As a serial entrepreneur, I find reality TV a complete, contrived waste of time. I've never watched American Idol, Survivor, Amazing Race, The Apprentice, etc. Even the commercials showed me more than I ever wanted to know.
However. . .
There is finally one reality show that I not only watch - but one that I strongly recommend every entrepreneur and start up company CEO should watch religiously.
The show, Start-Up Junkies, on the MOJO Network really does show what it is like to run a new company.
Frank Lloyd Wright once said TV is chewing gum for the mind. He must have been talking about reality TV. However, Start-Up Junkies is a feast for anyone even thinking about starting a company.
Having started my own four dozen companies, I have been there, done that - and not only have the tee shirt - but also several suits of armor from all the battles with dragons that try to kill entrepreneurial ventures and start up companies. Besides all that experience with my own companies, during the past 14 years I've also served as a start up consultant to 2,000 entrepreneurs in three dozen countries on six of the seven continents. So, trust me when I say, I know what it is like to be a start-up junkie myself.
From the show's web site, this is their executive summary:
- The Pitch: CEO/Entrepreneur/Start-up Junkie Ron Wiener believes that the world is ready for a revolutionary online postal mail service.
- The Goal: Secure millions in funding from investors and take Earth Class Mail from promising idea to profitable reality.
- The Problem: Nine out of ten start-ups fail.
Beyond the usual hype for any TV show, this is an excellent production that is very well directed. More importantly, the show genuinely conveys the juggling act required of almost every entrepreneur and start up CEO.
If you are considering ever having your own business, watch the show. . . and see if YOU could stand the stress and multiplexing required.
The bad news about this reality show is that almost no one has even heard of the MOJO Network since it is only hi def - and a premium hi def channel at that.
The good news is that all seven episodes that have been broadcast to date since the show started in January are available for viewing at the MOJO website . . . so you can watch them all. Each show only lasts 22 minutes since there are no commercials.
So, what's my experienced opinion of the company and the management team?
Ron Wiener is an excellent start up CEO. He has the combined skill sets and charisma to pull it off. . . and the fortitude to withstand stress levels non-entrepreneurs cannot imagine even exist. He is seasoned enough with his prior start up experience to know the right path and how to slay the dragons he needs to slay before they kill the company - although, sometimes, it is uncertain which way to swing the sword when so many dragons attack at once. He made a brilliant move by agreeing to the TV show - incredible exposure for his company and his fundraising for no cost - although doing this while doing a private placement must put him in the dark gray areas of securities law.
Ron has recruited a good management team but it looks like the company may be quickly outgrowing the capabilities of some of them (a very common problem for many of my start up clients. ) Based on the company's web site, Ron has a new CMO and a COO.
Regrettably, based on today's view of the Earth Class Mail website, his prior Chief Marketing Officer, Natalee, who is featured in the show is no longer with the company. Natalee was exceptional - and as you watch the show, remind yourself that if you do start your own company, you need someone JUST like her.
In my opinion, the duo of Ron and Natalee could successfully start just about any company they wanted.
I am guessing that the taping of the program is about six months in the past. As of Episode 7, Natalee was still at the company. The MOJO website doesn't say how many total episodes there will be - so a lot might change from the time you read this article and when I wrote it.
If you plan on starting a company - and especially if you plan on raising investor capital, consider watching all available episodes of Start-Up Junkies as mandatory homework.
Trust me when I say, there WILL be a pop quiz if you ever do start your own business.
Bonus: For more on funding documents, business plans, articles, tips and tools for entrepreneurs and start up company CEOs, you're invited to visit my blog and web sites. . . and ask your own questions. While there, I invite you to download both a sample comprehensive business plan and a complete Reg D private placement memorandum (PPM) for FREE. . .
http://www.ShouldYouStartACompanyToday.com <~ The Blog Free Sample Business Plan / PPM / Audio / More. . .
http://www.Virtual-Exec.com <~ Virtual Executive Mentoring and Consulting Services
Robert Lee Goodman, MBA, Ceo & Chief Dragon Slayer.
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