The Men Who Built America (also known as The Innovators: The Men Who Built America in some international markets) is a six-hour, four-part miniseries docudrama which was originally broadcast on the History Channel in the Fall of 2012, and on the History Channel UK in Spring of 2013.
The series showed how between the Civil War and World War I, men like ; Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J. P. Morgan, Thomas Edison, and Henry Ford helped create modern day capitalism. It tells how their industrial innovations and business empires revolutionized modern society. The series is directed by Patrick Reams and Ruan Magan. it is Produce by Stephen David and is narrated by Campbell Scott. It averaged 2.6 million total viewers (1.2 million adults 25 to 54 and 1 million adults 18 to 49) across 4 nights.
Here are David's five business lessons from The Men Who Build America.
1. The Bigger The Risk, The Bigger The Reward
"Most of these guys failed many times before succeeding, says David. "Even after they were rich, they would leverage themselves to ridiculous degrees in order to make the next thing happen.
2. There Are No Rules
They made their own rules, and moved forward very quickly. As an example, Rockefeller's takeover of the oil industry. His ruthless monopolization of the industry was something new and the government eventually had to step in to level the playing field. It might not have been nice but it was a brilliant business move.
3. Get The Right People On The Bus
You need to find the right people to work with. The partnership between Andrew Cargnegie and Henry Frick. Carnegie knew the kind of guy Frick was but he needed him to get an edge. He brought him on and it was the rise and almost fall of his business.
4. Money Is A Good Way To Keep Score But It Doesn't Buy True Happiness
Becoming the richest men of their age didn't mean happiness for any of the moguls. Rockefeller was a man who had been conned by his own father. He always felt like he didn't have enough. J.P. Morgan was always trying to live up to his father. Carnegie was trying to get respect. Ironically, respect came only when Carnegie gave away almost all of his money.
5. If You Want To Get Rich, Come Up With Something The Whole World Needs
Sounds easy enough. "These opportunities always exist," says David. "It's just a question of who's going to find them." In the time the documentary examines those things were oil and steel. Today they are Google and Facebook . The men who had serious money and power were able to create or control industries. This isn't a lesson that hits home for David. I'm not even playing that game," he says. "In order to play that you'd have to own something like Netflix and change the whole industry.
CREDIT: Stephen David ( COPIED: forbes.com)