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7 Business movies every entrepreneur should watch

Movies inspire us and offer insights into various aspects of life. Some are so successful that they become well-known references. 

"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn,"

 "this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship,"

or 

"I'm the king of the world!" 

…are just a few pop culture references that instantly ring a bell. If you’re already are an entrepreneur or are thinking about becoming one, you should check out these stories, which are educational as well as entertaining: 

1. Startup.com 

Startup.com is a documentary that looks at how the digital revolution changed business. It does a thorough job of analyzing how entrepreneurs tried to take advantage of this unprecedented boom and uses storytelling to show how (sometimes) unrealistic dreams of instant wealth have been shot down by economic realities. 

It’s also illustrative of how incompetent management and wrong leadership can be the downfall of a promising business. Furthermore, you'll learn how a healthy work environment and cohesive team can overcome economic adversity. 


Read more: 7 Lessons from the pandemic for knowledge entrepreneurs


2. Joy 

This movie is based on the life of inventor Joy Mangano. With a brilliant cast, the film tells the story of a woman who had to overcome adversity (no small amount of it) to bring her ideas to life and build a multi-million-dollar business. 

Her initial winning idea was the self-pressing mop – something that is so simple and mundane yet so incredibly useful to anyone who ever needs to clean. While you will learn more about resilience than about business, you’ll be inspired and feel more inclined to follow your own dreams. 

3. Pirates of Silicon Valley 

Pirates of Silicon Valley is about the beginning of the two IT titans – Bill Gates and Steve Jobs – in the 1980s. It looks at how they approached technology and business from different angles, showcases their rivalry, their wins, and their failures along the way. 

It's inspiring to see how they believed in their vision and didn't give up even after epic failures. Even if someone has the same idea as you, they won't execute in the same way, your strength lies therein. 


Read more: Debunking 5 myths about being an online entrepreneur


4. Office Space 

This one is also based on real-life events – those of every corporate nine-to-fiver with an unpleasant job situation. This comedy is entertaining and good for helping you take the plunge if you’re already considering it but feel apprehensive. 

It can act as a sounding board and help you decide if your current professional situation is one that you want to stay in. It takes courage to set out as an entrepreneur. While this movie is not particularly inspirational, it has a certain lightness, making moving forward seem less daunting. 

5. The Pursuit of Happiness 

The Pursuit of Happiness can surely push the inspirational buttons. Based on real events, the movie shows the incredible journey of a father who had to overcome many obstacles to get from poverty to being a successful businessman.

 All for the sake of his young son, whom he advises, “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?”. 


Read more: Overcoming adversity: 5 principles for knowledge entrepreneurs


6. The Founder

The Founder has had its fair share of controversy, and the protagonist is not necessarily someone to model your life after. That being said, the film is based on the life and career of Ray Kroc, the man who turned McDonald’s into an astronomically profitable business.

He wasn’t the one who came up with the idea of speedy service, but he did see its potential and managed to go from unsuccessful salesman to wealthy business owner. It’s a good reminder of how far you can go from a single good idea. 

7. The Social Network

This movie follows the story of Mark Zuckerberg and the creation of Facebook. It's a useful one to see because it literally takes you through all the steps – from the initial idea to the creation, testing, launching, and growing of the business. 

There's, of course, some intrigue and backstabbing involved but – not uncommon in competitive markets. The film also encourages dreaming big: “You don’t even know what the thing is yet. How big it can get, how far it can go. This is no time to take your chips down. A million dollars isn’t cool, you know what’s cool? …A billion dollars.”


Read more: 7 Books to help you develop a winning entrepreneurial mindset


Wrapping up

Entrepreneurs are often portrayed as the heroes of capitalism. Their success stories inspire us, and their failures teach us valuable lessons. Watching the movies on this list might give you the push you need to start your own venture or the right idea to bring your business to new heights.

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