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Why entrepreneurs should be watching Discovery Channel’s "Gold Rush"

2011-11-01_0840I enjoy entrepreneurship, startups, business and the like the same way my brother in law enjoys baseball and basketball. Which is to say, I'm a rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth fan. Rarely a day goes by that I don't read, study, research, observe, or consult on the topic. And like many of you, I'm constantly engaged in my own attempts at it. It captivates my attention like little else.

I'm only a casual sports fan, so working this metaphor further will be perilous, but I'll just say that Gold Rush is as close as I'm going to come to the euphoria, mental swings, and irrational emotional investment that some folks have watching sports. 

Gold Rush is extra interesting to me because it has all the elements of an engaging startup story, but in a completely different context than my world.

For the uninitiated (and my apologies for those outside the US who may not have access to it), Gold Rush is a TV series which follows a team of hard scrabble, go-for-broke, all-in, heart-and-soul, down-on-their-luck dreamers who aim to cash in on the current high price of gold by starting a mining operation in Alaska.

Watching the sacrifices they make, the bond that builds between them, the impossible odds against them, and their pure unflagging determination in the face of a relentless wave of obstacles is, in a word, inspiring. The parallels to the startup world that you and I live in are myriad. 

There are probably some weirdos who appreciate entrepreneurism, yet don't like this show for some reason, but I can't imagine who. The (relative) ratings boom the show has enjoyed confirms that my affection for the show is not uncommon. If you enjoy a good story, an against-all-odds tale of struggle in realizing your dream, this is a bit of television well worth your time.

If you haven't started yet, do yourself a favor and start with season one. Unfortunately they don't make it easy. But there are a couple options.

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