There’s definitely no shortage of TV shows to watch in any language you want. Pick a genre and start watching at any time with the many existing online broadcasting services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. While you can find anything from comedy and family shows to action and horror, my personal interest lies in business. So what TV shows are out there that help me to feed on this interest, and which business-related TV shows will actually help me to further my understanding and insights into how business is done? Following I compiled seven TV shows that I found most valuable to do exactly this:
- Shark Tank—in many countries known as Dragon’s Den—gives young entrepreneurs the chance to pitch their venture ideas in front of a group of investors. They hope to receive early-stage seed funding in exchange for a stake in their business. It is not only stimulating to hear the interaction between founders and investors on a business idea but also both entertaining and helpful in understanding how to pitch, its dos and don’ts.
- The Profit focuses on failing businesses that Marcus Lemonis helps by analyzing the problem and by investing his own money to fix it. The insights into how an investor and business advisor works is both stimulating and helpful, allowing viewers to learn and potentially apply this in their own ventures. It is a must-watch for everyone interested in business: owners, managers, and employees alike.
- Undercover Boss lets CEOs or other executive-level managers of large corporations work along their own employees, undercover. This allows them to interact with them and experience the problems they have to cope with on a daily level. At the end of each show, they often reward certain employees with a bonus, further training or education, or even promotions. All in all, it is a stimulating and entertaining TV show.
- The Apprentice is about a group of young businessmen and women that have to go through several rounds of competition. In the US, they compete for a one-year starting contract of $250,000 to run one of Donald Trump’s companies. In the UK, Alan Sugar will invest $250,000 in the candidate’s own business in return for 50% equity. It illustrates two main things: for one, it shows what investors look for in potential business partners, and two, it illustrates group dynamics of competing applicants that work alongside parts of the way.
- How I made my millions is another fantastic show that digs into the stories of very successful businesses. It talks about the beginnings and the often long way of both successes and failures to get where they are today. However, the show introduces several businesses each episode so that it’s more a broad snapshot of each. Nonetheless, interesting and insightful.
- Kitchen Nightmares—originating from the British TV show Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares—sends top chefs into failing restaurants to pamper them. It is often eye-popping to see under what miserable situations these restaurants are running as well as how bad the management is. While they are still able to turn these restaurants around and show a successful dinner at the end of the show, it is most interesting to see how many of them were able to sustain that level over time.
- Million Dollar Listing follows realtors in upscale markets and shows the effort and hard work that allow them a luxurious lifestyle. While it gives many insights into how they do business, it is more entertaining and motivating. Nonetheless, you can certainly learn some lesson.
This is a selection of business-related TV shows, of which there are many more that one can learn from. I then omitted all shows that don’t directly talk about business, otherwise one could add all kinds of TV shows that illustrate management, group dynamics, and much more. However, I believe that these 7 shows have the highest learning factor and the most interesting concepts. You certainly will know other similar shows, and maybe you find some of them better than some of these. If that is the case, please feel free to comment and share them so that we can all learn from them, too. But now enjoy the shows!
Learning from one another. Feedback appreciated!
The Author: Konstantin von Brocke has graduated in business management from University of Wisconsin-Stout with magna cum laude in December 2012 after receiving an Associate in Applied Science degree in marketing from Fox Valley Technical College. He is interested in all things related business with a particular focus on entrepreneurship, marketing, and growth. Connect now via Twitter or Google+!