Whether it just be witnessing the billionaire lifestyle on screen, the display of that universal hustler mentality in action, or the story of the founding of a company, some movies really know how to make the entrepreneurial panties wet. Here are the Top 10 movies that every entrepreneur must watch:
1. The Social Network
No surprise here, folks. The Social Network ranks on top of this list not because it is about Facebook, but because it is the only decent movie solely about the founding of an Internet startup. Unfortunately, there are not many big-budget Hollywood films with A-list actors about the founding of a startup – real or fictional.
Mostly, its due to the fact that fascination with the startup community is not something that is as mainstream as – lets say - people's love of superheroes. It's a shame too, because a lot of these founding stories would make for a great movie. It took a company as well known as Facebook to be centered around for a real startup movie just because it's the one story everyone knows. But all that aside, The Social Network displays some very accurate experiences and stages that a startup will go through on the path to success.
2. The Aviator
Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Howard Hughes, who was one of the wealthiest innovators in American history. Like a true entrepreneur, Hughes had his hands in everything from Hollywood movies to the commercial airline business. Equally as important, he was a big-time womanizer, having dated some of the most gorgeous actresses of his time. Throw in a little paranoia and OCD to make more a plot conflict, and you've got the perfect formula for a blockbuster.
3. Middle Men
This lesser-appreciated movie stars Luke Wilson as Jack Harris, who is based on real-world Chris Mallick of Paycom and Epassporte. Mallick's ventures were the predecessor to PayPal and his experiences amount to wild stories you don't hear everyday in the startup community. Because of the nature of his billing business, Mallick worked with internet porn companies frequently, which would eventually cause his downfall. This is a great “rise & fall” movie.
4. Boiler Room
Loosely based on the experiences of Jordan Belfort, the Wolf of Wall Street, Boiler Room takes an unconventional approach to the world of high-finance. The main character embodies the entrepreneurial mindset, running an illegal and very lucrative gambling den in his house. Somehow, he ends up working at a Long Island telemarketing brokerage firm where every employee is a millionaire within one year of starting there.
5. Glengarry Glen Ross
Decent plot, but the best aspect of the movie are the immoral lessons that Baldwin' character gives about salesmanship. The term “Always Be Closing” originated here.
6. Office Space
This movie is a great reminder of why you are an entrepreneur in the first place: as a lucrative alternative to the hell of being trapped in a nightmarish cubicle pushing paper all day.
7. American Gangster
Not your average entrepreneur movie, but Frank Lucas was definitely an innovator. He applied business and startup values to drug dealing and became one of the most feared and loved men in New York at the time.
8. Wall Street
Another no brainer, how could the legendary Gordon Gekko not be included on this list?
9. Ocean's Eleven
In any of the Ocean's movies, you can learn the opportunistic mentality necessary to make money and the importance of having a diverse founding team to your startup.
Billionaire playboy, innovator of game-changing technology, jetsetter, and a great executive, every entrepreneur loves Tony Stark.
Bonus: Something Ventured (2011)
Usually, I am not a fan of documentaries, but this movie is hands down a must-see for anyone who wishes to become an entrepreneur or anyone who already is one. Something Ventured follows the stories of the venture capitalists who worked with entrepreneurs to start and build companies like Apple, Intel, Cisco, Atari, and more. This is the story of the guys who founded the startup community in Silicon Valley and created the most Elite VC firms that still dominate the game today. (On Netflix, iTunes, etc)