5 series that could make you better at business
Not gonna lie – when it comes to the dizzying heights of high finance and big business, some of us relate best to wheeler dealer Vincent Adultman in animated comedy series BoJack Horseman (2014-current, Netflix). With catchphrases like “I went to stock market today. I did a business,” it’s clear that the three kids stacked up on each other under a trench coat have an entrepreneurial instinct previously only seen in soap opera characters who forget whether they’re running a magazine or an oil company.
But if big business is bae, there is a wealth of of big-money, high-stakes shows streaming right now that you can fall in love with…
1 Dynasty (Netflix)
It’s our money, power, glamour fantasy as this reboot of the 80s series gloriously showcases all the nice things that billions of dollars can buy. While some time is spent at the office, a lot more is spent networking and “massaging” those intimate boardroom relationships that keep the lights on at Atlanta-based energy company Carrington Atlantic.
It’s all about the sexy, sordid human touch for the Carringtons and Colbys, who’ll wine and dine you before they backstab you… right to your face.
2 Silicon Valley S1-5 (Showmax)
You have to laugh or you’d cry. There are few more frustrating relationships in modern business than the catastrophically disconnected ones between tech’s venture capitalists, its clueless marketers, its visionary innovators and the poor developers who actually figure out how to make their visions a reality.
Explaining any one of those group’s processes to the others is a nightmare. But as long as you’re on the outside, seeing arrogance and ignorance destroy potential has the sick, gleeful fascination of watching a bus full of clowns drive into a wood chipper.
Billions is a show about why you should pick an enemy who’s as smart as you are – they’ll drive you to moral lows you could never have imagined reaching.
It also rams home that when the only reason that you care about money is because it’s a way of keeping score, then all cash is petty cash – the pettier, the better.
The show uses the real-life ins-and-outs of complex (and dubiously legal) Wall Street stock market shenanigans to dramatic effect. But it also humanises the power players with a fascinating deconstruction of how personal relationships, vanities and vulnerabilities play into business decisions, no matter how impartial and cocky people come off in public, or how reasoned they claim their financial decisions to be.
4 Shark Tank (Netflix)
Possibly the most educational reality show about the perils of start-up small businesses on TV. The sharks – potential investors Kevin O’Leary, Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, Robert Herjavec, Kevin Harrington, Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner – have cash, clout, contacts and years of devious experience at their fingertips.
The hopeful pitchers who’ve come to persuade them to invest in a new business have ideas, hopes and dreams, like a basket full of bunnies tipped into a shark tank. So the art of negotiation is everything as the pitchers must weigh up how much control of their product and profit they are willing to give up to turn dreams into realities.
If nothing else, the quick and dirty mentorship experience of “shark diving” will expose every potential flaw in their business plans, pitch, and strategies.
5 Startup (Amazon Prime)
There’s a saying dating back to the 70s: “follow the money” – which is meant to advise anyone who wants to expose political corruption and conflicts of interest to go straight to the bank accounts and see who paid who for what – and when.
But that trail gets a lot twistier when crypto currency comes into play.
Startup exists at the intersection of an FBI investigation, blackmail, money laundering and tech entrepreneurship. A rocking cast including Martin Freeman and Ron Perlman would have us tuning in regardless. But for everyone who’s getting to grips with the potential and pitfalls of digital currency, Startup is a fun immersion into a strange new(ish) world.