Joy (2015) Movie Analysis – for Students

The ‘Joy’ film is about Joy Mangano, an inventor and entrepreneur who proves her commitment to creating the Miracle Mop. She comes up with the idea after going through challenges using the regular mop. Her success story has many lessons on business management, more so entrepreneurship. The movie brings out various business concepts such as business forms, liquidity, entrepreneurship challenges, and prototyping and patenting inventions, all discussed in this paper.

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1. What type of business organization is shown in the movie? Explain your answer.

There are several forms of business, such as sole proprietorship, partnerships, C corporation, S corporation, and others. They all differ in various aspects, from their formation to management. It is essential to understand the distinguishing features of each business form as they apply in different cases. Joy’s business, for instance, is a sole proprietorship because she is the sole owner and has unlimited liability.

The type of business organization shown in the movie is a sole proprietorship. In this form of business, the sole trader gives both management and capital to the business (Subedi, 2019). Joy is the only owner of the company and runs all businesses by marketing the product and sourcing the funding. Another feature of a sole proprietorship is an unlimited liability (Gitman et al., 2011). Joy is worried about the debts she would have after creating 50,000 mops and not selling any of them, which could have caused creditors to seize her personal property.

Joy controlled and managed the business in the early stages alone. She was responsible for the debts and other forms of liability accrued by the business. She persevered through challenges until it became a Limited Liability Company. A crucial lesson is that sole proprietorship presents many disadvantages to the owner, especially in the source of capital.

2. Describe the organization (Section 3 of a Business Plan) Joy Mangano established. For some questions, you may consider going out of the movie to find a possible answer. Consider the following:

There are different ways to describe a company, such as the industry, number of employees, products sold etc. It is necessary because every company has a profile that details its history, and through such description, stakeholders can tell its mission. Joy’s business was active until the purchase by HSN in 2018. Its others details are in the following sections.

  1. Company description. Ingenious Designs LLC was located in New York, United States, operating in the manufacturing industry with around 110 employees.
  2. Company history. The company was founded in 1991 by Joy Mangano, making the Miracle Mop, the first product. Economic issues caused the closure of the company in 2018.
  3. Mission statement. To provide cleaning products that would be easier to use and manage.
  4. Products and services. Miracle mop, huggable hangers, Forever Fragrant, performance platforms, comfort & Joy textiles, Shades readers.
  5. Current status. HSN purchased the company in 1999.
  6. Legal status and ownership. Entity form: Limited Liability Company. Owner/Chairman of the board and president: Joy Mangano. The business is currently part of HSN.
  7. Key partnerships (if any). No partnerships.

It started as a sole proprietorship and was converted to a Limited Liability Company. Joy’s business had several employees in various locations, selling products that were mostly patented under her name. The company’s description offers crucial insight into the growth process.

3. How important is a prototype and eventually work with the proprietary issues to register (patent) your product or service, considering Joy’s story? Explain your answer.

Entrepreneurship begins with an idea. Sometimes such ideas are so vital and unique that they must be legally protected. Most inventors start with a prototype, designing a product they can pitch to clients and even use to get funding. Prototyping allows the inventor to fix any problems and market to third parties. Then they apply for a patent. Patenting increases the product and business resale value and prevents duplication by other manufacturers.

The benefits of a prototype include determining whether the invention will work, deciding modifications that may be necessary, fixing design problems, and marketing to third parties. A prototype is an excellent way to prove your concept or idea. A working prototype can explain the idea more thoroughly than other patent application resources such as drawings (Seidel & Fixson, 2013). Joy created a prototype of the Miracle Mop and had 100 of them made, and started pitching. Therefore, a prototype is a way of seeing whether the idea sells. Eventually, patenting a product means it cannot be produced by someone else without the inventor’s permission. Thus, there is financial gain. Sometimes the inventory may decide to sell the invention to a manufacturer, which would result in higher resale value as Joy did to HSN.

Without patents, other manufacturers could have duplicated Joy’s inventions and benefit from it. Fortunately, she had patented her original ideas to ensure other individuals could not take this advantage. The prototype she made of the Miracle Mop allowed her to market the product and sell a number of them. Without the prototype to supplement the product knowledge, the commercial would not have worked out as it did eventually.

4. Why is it important for a company to focus on its liquidity? What special challenges do entrepreneurial firms have about remaining liquid? Do you think that Joy Mangano made a financial plan? Explain your answer.

In business, market liquidity is a feature whereby a firm can quickly purchase or sell an asset without experiencing a drastic change in the price. Firms with higher liquidity ratio are in better financial position because they can secure funding easier. Entrepreneurship involves risks, and sometimes challenges that ensue are beyond anyone’s expectations. It is, therefore, crucial to have a financial plan as a proactive strategy to deal with challenges.

Having liquidity is important for financing and credit. If a company wants to borrow money, the creditor would be concerned with the liquidity ratio, which indicates the ability to pay off liabilities with assets. Liquidity management is one way to achieve financial sustainability because a company must be able to settle any debts within a short period when they are due (Hiadlovský, et al., 2016). Special challenges to entrepreneurs on liquidity include having many bank accounts, which could be difficult to manage. Another challenge is poor cash flow or too much debt. I do not believe Joy had a financial plan. She had not considered the ramifications of debts. Additionally, she was unsure of funding sources or how to spend the amount for maximum return on investment.

With high liquidity, a firm has better access to loans, more competitive advantage, and better financial sustainability. Entrepreneurs must have a financial plan to ensure their creations do not become a burden later due to massive financial constraints, like in the case of Joy.


The film ‘Joy’ is insightful to aspiring entrepreneurs and business people because it highlights the journey of an inventor. The film highlights several features of a sole proprietorship through the challenges Joy faced in running the business. Prototyping and patenting were vital, improving her pitch and protecting the inventions respectively. Another concept highlighted in the film is liquidity, which is critical for all firms. Understanding the essence of a business plan in every stage could help an entrepreneur grow a startup to become a multinational.

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Gitman, L. J., Juchau, R. H., & Flanagan, J. (2011). Principles of managerial finance. Pearson Australia.

Hiadlovský, V., Rybovičová, I., & Vinczeová, M. (2016). Importance of liquidity analysis in the process of financial management of companies operating in the tourism sector in Slovakia: an empirical study. International Journal for Quality Research, 10(4).

Seidel, V. P., & Fixson, S. K. (2013). Adopting Design Thinking in Novice Multidisciplinary Teams: The Application and Limits of Design Methods and Reflexive Practices. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 30, 19–33.

Subedi, S. (2019). Small size business in Nepal: A sole proprietor.

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