4 Larger-Than-Life Lessons from Soap Operas

For your Monday morning inspiration this week check out a TED talk by Kate Adams titled: 4 Larger-Than-Life Lessons from Soap Operas. Might not seem immediately obvious that there are connections from Soap Operas to Business, but Kate Adams argues there are several key parallels.


Maybe you think watching soap operas is a waste of time, that their bigness means their lessons are small or nonexistent. But I believe the opposite to be true. Soap operas reflect life, just bigger. So there are real life lessons we can learn from soap operas, and those lessons are as big and adventurous as any soap opera story-line.


Pandora’s Tim Westergren knows this better than most. You might even call him the Erica Kane of Silicon Valley. Tim and his cofounders launched the company with two million dollars in funding. They were out of cash the next year.Now, lots of companies fold at that point, but Tim chose to fight. He maxed out 11 credit cards and racked up six figures in personal debt and it still wasn’t enough. So every two weeks for two years on payday he stood in front of his employees and he asked them to sacrifice their salaries, and it worked.


More than 50 people deferred two million dollars, and now, more than a decade later, Pandora is worth billions. When you believe that there is a way around or through whatever is in front of you, that surrender is not an option, you can overcome enormous obstacles.