You’ll probably learn more from this clip than two years at Harvard Business School. From HBO’s The Wire:

(Video: The Wire)

I bet you didn’t know this is Obama’s favorite TV show.

Topics Entrepreneurs · IP · Video

8 comments · Show

  • FN

    It’s good, but….um…I learned more at HBS ;-)

    • BV

      Ok first, no offense FN, but when you say something like “I learned more at HBS”, I know you’re lying, cause I don’t think anyone learns anything at HBS, or any MBA program for that matter; I know I didn’t (HBS ’05)

      Second, the wire is a great show; I think Ken is kind of missing the point, that it’s not about not wanting to work for the man cause it sucks, it’s pointing out the inherently misdirected nature of institutional employment, and how the wrong people are rewarded the most. THAT is the point (a point which is constantly reinforced throughout the series), and if it were so “obvious”, then we wouldn’t have even the smartest people at the most renowned ivy league schools flocking to work for a place like Goldman Sachs. In fact, this concept, although rationally sound from the get-go, is in fact clearly far from socially obvious.

  • Scott

    That’s awesome. I need to start watching that. I’m an entourage fan still.

    Here’s one I wrote a week ago on “Why Ideas are Worthless.” Not trying to make a shameless plug, but, it really reminded me of the point I’m trying to make ;-)

    http://scottdig.com/2008/11/06/why-ideas-are-worthless/

  • Michael F. Martin

    Not sure if you’re merely acknowledging a sad reality here, or cheering for it. But the cynical guy definitely reflects the attitude of most VCs toward inventors. On the other hand, the attitude of the two guys enjoying the inventor’s work represents the attitude of the founding fathers, who thought it was right to put a clause into our constitution giving Congress the authority to encourage inventing by granting exclusive rights to inventors — i.e., to avoid the might makes right reality we otherwise have.

    In any case, the “ideas are cheap” attitude of VCs is going to change as global patent systems continue to improve, transactions costs continue to diminish, and more and more people begin to understand how important intellectual property is to the long-term growth of an economy.

  • Ken

    Why is the obvious wrapped in ghetto talk suddenly wisdom on a stick?

    Besides, the reality is somewhere in between.

    Without research, we don’t know if the “Mc Nugget” was an idea from within McDonalds, or a patented idea from an independent inventor. And, the real genius may not be “boneless bit sizes pieces of chicken” but the process to produce them.

    An independent inventor properly patented and savvy with negotiation may well be rich. (of course this assumes no corporate malfeasance on the part of the golden arches)

    If it was someone within McDonald’s they probably are NOT rich from the McNugget idea. But they are hardly working in the basement “for the man”. For a restaurant company, the Kitchen R&D is a well paid and highly respected position.

    And this is were I find the message a disservice: comments about corporate life from someone who never worked there seen as insightful.

    Somehow this street sage knows that the path to real wealth is hard to find working for someone else. Fair enough.

    But it also seems part of the message here is that only a chump would spend his time working in the “basement” of McDonalds,

    Yet, based on the setting depicted, that would be a step in the right direction for any of these young men. It won’t happen though if “paying your dues” or “working for the man” are always seen as a fool’s errand.

    And, just for the record, I worked the fries :-)

  • Chris Tingom

    Quoting from the wikipedia:

    A Chicken nugget is either whole or composed from a paste of finely minced chicken and sometimes purposefully added chicken skin[citation needed], which is then coated in batter or breadcrumbs before being cooked. Fast-food restaurants typically deep-fry their nuggets in oil. Oven baking is the usual and more healthy method of preparation at home.

    The chicken nugget was invented in the 1950s by Robert C. Baker, a food science professor at Cornell University, and published as unpatented academic work.[citation needed] Dr. Baker’s innovations made it possible to form chicken nuggets in any shape. McDonald’s is often falsely credited with the invention of the chicken nugget[citation needed]. Its recipe for Chicken McNuggets was created in 1979 and the product was sold beginning in 1980.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_nugget

  • Apolinaras Sinkevicius

    I usually like to say that there is balance in nature. You can be phenomenal inventor, but it very unlikely you will be as good of a businessman/woman. You can be extremely creative individual, but you will be very weak CEO. You can be a great musician, but the industry will take advantage of you from the moment it gets hold of you. Yes, exceptions DO exist, but they are far and few between.

    I am yet to be proven wrong, no matter how badly I want that to happen.

    The old rule of success (and wealth) is still live and well: surround yourself with people smarter than you and better than you.

    Apolinaras “Apollo” Sinkevicius
    http://www.apsinkus.com

  • John Atkinson

    Good clip. Said differently… “Build a better mousetrap and..

    if you’re not business savvy, the sharks will take advantage of you, get rich… and leave you in the basement building mousetraps”