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11 Must-See Movies That’ll Boost Your Entrepreneurial Mojo

Being an entrepreneur is tough. Even though you are optimistic about things on most days, there will be time when everything seems to overwhelm you. What better way to unwind and get that spark back than watching movies. Here are movies for those who need a great dose of inspiration from time to time.


1. Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999)

Pirates of Silicon Valley

Pirates of Silicon Valley

 

“Good artists copy, great artists steal.” – Steve Jobs.

This is a classic film that shows the beginnings of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates as they built their technology empires in the 1980s. It highlights their rivalry, trials and triumphs, and the different ways the tech founding fathers operated. Learn how a 20-year-old took on a huge corporation like IBM and learn the value of believing in your dream and following through with it no matter what.

What can you learn?

A little competition never hurt anyone. It doesn’t matter if someone’s idea is similar to yours. The important part is the execution and how well you do it.

 

2. Startup.com (2001)

startup-1

Startup.com

It’s a documentary film that examines the rise and fall of the real-life startup, govWorks.com, that raised US$60 million from Hearst Interactive Media, KKR, the New York Investment Fund, and Sapient. The docudrama narrates the story of govWorks’ founders and shows you the highs and lows of the dotcom period, while serving as a reference for lessons learned on how friendships can easily be threatened by business partnerships.

What can you learn?

This movie illustrates just how detrimental it can be when partners aren’t on the same page and also how to properly manage a budget after you’ve secured funding. It teaches us all a lesson how being prepared from all angles when you start a business.

 

3. The Social Network (2010)

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The Social Network

“We lived on farms, then we lived in cities, and now we’re going to live on the internet!” – Sean Parker

 

One of the biggest movies of 2010, it shows the meteoric rise of the world’s youngest billionaire, Mark Zuckerberg and his Harvard dorm-room startup – Facebook. You’ll see how he did it and the challenges he faced along the way, including rifts with his co-founders.

What can you learn?

Make sure to have a signed agreement. It doesn’t matter if you’re going into business with your friends or families, because everything is handled better when it is in black & white. We can never know what’s going to happen in the future.

 

4. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

The Pursuit of Happyness

The Pursuit of Happyness

 

“Don’t ever let someone tell you, you can’t do something. Not even me. You got a dream, you got to protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they want to tell you you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period. All right?” – Chris Gardner

An inspiring story of a struggling salesman who loses everything, including his wife, house and money. Instead of wallowing in self-pity and defeat, he picks himself up, works harder and smarter than the competition to make life better for himself and his son.This powerful motivational movie based on a true story will help you see the value of having a good attitude and strong work ethic in the pursuit of happiness and a better life.

What can you learn?

Definitely a good movie to lift up your spirit, when you feel things are not working out the way you plan. It’ll teach you that you shouldn’t let your current obstacles and challenges affect you.

 

5. Flash of Genius (2008)

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Flash of Genius

 

“Whatever happened to this little thing called justice we talked about?” – Bob Kearns

Based on a 1993, New Yorker article, the biographical movie focuses on Robert Kearns, a college professor, who invents the windshield wiper that is embraced by all the auto giants of the 1960s, making it a standard device on all cars. However, the automakers do not give Kearns the credit he is due.

What can you learn?

Anyone who’s an entrepreneur must watch this movie to understand why it’s important to protect your idea and intellectual property from being stolen.

 

6. Moneyball (2011)

moneyball_44

Moneyball

 

“How can you not get romantic about baseball?” – Billy Beane

We can guarantee that you don’t have to be a baseball fan to enjoy this movie. It’s based on a true story about the Oakland A’s and their general manager, Billy Beane, played by Brad Pitt. The team didn’t have the finances to spend tons of money on players, but Beane discovered a unique way to scout players using numbers and data.

What can you learn?

This movie teaches you to take an innovative approach to an existing way of doing business and beat your competition, with fewer resources.

 

7. Joy (2015)

Joy

 

“Don’t ever think that the world owes you anything, because it doesn’t. The world doesn’t owe you a thing.” – Joy

Based loosely on the life of Joy Mangano, inventor of the Miracle Mop – it’s an inspiring movie for any entrepreneur. She overcomes various obstacles throughout the movie even though her business almost falls apart several times. She rejects failure, and bankruptcy, when both outcomes seem inevitable.

What can you learn?

The biggest takeaway from this movie is the art of perseverance. It also provides great business lessons with the pros and cons of going into business with your family.

 

8. The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013)

Wolf of Wall Street

Wolf of Wall Street

 

“The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.” “- Jordan Belfort

Although the majority of the actions that Jordan Belfort took were highly illegal and immoral in this movie, you have to admit that the way he accomplished them were pretty darn inspiring. Many great lessons can be learned by observing Belfort’s aggressive pursuit of money and power.

What can you learn?

There are many temptations out there that can jeopardise your success. Learn how practising self-control and keeping your head focused in the game can help you avoid making blunders that you’ll later regret in life.

 

9. Thank You For Smoking (2005)

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Thank You For Smoking

“That’s the beauty of argument, if you argue correctly, you’re never wrong.”             – Nick Naylor

This is a great film for a marketing savvy entrepreneur or someone who wants to learn a few tricks on how to sell just about any product. It tells the story of tobacco industry lobbyist Nick Naylor who creatively spins arguments to defend the cigarette industry in the most challenging of situations.

What can you learn?

A great watch for those wanting to learn a few things about crisis management, corporate communications, PR and negotiation tactics.

 

10. Erin Brockovich (2000)

Erin Brockovich

“For the first time in my life, I got people respecting me. Please, don’t ask me to give it up.” – Erin Brockovich

This Oscar-winning legal drama is based on the true story of a woman who, against all odds, helps win the largest settlement ever paid in a direct-action lawsuit. The film embodies female empowerment and underscores the importance of sticking to one’s scruples even in the face of obstacles.

What can you learn?

Follow your guts and stick to what you believe in. Like Brockovich, hard work will eventually get you the result you’re after.

 

11. Something Ventured (2011)

Footage from

Footage from Something Ventured

 

Another must-watch documentary film for tech startups, it is about the emergence of American venture capitalism in the mid-20th Century. It follows the stories of the original venture capitalists, who worked with entrepreneurs to start and build companies like Apple, Intel, Genentech, Cisco, Atari, Tandem, and others.

What can you learn?

Understanding the thought-process of VC’s can be a useful card-up-your-sleeve when searching for funding.

 

Maybe you’ve watched them all, maybe you’ve not. Whatever it is, we hope that these movies can motivate and help you change your perspective towards things.

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