What Movies Do Entrepreneurs Watch?
From Office Space to Joy, here are 15 answers to the question, “What are your favorite movies to watch as an entrepreneur?”
- Office Space
- Ford vs. Ferrari
- Field of Dreams
- The Social Network
- Jerry & Marge, Go Large
- Forrest Gump
- The Big Short
- The Aviator
- The Founder
- Tucker: The Man and His Dream
- The Wolf of Wall Street
In a strange way, one of the most inspiring movies about entrepreneurship is the 1999 comedy Office Space. It perfectly captures how dull the corporate culture can be.
They worked you to the brink of exhaustion and exasperation and then eliminated your job. It can make you feel so underappreciated that you become resentful.
The decisions made by the character in response to this reality are terrible, but it’s a comedy. And comedies need something to happen for high jinks to ensue. What the movie actually says to me is that you should not let yourself become another spoke in the wheel.
If you have the creativity and drive to launch your own business and be your own boss, do it. Otherwise, you could be the one being called in on a Saturday to work only to be laid off by “The Bobs” a week later.
Brittany Dolin, Co-Founder, Pocketbook Agency
Ford vs. Ferrari
On the surface, Ford vs. Ferrari may look like a sports or competition movie, but it is so much more than that, and the innovative qualities it portrays are what make it my favorite movie to watch as an entrepreneur.
Most people are familiar with large companies that have struggled as times change, and it is the ones that recognize the need for dramatic alterations to adapt to the new conditions in the marketplace that survive.
Ford was going through those times, but it was the innovative ideas of entrepreneurial giant Lee Iacocca, so brilliantly portrayed in the movie, that show how changing strategies and priorities can save and grow a company.
His recommendations for chasing greatness and using visionaries to do so are inspiring, and show how thinking outside of the box is great for any business.
Cody Candee, CEO, Bounce
Field of Dreams
I’m sure I’m not alone in this one, but Field of Dreams is a must-watch for entrepreneurs. There is no quote more memorable or entrepreneurial than “Build it and they will come.”
The spirit of building something to serve a purpose and enrich a community is something every entrepreneur should embrace, and this film shows the life-changing power a great idea can have.
Gates Little, President and CEO, altLINE
The Social Network
The movie tells the story of the founding of Facebook and the challenges its creator, Mark Zuckerberg, faced along the way. It provides a look into the early days of the tech industry and the rise of social media and shows how one person’s vision and determination can lead to the creation of a global phenomenon.
For entrepreneurs, The Social Network is a story of inspiration and a reminder of the importance of taking risks and pursuing one’s passions. It highlights the power of innovation and the role that technology can play in shaping the world.
The film portrays the intense competition and legal battles that can accompany success in the tech industry, and serves as a cautionary tale for entrepreneurs who are entering a competitive marketplace.
Joseph Mohay, Chief Revenue Officer and Co-Founder, Integrated Digital Strategies
Jerry & Marge, Go Large
This story is about a real-life old couple who could use a mathematical loophole in the lottery system in Massachusetts. Basically, Jerry could use statistics to win the lottery repeatedly.
They just had to purchase more tickets for a guaranteed return. They encouraged their neighbors to invest in their business, as it was completely legal and highly profitable. It’s an inspiration for me as they thought of something like that and being able to help their small town along the way.
As an entrepreneur, my key goal is to provide solutions to people and help your community. When you focus on that, money comes naturally.
Mark Damsgaard, Partner and Head of Client Advisory, Global Residence Index
This timeless classic featuring America’s favorite Tom Hanks is one of my favorite movies as an entrepreneur. Even though Forrest is not primarily an entrepreneur, his journey through life is a reassuring reminder that you never know the path you’re really going to take.
You can make plans, some of which will go well, but ultimately, “life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.”
This message is so important for entrepreneurs because, in business, there’s never just one road to success. And it’s never really all over, even amid failure.
Bryan Jones, CEO, Truckbase
The Big Short
The Big Short, which is based on Michael Lewis’ book of the same name, follows the story of three people who expected and benefited from the world financial crisis of 2007-2008. It serves as a cautionary tale for business owners, but it also emphasizes the value of having conviction and taking chances.
Betting against the housing market was practically unheard of, yet despite derision and criticism from the financial establishment, these folks actually did it. Even though the rest of the world eventually suffered, they were cunning enough to profit from the ensuing chaos.
Rene Delgado, Founder and CEO, Shop Indoor Golf
The Aviator is another outstanding movie that Scorsese and DiCaprio have collaborated on throughout the years. The film is a biopic of eccentric millionaire Howard Hughes, who surmounted significant obstacles to become a well-known business executive and a brilliant film director despite battling with deteriorating OCD.
Hughes is a fantastic role model for aspiring business owners who must overcome many challenges to do the unthinkable. He faced an internal struggle with the crippling mental disorder OCD besides competing with powerful movie moguls and big-budget corporations. With that perspective, anything is conceivable.
Matthew Appleton, E-Commerce Manager, Appleton Sweets
There are many excellent entrepreneurial movies, but my favorite has to be The Founder. Few companies have had the international impact of McDonald’s, yet the path its leader, Ray Kroc, took to bring it from a small local business in Southern California to an international juggernaut shows the importance of a leader being able to pivot when necessary.
Like many entrepreneurs, Kroc made ill-advised decisions, creating problems in logistics, capitalization, and cash flow. The movie showed that Kroc’s brilliance as an entrepreneur was not in his ability to see opportunities, but in listening to experts, being flexible, and pivoting when needed.
This movie showed that it’s not about being the smartest person in the room, but the one who realizes when they need help, making it a great lesson for anyone looking to become an entrepreneur.
Alexandre Bocquet, Founder and CEO, Betterly
Tucker: The Man and His Dream
This movie is a 1988 film directed by Francis Ford Coppola that tells the story of Preston Tucker and his quest to build the car of the future. Tucker was an entrepreneur who dreamed of revolutionizing the automotive industry with his innovative designs and advanced engineering.
The film highlights the challenges he faced as he tried to bring his vision to life, including opposition from established automotive manufacturers and resistance from the financial community.
Despite these obstacles, Tucker never lost sight of his goal and continued to work tirelessly to make his dream a reality. For entrepreneurs, it’s a story of inspiration and perseverance.
It highlights the importance of having a clear vision and the courage to pursue it, even in the face of adversity. The film also showcases the value of innovation and the role that creativity can play in shaping the world.
Donnie Carr, President and CEO, Christian Brothers Automotive
It’s a biographical drama film that follows the life and career of Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc. I find it very inspiring because Steve Jobs was a visionary entrepreneur who affected the tech industry significantly.
His journey from being a college dropout to co-founding one of the world’s most innovative and successful companies is both motivating and inspiring. The film also showcases his unwavering commitment to his vision, which is an important reminder for entrepreneurs.
Jobs highlights the importance of overcoming adversity, as Steve Jobs faced many challenges and obstacles throughout his career, including being fired from Apple. The movie also brilliantly shows the importance of perseverance in achieving success as an entrepreneur.
Steve Jobs’ determination and ability to bounce back from setbacks are a powerful reminder of the importance of staying committed to one’s vision, even in the face of adversity.
Marketa Chalupnikova, Co-Founder and COO, Tolgee
Moneyball is essentially a movie about baseball, but from an entrepreneurial perspective, it has a lot to teach about entrepreneurship, especially to adapt to survive and use statistics to your advantage as an underdog.
In the movie, Billy Beane has to adapt to compete against the big guns, and that’s the story of every startup business today. You adapt, you use anything you can to your advantage, and you win anyway.
Michael Maximoff, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Belkins
The Wolf of Wall Street
As an entrepreneur myself, I like this movie because it provides an inside look at the high-stakes world of finance and shows how far some individuals will go to achieve success and wealth. It also highlights the dangers of greed and the consequences of unethical behavior.
For entrepreneurs, it serves as a cautionary tale and a reminder of the importance of maintaining integrity and avoiding shortcuts in business. The film is a portrayal of ambition and determination, as Jordan Belfort’s character does not give up in the face of adversity and is relentless in his pursuit of success.
Overall, The Wolf of Wall Street can provide an entertaining and thought-provoking experience for entrepreneurs, and it can serve as a source of inspiration and motivation as well.
Frank Samson, Founder and CEO, Senior Care Authority
Limitless is a movie that has captivated entrepreneurs for its relatable theme of maximizing potential and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.
The movie follows the journey of a struggling writer who comes across a mysterious pill that temporarily unlocks the full potential of the human brain. As he discovers the limitless possibilities that come with this newfound power, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery, personal growth, and success.
As entrepreneurs, we are always looking for ways to unlock our own potential and maximize our chances of success. Limitless serves as a reminder that there are no limits to what we can achieve if we put in the effort and stay focused on our goals.
The movie encourages entrepreneurs to never give up on their dreams, to push the boundaries of what’s possible, and to always strive for more.
Sven Patzer, CEO
It shows the entire path of an entrepreneur’s journey, from the agony of choosing a line of business to the difficulty of overcoming all kinds of obstacles and receiving glorious rewards for the work done.
The movie’s power lies in its authenticity and is based on actual events. It is noteworthy that Joy did not complain or argue, but seemed to turn a blind eye to the unpleasant attitudes of others. She knew how to control her own ego and did not give in to emotions, keeping her focus on her realistic goals.
Self-therapy through film means that you watch a movie and evaluate how it made you feel. Who did you sympathize with and who annoyed you? Think of the moments that impressed and moved you and ask yourself why. If you’re an entrepreneur who wants to be inspired by a movie, then let it be Joy.
Tetiana Gavrilina, Copywriter, DDI Development
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