Cinema is one of the most impactful mediums; absorbing, accessible and helpful. It pulls you directly into a different world, making you immediately familiar with the source material. For aspiring entrepreneurs, watching movies about the craft helps make your transition into business smoother.
There is no lack of stories about an go-getter struggling to find a place in the sun. Movies about movers and shakers have always been popular, be it stories about smooth-tongued hustlers and scrappy underdogs, or stories about the rivalry between established competitors.
Are you an aspiring entrepreneur? Check out these list of the best movies you could watch to gain some insight into the nature of the game.
Glengarry Glen Ross (1992).
This movie is based on the eponymous Pulitzer winning play written by David Mamet. We relive two days in the lives of four salesmen, when they are hounded to desperation when “motivated” by the information that two of them would be fired by the end of the week. They lie, cheat and steal, all in a day’s work, willing to do anything it takes to survive. The storyline explores the merciless nature of the real estate game in Chicago, serving as a necessary warning that the business world is savagely competitive.
Wall Street (1987).
Anyone interested in trade has heard of the notorious saying “Greed is good.” This motto belongs to an equally notorious man Gordon Gekko. Oliver Stone uses a metaphorical wide-angle lens to portray how rampant greed makes men overlook their decency and disregard their morality. Bud Fox, played by Charlie Sheen, makes more and more dicey decisions to become as rich as corporate raider Gordon Gekko. The film serves as a reminder that being successful is about much more than being rich and powerful.
Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999).
The development of the personal computer was one of the biggest game-changers in modern times, but the bluestockings responsible for it are often remembered more clearly than the process itself. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are household names, and the rivalry between them is legendary. Every entrepreneur has to be clued up on the formation of Silicon Valley, and the rise of Microsoft and Apple and the film accurately depicts this. After all, remember the famous line from this movie,”Good artists create, but great artists steal.”
Something Ventured (2011).
This gripping documentary investigates the emergence of venture capitalism in America in the twentieth century. This is perhaps the most inspiring movie from the list, following the stories of the venture capitalists who worked with entrepreneurs to start and build companies like Apple, Intel, Genentech, Cisco, Atari, Tandem, etc and featuring their interviews.
The Pursuit of Happyness (2006).
This film is based on the eponymous book on the life of Chris Gardner. This hapless man was rendered homeless and in debt. His wife left him alone with his son. But he didn’t give up. He worked hard and he worked smart, and he kept at it until from a mere salesman he became a Wall Street luminary. The beginning of the film gives me the chills every time I see it. But the ending is beautiful and has the moral that hard work always pays. The story Gardner’s life will give you the resolve never to give up on a dream.
This movie is about the life of Joy Mangano. Held back throughout her life by circumstances and her family, she struggles hard to realize her dreams. This inventor invented a self-wringing mop that completely revolutionized the mop industry in the nineties. It was called the Miracle Mop. Anyone who wants to learn some hustling skills must make sure to watch this movie.
Catch Me if You Can (2002).
Based on the true story of a con artist , Catch Me if You Can is a wonderfully entertaining film. Leonardo DiCaprio plays the charming and nimble-witted Frank Abagnale who can just hoodwink anyone with his cool-headed double dealing. He’s a problem-solver if there ever was one. There’s a lot you can learn from this criminal! A blurb from the book boasts that it touches on entrepreneurship skills, creativity and innovation, perseverance, business vision, personal sales techniques and entrepreneurial funding sources.
Office Space (1999).
Office space is a very accurate depiction of office space! The modern office as it is, is shown in this movie. The frustration that you, as the aspiring entrepreneur, might feel in your first week in the office might be reduced by watching this movie. The movie also tells you that don’t loose heart, a sincere employee can change the game, as it tells the story of one such man who did. There is a lot you can learn from this movie, especially the value of thinking with your own head, sometimes even disregarding the environment around you. Wear your flair.
So, there it goes! This is my list of the best movies an aspiring entrepreneur can watch. Not only are these movies entertaining and inspiring, but they also help prepare you for the absurdist business world. Did I miss any of your favourite movies? Do tell me in the comments below.