Toby Green: Meth in his madness gets Buffett's backing

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The Independent Online

Outlook From crack cocaine to the (fictional) world of crystal meth.

Unless it is the Open University, television does not seem like the obvious place to turn to for tips on how to get ahead in business – I doubt any executives have box-sets of The Apprentice lined-up for when inspiration is lacking.

One show, however, could provide a number of valuable lessons. Breaking Bad – the hit for US network AMC and, certainly in this country, Netflix – is about to start its final season, and wannabe entrepreneurs may want to pay attention.

The story (minor spoiler alert) of how a mild-mannered, high school chemistry teacher turns into a producer of crystal meth certainly shows many of the pitfalls of starting a new business.

The show's antihero, Walter White, deals with staffing issues and problems finding suppliers while one major storyline revolves around legacy costs.

OK, so most – if not all – of these end up being resolved by violence, and it is all obviously highly illegal and immoral, yet that doesn't mean there are not some useful lessons to be learnt.

But don't take my word for it. Last week the "Sage of Omaha" himself, Warren Buffett, called White "a great businessman" – that's not a bad man to have a reference from.