Tue 30 May 2006
The season of American Inventor has wrapped up and the season of American Idol is over as well. I have to admit, I'm fairly torn. Not so much to who won or who lost, but to the process in general… and what I think it does to our entrepreneurial spirit.
For me, the concept of American Idol or American Inventor or any of the other shows in this vein weakens the concept of the American Dream.
I think the notion of having a better life is something that you need to work for… and you need to work hard and sacrifice to achieve your goal. I don't think that you can fast-track the system and avoid paying your dues (or pay them all in one season of national television).
There are many great inventions, for example, that need to reach the market but didn't make it onto American Inventor.
Or take American Idol, for example (because we don't have a history of success with American Inventor, yet). As a business, it seems like a smart idea: you create a show to generate buzz and that buzz should carry over into record sales of loyal fans who have watched the show and are pleased with the winner.
But these winners, as talented as they are, didn't “cut their teeth” in the smoky bars, nor did they waitress until they were discovered by an industry mogul. They were fast tracked.
To me, that's not the American Dream… that's winning the lottery. Nice, but not as rewarding.