Marketers, like the general public, want suggestion sometimes. And what higher way to discover proposal than to take a destroy and watch some notion-provoking movies. Regardless of in which you presently stand on the entrepreneurial route, you’re certain to find a few much-wanted notion via looking the films featured in this list. Here are 21 inspiring movies every entrepreneur have to watch.
Directed by David Fincher, The Social Network tells the story of how Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook while studying at Harvard and how he was later sued by two brothers who claimed he stole their idea, and his best friend who was ousted from the company.
Why watch it? It offers you a glimpse into how Facebook began and reminds you that big companies often have small beginnings. Aside from that, you have Aaron Sorkin’s brilliant script, David Fincher’s perfect direction, and a great ensemble cast.
Best Scene in the Movie: When Mark Zuckerberg meets Sean Parker for the first time.
Based on the book Fire in the Valley: The Making of the Personal Computer, Pirates of Silicon Valley explores the rivalry between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates between 1971 – 1997. This movie came out in 1999, just when Steve Jobs began flourishing in his second innings at Apple. The movie ends with Bill Gates gaining the upper hand in the rivalry, but we all know what transpired next.
Why watch it? It offers a glimpse into the humble beginnings of two of the most iconic technology companies in the world and chronicles the rise of two men who totally transformed the world of technology.
Best Scene in the Movie: Steve Jobs interviews a prospective Apple employee.
If you want to learn more about the rise and fall of internet companies during the dotcom bubble, then Startup.com is the perfect movie. Startup.com is a documentary film that follows the story of GovWorks, a promising startup that failed spectacularly because of mismanagement and internal power struggles.
Why watch it? Aside from showing you the boom and bust of the dotcom bubble era, the documentary also tells you a cautionary tale of how friendships can turn into bitter rivalries because of internal politics. Massively underrated, it’s easily one of the best startup movies of all time.
Best Scene in the Movie: No clip stands out in particular, so I’d suggest you watch the movie to get the full scoop. Luckily, you can watch the whole movie on YouTube.
4. Wall Street
This is the movie with the famous “Greed is good” speech, delivered by the charismatic Gordon Gekko played brilliantly by Michael Douglas, who won an academy award for his performance.
Directed by Oliver Stone, Wall Street tells the story of ambition and greed, portrayed brilliantly by Charlie Sheen and Michael Douglas respectively. The main protagonist, Bud Fox, idolizes Gekko and gets carried away by his glamorous lifestyle, only to get entangled in the vicious web of insider trading.
Why watch it? As young entrepreneurs, it’s often easy to be lured by greed and make morally reprehensible decisions. Wall Street serves as a cautionary tale of how ambition can sometimes lead us down an unethical path.
Word of advice: Skip the 2010 sequel starring Shia LaBeouf.
Best Scene in the Movie: The famous, or rather infamous, Gordon Gekko speech.
A movie that stars Al Pacino, Kevin Spacey, Jack Lemmon, and Alec Baldwin (in a scene stealing cameo) should serve as motivation alone to watch this movie.
Glengarry Glenn Ross is based on an award-winning play which shows the plight of real estate salespeople during a tumultuous sales season.
Why watch it? The movie shows how it’s like to operate in a high pressure sales environment and how you need to use your wits in order to survive and thrive. Since its release, the movie has been used to train real life salesmen on how to sell and how not to sell.
Best Scene in the Movie: This ‘motivational’ speech by Alec Baldwin to the sales team. Enjoy!
Based on Michael Lewis’ book of the same title, The Big Short tells three separate but parallel stories of individuals who were able to predict and profit from the American financial crisis of 2007-08.
Directed by Adam McKay (best known for the Anchorman franchise prior to this movie), the movie features Oscar-worthy performances from Christian Bale and Steve Carell.
The film is also noted for employing unconventional techniques to explain complex and supposedly boring financial concepts like subprime mortgages and collateralized debt obligations (CDOs).
Why watch it? If you ever wanted to learn the real reasons behind the financial crisis of 2007-08 and not be bored to death at the same time, then you need to watch The Big Short.
While it serves as a cautionary tale for entrepreneurs, it also highlights the importance of risk-taking and conviction. Very few individuals would bet against the gigantic housing market at the time, but the characters in this movie (based on real people) do just that, despite facing mockery and ridicule from the entire financial community.
Best Scene in the Movie: Mark Baum (Steve Carell’s character) meets a shady CDO manager.
(Side note: The Big Short by Michael Lewis is one of my favorite business books of all time. If you liked the movie, I’d urge you to read the book as well. If you’re looking for more business books, check out this list of my 75+ favorite business books.)
The Wolf of Wall Street is based on the true story of Jordan Belfort. It follows his rise and fall as an entrepreneur, and shows how his firm Stratton Oakmont engaged in penny stock trading and securities scam, drawing the attention of the FBI.
Brilliantly directed by Martin Scorsese with stellar performances from Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, and a spectacular cameo by Matthew McConaughey (right at the peak of his “McConaissance.”)
Why watch it? Jordan Belfort is the perfect example of what an entrepreneur shouldn’t be. He was driven by greed, having little to no empathy towards the people he was duping, and lived a life of extreme debauchery which eventually led to his downfall.
Best Scene in the Movie: Matthew McConaughey describes what it takes to be a stock broker.
(Interesting Trivia – The chest thumping and humming performed by McConaughey was improvised and actually a warm-up rite that he performs before shooting a scene.)
8. Boiler Room
If you can ignore the fact that Vin Diesel plays a smooth-talking stockbroker in the movie, you’re going to enjoy this. And if you enjoyed The Wolf of Wall Street, you’re going to enjoy Boiler Room even more as it is loosely based on Stratton Oakmont, the fraudulent stock trading company founded by Jordan Belfort.
The characters in the movie worship Gordon Gekko from Wall Street and make their living manipulating gullible people into buying penny stocks. You know exactly where this is headed!
Why watch it? Aside from exposing you to interesting cold-calling tactics, Boiler Room is ultimately a cautionary tale for young entrepreneurs to not be swayed by the lifestyle of the rich and famous to make morally questionable decisions.
Best Scene in the Movie: The Group Interview!
Why watch it? Aside from being hilariously entertaining, it’s a cautionary tale for young entrepreneurs about making promises and not delivering a good product. Billy MacFarland was a dubious character who made misleading promises and misrepresented facts just to sell expensive tickets to an affluent audience. He had no experience, skills, or even the attitude to manage a music festival of this scale and magnitude.
The documentary also serves as a reminder for entrepreneurs who invest a huge amount of money in marketing and advertising without making any investment in improving the product. Fyre had great marketing, thanks to the enormous fan-base of the social media influencers, but the event itself was so mismanaged that it’s amazing MacFarland and Ja Rule thought they could get away duping their customers like this.
Best Scene in the Movie: That would be event producer Andy King’s shocking confession. King became a viral meme on Reddit and Twitter after the documentary. A clip of this on YouTube will probably be taken down because of copyright issues, so I’m not linking to it here. You’d need to watch the full movie on Netflix. In the meantime, watch the trailer below:
Side note: Around the same time this documentary was released on Netflix, Hulu released its own documentary on Fyre festival called Fyre Fraud. Although the Netflix documentary is better, Hulu’s Fyre Fraud features an interview with Billy MacFarland who does his best to dodge difficult questions in a totally cringeworthy manner.
10. The Aviator
Yet another Scorsese-DiCaprio collaboration in the list. The Aviator is a biopic of Howard Hughes, the eccentric billionaire who overcame all the odds to become a famous businessman and successful film director, while coping with his gradually worsening OCD. DiCaprio is brilliant in the movie and his performance earned him his second Oscar nomination. It’s also one of the best biography movies of all time.
Why watch it? Howard Hughes didn’t just compete with rival companies with deep pockets and movie moguls with powerful connections, but fought his own internal battle with a debilitating mental illness like OCD. Despite so many obstacles, he remained passionate about aviation and built a powerful legacy. He is the perfect role model for fledgling entrepreneurs who have to overcome numerous obstacles in life to achieve great things.
Best Scene in the Movie: The Senate Hearings!