Thursday, February 03, 2005

Star Trek Lives!

My friend Geoff sent me this link today as his way of letting me know that Star Trek: Enterprise has been cancelled. Dead. Kaput. Self-destructed.

I have always thought of Star Trek as a very entrepreneurial notion – and not just because of the name of the ship. You’d be surprised how many entrepreneurs I have met who have identified with the show over the years, especially the scripts that dealt with leadership.

Economics in Star Trek was laughable (sure, send a $100-billion starship with a crew of 800 to transport one ambassador to a conference), but the shows dealt with decision-making, consequences, innovation, and thinking out of the box. CSI: Pittsburgh will not make up for this loss.

To commemorate this decision, here is a Star Trek story I wrote years ago for PROFIT Magazine.

Everything I know about business I could have learned from Star Trek
By Rick Spence
There's a show on TV - on prime-time and in infinite re-runs - about a small team of co-workers that career around the universe in very entrepreneurial fashion. Although they do report to head office (it's called "Earth"), they pretty much make their own decisions. And like most entrepreneurs, they have learned that they maximize their self-interest when they help others.
Maybe that's why they called their starship "Enterprise."
If you have never watched Star Trek, here are 10 deep-space business lessons that could save you shelling out $30,000 for an MBA:

1. Always obey the Prime Directive - except when it's in the way
2. Logic is never enough
3. Very few conflicts can be settled with a phaser
4. Anyone can do Warp 9. But they can't keep it up very long
5. No matter how advanced we think we are, there's always someone who's faster, stronger and smarter
6. The unidentified crewman always gets killed
7. Engineering can always get things done sooner than they say they can
8. Never judge anyone by their ears
9. "Boldly" is the only way to go
10. Being captain is the best job there is.

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