The Stringer Bell Business School

Stringer Bell Business SchoolIf you follow me on Twitter, you’d know that I am a rabid fan of The Wire. It is, simply put, the most amazing TV show. I would usually add the disclaimer “that I have ever (ever) watched” but in this case it is entirely unnecessary. It is so good that when I finished the last episode I felt a profound sadness that it was over and that I would never experience watching it for the first time ever again. I have however watched it (all five series, in order) many times since then. I also take great joy in recommending it to anyone who asks, and quite a few that don’t. I envy these people. I envy anyone who will experience watching this masterpiece for the first time.

Stringer Bell is undoubtedly one of my favourite characters in the show. He is a businessman trapped in a gangster’s life. And he can teach you almost anything you need to know about business as long as you are happy with NOT SAFE FOR WORK language. But hey, he’s from the mean streets of Balitmore. What do you expect?

Reminder, not safe for work language in the below video and quotes which are after the jump.

The Stringer Bell Business School is raw and grimey and gets results!

On price inelasticity and on branding and working with an inferior product:

On the supply chain and distribution:

On mentoring an up and coming “star” and on keeping a low profile:

On being mediocre:

That’s good. That’s like a 40-degree day. Ain’t nobody got nothing to say about a 40-degree day. Fifty. Bring a smile to your face. Sixty, shit, niggas is damn near barbecuing on that motherfucker. Go down to 20, niggas get their bitch on. Get their blood complaining. But forty? Nobody give a fuck about 40. Nobody remember 40, and y’all niggas is giving me way too many 40-degree days! What the fuck?

On market saturation:

While back, I took a stroll through the pit. I saw that kid we got running things down there, uh, Poot. Now, he got the cell phone I gave him for the business, right there on his hip. But, the nigga got another cell phone that only rang when the pussy called. Now, if this no-count nigga got two cell phones, how the fuck you gonna sell any more of them motherfuckers? That’s market saturation.

Finally, a note on Mr. Bell’s credentials from guest lecturer, Omar Little. The only difference between a gangster and a businessman, or more specifically, a marketer?

“You are amoral, are you not? You are feeding off violence and despair. You are stealing from those who themselves are stealing the lifeblood from our city. You are a parasite who leeches off [our] culture”

“I got the shotgun; you got the briefcase. It’s all in the game though right?”


8 Responses to The Stringer Bell Business School

  1. Matt Roth says:

    Hey now – credit where credit is due, it’s Omar with that final piece of wisdom to Mr. Levy in the courtroom.

    But agree – no show on television now or ever has been as well done as The Wire, from an acting, writing and wide-reaching relevance standpoint.

  2. Ed Lee says:

    Good point – will amend to “guest lecturer Omar Little”.

  3. Matt Roth says:

    A man’s gotta have a code, you know?

  4. […] 2009-11-02T11:56:58  Very good read for anyone in business or any fan of The Wire: "The Stringer Bell School of Business" by @edlee – [link to post] […]

  5. […] 100 Greatest Quotes from The Wire via Kottke come these 100 quotes from the Greatest TV Series Ever Made. […]

  6. […] So enjoy this year and enjoy the ride as well as all you’ll learn from The Wire, including an MBA refresher. […]

  7. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ed Lee. Ed Lee said: everything i learned about business, i learned from The Stringer Bell Business School […]

  8. […] commercial partnership I was even more intrigued. I presumed that the Android team had gone to the Stringer Bell Business School and, like many drug lords, was offering the first for free but would be charging for the next […]

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