product that customers would want. Instead, he focused his efforts on running Mr. Krabs out of business. It’s a shame. He could have put forth all that energy into building up his business instead of tearing his rival’s business down.

What you focus on matters and if something isn’t working, try something different. Plankton, almost aimlessly, pursues an Objective he consistently fails at without stopping to reevaluate his methodology. OKR check-ins work because you can catch missteps early.

Of note, Plankton did try to alter his offering. For example, once he used excess grease from the Krusty Krab in his restaurant’s food. His sales did skyrocket for a time until he was forced to stop by a health inspector.

Plankton has no employees. He runs the restaurant entirely alone except for the rare occasions when someone does dine in. When this happens, he uses artificially intelligent machines in place of regular employees. If you can do things on your own, do it. If that’s not the case, hire people.

We’d suggest Plankton write his OKR like this:

Objective Chum bucket is successful
KR 1 Hire staff: manager, cook, servers, and host
KR 2 Develop a selection of tasty and profitable menu items
KR 3 Increase daily customers from 0 to Y
KR4 Pass all safety inspections with flying colors
KR5 Determine unique selling point in relation to #1 competitor, The Krusty Krab

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