6 Must-Watch Hollywood Movies for an Entrepreneur

August 19, 2019

Given the trending narratives about startups and entrepreneurship, many are drawn to carve their own paths and take up entrepreneurship. Yet, when one takes to the field, he realizes that being an entrepreneur isn’t as rosy as it looked like from the other side of the hill. Often than not, he/she throws in the towel the moment they are confronted with hardships. The mantra is to take the plunge only after doing a homework on the ground realities of entrepreneurship.

It’s hard; it’s daunting. It will witness a number of impasse. But a successful entrepreneur has the strength, the passion, the grit, and the smartness to take on the challenges and overturn the impediments. One might say, it’s easier said than done. But it’s never impossible. Here’s a list of 6 Hollywood movies every entrepreneur must watch that can pose as real time lessons and motivate them to take the plunge in the right spirit.

Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999): The movie is based on the two giants of the Silicon Valley, Apple and Microsoft. Who doesn’t feel the goosebumps hearing the story of struggle and the exemplary success of the two globe-changing entrepreneurs? The movie measuredly depicts the competitive rivalry between Bill Gates and Steve Jobs to dominate the computer industry. The way it follows the journey of the two giants through their struggles during the college days, to founding their respective companies, the hardships they face, and the consequent emergence of the two most influential corporate empires, without trying to camouflage their negative shades, makes it a superhero narrative that’s convincing and human at the same time.

Boiler Room (2000): Perhaps, one aspect that every entrepreneur faces, and yet, is least discussed about, is the ethics or moral responsibility in entrepreneurship. Is everything fair in business and profit-making? The movie digs into this less-talked-about dilemma of an entrepreneur about making a choice between money and morality, right and wrong. Though not one of those conventionally inspiring movies, it surely bounds a person to soul-search and make the realization that business is driven by greater motives than just minting money by any means.

Pursuit of Happyness (2006): Inspired from the true story of an entrepreneur, Chris Gardner, the movie depicts the inspirational journey of a business person from rags to riches. The movie is a tribute to the never-say-die spirit of entrepreneurship on the face of every hurdle, rejection and humiliation. The spirit of the movie can be wrapped up in that one scene where the protagonist tells his son:

“Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something. Not even me. You got a dream, you gotta protect it. When people can’t do something themselves, they’re gonna tell you that you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period.”

The Founder (2016): Talking of perseverance, here’s another movie that inspires one to stand up and deliver against every fall of failure. “The Founder” follows the struggle and extraordinary rise of Ray Crock, the sales guru who turned the fortune of the McDonald brothers. When the McDonald brothers struggled to expand their impressive “speedy system” for fast food kitchens beyond a single joint, Crock re-invented the business strategy for a franchise model and transformed the hitherto small eatery into the McDonald’s Corporation of the present time, thus revolutionizing the fast food industry in America. And while the audience takes away Crock’s sharp business acumen from the movie, one finds a special motivation from the fact that Ray Crock tasted mega success when he was in his 50s. Indeed, entrepreneurship can never be restricted by gender or age.

Flash of Genius (2008): The movie follows the struggle of Robert Kearns, the inventor of intermittent windshield for cars, against the auto manufacturing giants, who, he claimed, had stolen his idea sans his consent or giving him the due credit. The movie, at the very onset, gives out the strong disposition and passion of an innovator who is willing to create something that would help enhance lives, but not at the cost of letting away the credit. “Flash of Genius” is especially a reality check for those who bask in the euphoria of making a breakthrough innovation, but forget the most crucial part about guarding that innovation.

Office Space (1999): The most humorous of the 6 in the list, “Office Space” is a satirical take on the drudging, monotonous, and soul-sabotaging plight of the new-age cubicle dwellers. When the protagonist decides to give voice to his silent suffering behind that mundane office desk, he manages to strike a chord with those who had been passively contemplating on giving up that corporate job and inspires them to dare take the ‘step’ to trudge up the path of entrepreneurship.


Satarupa Mishra