Fiction is more or less inspired by real life, and even the greatest fiction writers will agree with this. Game of Thrones, the critically acclaimed fantasy drama television series created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss and based on the novels by critically acclaimed author George R.R Martin, is all about winning and single-mindedly being the best in the game. The same goes for contemporary entrepreneurs.
“Don’t fight for a king. Don’t fight for his kingdoms. Don’t fight for honour, don’t fight for glory, don’t fight for riches, because you won’t get any. This is your city Stannis means to sack. That’s your gate he’s ramming. If he gets in, it will be your house that burns, your gold he steals, your women he rapes.” – Tyrion Lannister.
While on-screen, every house wants to rule the Seven Kingdoms, in real life, every millennial wants to become an entrepreneur with the objective of making money. And this is where the story begins!
The underlying themes of the story greatly emphasise politics, loyalty, conflicts and mysteries, all of which also apply to entrepreneurship. While the show takes place in a paradoxical setting, the sedate setting of Silicon Valley and entrepreneurial cities like Bengaluru also exemplify the off-beat hurdles that seem to get in everybody’s way.
“Each bruise is a lesson. Each lesson makes us better.” – Syrio Forel.
Speaking as an avid fan of the show and an aspiring entrepreneur, I’ve noticed that the show also demonstrates some practical and valuable lessons that can help contemporary entrepreneurs on their own journeys.
The Ultimate Goal
While the ultimate goal of all kings, queens, heirs and even knights is to sit on the throne, all entrepreneurs want their business to stand out in the crowd and attract maximum traction. The outcomes of the efforts that each and every character of GoT makes can be calculated on the basis of the power (position, army and influence) they attain which make other people fear them. However, the case is simpler for entrepreneur – the more people talk about them, the more insecure their competitors tend to become.
“When you play the game of thrones, there is no middle-ground. You either win or you die.” - Cersei Lannister
You’re audience will buy anything
Despite the brutal killings, nudity, abuse and all kinds of negativity, people simply love to watch the show. Concepts like White Walkers, Wildlings, and the Night’s Watch quench the audience’s thirst for mystery. The same applies to entrepreneurship. No matter how obnoxious your business sounds, even if it is something that people haven't heard of before, and you know how to sell it, your target audience is going to buy it.
The word game
New entrepreneurs are adept in their word game. They know what to say when and how. “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it”, and we have seen Tyrion Lannister make his way out from even the most disastrous circumstances by just using his gift of communication. Communication is the key to success and like other influential characters like Daenerys Targaryen, young entrepreneurs also know when and how to pitch their tents.
“Lannister, Targaryen, Baratheon, Stark, Tyrell - they’re all just spokes on a wheel. This one’s on top, then that one’s on top, and on and on it spins crushing those on the ground. I’m not going to stop the wheel; I’m going to break the wheel.” - Daenerys Targaryen
As the Stark motto says, “Winter is coming.” This phrase became instantly popular among fans, but sadly only a few really understand it. The lesson entrepreneurs should gather from this oft repeated phrase is to always be prepared for the worst. Strategic planning helps avoid failures in the long run. It’s important to remember, however, that entrepreneurship is going to demand a lot of effort and patience, but the real deal can only be attained if you know how to stick to your guns, just like Jon Snow.
There is an eerie similarity, and it is one of the best ways to not only understand business, but also the environment that encircles it.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory)