Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A Post About Nothing?

Anyone who knows me is aware that, like a lot of people my age, I’m a big Seinfeld fan. I find myself routinely referencing episodes of the show when things happen around me. While I certainly never attempted  The Switch or claimed to be a Marine Biologist, I definitely have waited “about 5/10 minutes” for a table at a Chinese Restaurant  and have actually said “anyone can take the reservation” at a rental car counter (and at several other locations) many times. Yes, I have even been to the Soup Nazi on a couple of my trips to NYC (in between musicals, of course)!

Part of what makes Seinfeld so brilliant (in addition to the writing) is that, as a self-proclaimed “show about nothing,” it took little slices of everyday life and made them into something so laugh-out-loud funny.  When the show ended its run, I remember thinking that, unlike some of my other favorite sitcoms (like the Dick Van Dyke ShowThe Wonder YearsMary Tyler Moore, and even Green Acres), it probably wouldn’t wear well over time. Here we are 20 years later and the show is still highly entertaining and, to quote one publication, "shockingly relevant." 

As I started working on this post, I had planned to make some interesting observations about the entrepreneurial aspects of Seinfeld. I came to quickly realize that I wasn’t the first one to have this idea. 

Consider this article I stumbled upon regarding the seven business lessons to be learned from Seinfeld. Of course, these aren’t the lessons of Cosmo Kramer’s entrepreneurial endeavors (cologne that smells like the beach, make your own pizza, a coffee table book about coffee tables, or the “Bro/Mansierre”), but more the lessons to be learned from the business people (like Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld) who turned the show into such a success.

There’s also 5 things entrepreneurs can learn from stand-up comedians and several articles about what you can learn about Jerry Seinfeld regarding productivity and avoiding procrastination. 

Finally, I learned about an Israeli entrepreneur who was able to raise $2 million in venture capital for his “startup about nothing.” He did this using a standup comedy pitch built around the strength of his team. He had no product or specific business plan. Rather, he had a plan to build a team of five to six business veterans who would identify the “next big thing.”

I suppose this just proves that Seinfeld and real life (at least my professional life) continue to have a lot in common.

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