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Business Focused Reality Shows

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'm a little curious if it is because I have been to b-school, or it's just a general truth. I think there is a tremendous amount of knowledge to be gained by watching business focused reality shows. The apprentice is probably not so good, but Shark Tank and America's Next Great Restaurant have a lot of practical application if you are paying attention. If people respond to this thread, I'll throw in some episode notes for future episodes. Opinions?
post #2 of 18
In Canada we have The Pitch on BNN, which is much better than Shark Tank/Dragon's Den. It's less inventor trinkety bullshit and more solid business ideas. The VCs on the show also provide real advice and don't just try to make people cry.

http://www.bnn.ca/Shows/The-Pitch.aspx
post #3 of 18
Pawn Stars Antiques Roadshow I honestly don't think you will find that many trade secrets on TV. However AtGoogleTalks on Youtube is fucking awesome. You can get so much from the people giving the talks. Check out the Marco White and Thomas Keller videos.
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hombre Secreto View Post
Pawn Stars Antiques Roadshow I honestly don't think you will find that many trade secrets on TV. However AtGoogleTalks on Youtube is fucking awesome. You can get so much from the people giving the talks. Check out the Marco White and Thomas Keller videos.
I love those shows too... and I assume the google talks are similar to TED talks, which I love. I'm not really talking about trade secrets. I'm talking more about basic business school content being taught in a more socratic style. For example, there was an exchange on a recent shark tank: Pitcher: I'd like $100k for 10% of my business... [explains business model and product] VC: So, I'm listening to your model, and I don't see where the business is worth $1M Pitcher: I would not value it at $1M VC: So, why are you trying to sell me 10% for $100k? Obviously that's high school-level stuff... but if you really listen to the questions the VCs are asking about Channel Strategies, Competitive Environment, etc. it's pretty good. And I think America's next great restaurant is even better.
post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoRon View Post
I love those shows too... and I assume the google talks are similar to TED talks, which I love.

This thread made me think of TED, and I gotta say, I think the quality level of TED is really going downhill. I can't find any ready examples, but recently I've seen a few where I thought to myself "this person has absolutely no idea what they're talking about and is struggling to sound intelligent and relevant to this crowd."
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by unjung View Post
This thread made me think of TED, and I gotta say, I think the quality level of TED is really going downhill. I can't find any ready examples, but recently I've seen a few where I thought to myself "this person has absolutely no idea what they're talking about and is struggling to sound intelligent and relevant to this crowd."

I agree. Which makes me
post #7 of 18
Ive been forced to sit through "Tabatha's Salon Takeover" before, and I have to give the lady some respect. She seems to have a winning formula for running a profitable salon, and her assessment of bad employee dynamics is spot-on.

And not to sound like too much of a snob, but watching these restaurant/salon/service industry shows I'm a little shocked at the number of fuckup workers these places employ.
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pennglock View Post
Ive been forced to sit through "Tabatha's Salon Takeover" before, and I have to give the lady some respect. She seems to have a winning formula for running a profitable salon, and her assessment of bad employee dynamics is spot-on.

And not to sound like too much of a snob, but watching these restaurant/salon/service industry shows I'm a little shocked at the number of fuckup workers these places employ.

Nobody would watch if they weren't disasters.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pennglock View Post
Ive been forced to sit through "Tabatha's Salon Takeover" before, and I have to give the lady some respect. She seems to have a winning formula for running a profitable salon, and her assessment of bad employee dynamics is spot-on. And not to sound like too much of a snob, but watching these restaurant/salon/service industry shows I'm a little shocked at the number of fuckup workers these places employ.
Yes, that's another one where you can learn a lot... in these cases, practical managerial skill. When things are disorganized or money is being lost... and you can see both sides of the story and the same workers producing much better after being managed correctly it is much more useful than anything you can get in a classroom.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hombre Secreto View Post
Nobody would watch if they weren't disasters.
True dat, but I think any time you see "behind the scenes" you're going to see train-wrecks. I read once a very true statement about management: 20% of the people do 80% of the work. Good management means finding the right thing for the other 80% to do so they will be successful, and they will stay out of the way of the other 20%.
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pennglock View Post
Ive been forced to sit through "Tabatha's Salon Takeover" before, and I have to give the lady some respect. She seems to have a winning formula for running a profitable salon, and her assessment of bad employee dynamics is spot-on.

I have to agree. That show is a huge guilty pleasure. Tabatha really knows her stuff too.
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoRon View Post
I read once a very true statement about management:

20% of the people do 80% of the work. Good management means finding the right thing for the other 80% to do so they will be successful, and they will stay out of the way of the other 20%.

No offense, but I think this is idiotic.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Not offended, but it is pretty true in my experience. The least productive workers spend a lot of time derailing the train, by messing stuff up, asking too many questions, etc. If you lead a team, you have a go-to person who you give the important stuff to, and you keep everyone else out of that person's way. The actual % numbers are arbitrary... but... not everybody is a genius.
post #13 of 18
Perhaps we work in very different environments, and perhaps I am overly idealistic, but I think the role of management is to assemble a good team that fires on all cylinders. This means replacing bad cylinders, not just shuffling work away from them. I think a workplace where 20% of the people do 80% of the work is a deeply dysfunctional one, and the change needs to go a lot deeper than just keeping the 80% "out of the way."
post #14 of 18
Most people need to constantly be reminded what to do and be lead. We can't all be self-starters.
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas View Post
Perhaps we work in very different environments, and perhaps I am overly idealistic, but I think the role of management is to assemble a good team that fires on all cylinders. This means replacing bad cylinders, not just shuffling work away from them. I think a workplace where 20% of the people do 80% of the work is a deeply dysfunctional one, and the change needs to go a lot deeper than just keeping the 80% "out of the way."
I'm with you, but it's statistically impossible to do this everywhere.... not everybody is as capable as everyone else. Don't forget, people manage different types of teams. It's a very broad statement. Imagine if you're managing a McDonalds. Somebody has to fold napkins. That's not the person that is going to run the kitchen at lunchtime.
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