Whether you are bootstrapping your startup or seeking for angel investors, these documentaries will surely push you towards a progressive mindset with a more motivated goal. These stories have exclusive takeaways for all entrepreneurs.
Take a look at the 15 must watch documentaries for the Entrepreneurs –
1. Freakonomics The Movie
“Freakonomics The Movie” asks the audience the following: What really makes people do what they do? Will the possibility of a financial reward encourage students to improve their grades? Will sumo wrestlers cheat if given the incentive to do so? The answers are entertaining and often surprising as well.
Entrepreneur’s Take: If you understand the factors that motivate people to action, you just might be able to motivate them to become your biggest customer.
2. Once in a Lifetime
It shows that the ability to attract top talent to your business cannot be overvalued. It unravels the story of the Cosmos which proved this in 1975. The struggling team signed the world’s most popular soccer star, Pele, to a $5 Mn contract. Immediately, this phenomenal athlete made the team a media and New York City favorite, leading them to a 1977 championship game in front of 77,691 fans in Giants Stadium.
Entrepreneur’s Take: If you hire the best, your company has the greatest shot at becoming the best.
3. Standing in the Shadows of Motown
The Funk Brothers were responsible for more No. 1 hits than Elvis, The Beatles, The Beach Boys and The Rolling Stones combined. Though it was the famous Motown artists who received most of the credit for singing the songs, it was The Funk Brothers standing quietly in the shadows laying down the groove the whole time.
Entrepreneur’s Take: It’s a top priority to place incredible people in your business’s high profile executive positions. But, it’s equally (if not more) important to staff the less visible support positions with gifted individuals.
4. Ayn Rand: In Her Own Words
This documentary pieces together an exhaustive collection of interviews and readings from influential objectivist writer Ayn Rand. Long considered an inspiration to the ambitious businessperson, Rand is placed front and center in this documentary as she presents her philosophical arguments on the power of personal reasoning. She believes that reason should be a human being’s only guide to action.
Entrepreneur’s Take: Rand’s words will remind you to keep a cool head during your biggest challenges, so you can focus on a logical solution.
5. The Call of the Entrepreneur
This doc is a non-stop barrage of uplifting tales. The inspiring story of Michigan dairy farmer-turned-composter, Brad Morgan is enough to remind you that our society thrives on entrepreneurial ideas.
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Entrepreneur’s Take: Sometimes all the modern-day entrepreneur needs is a little inspiration to press on, even though failure could be right around the corner.
6. Dogtown and Z-Boys
Actor Sean Penn narrates this documentary, which focuses on the early days of Venice Beach’s Zephyr skate team (Stacy Peralta, Tony Alva, Jay Adams) and its revolutionary skateboarding style. The Zephyr team modernized skateboarding in the 1970s by taking it from a backyard pastime to a multi-million dollar industry by incorporating surf-style tricks and turns.
Entrepreneur’s Take: The cool kids always know about the next big thing before it’s even a thing. So if you are looking for the next major innovation, take a tip from the Z-boys and consider unexpected pioneering ideas.
7. Beer Wars
A genuine David vs. Goliath story, America’s small artisanal brewers try to grab a piece of the market share from fizzy yellow giants like Anheuser-Busch. Any entrepreneur attempting to break into an established market can relate to the challenges faced by these craft breweries. The point to be taken from this film is to always educate your potential customers on the superiority of your product. Sam Adams’s founder Jim Koch puts it best, “Almost all our beer knowledge comes from Budweiser, Miller and Coors. It’s as if all we knew about food we learned from McDonald’s.”
Entrepreneur’s Take: It’s your job to find a way to reach your customers in such a way that makes them realize they deserve better — and better you can provide.
8. Steve Jobs: One Last Thing
Few men have changed our everyday world of work, leisure and human communication in the way that Steve Jobs, Apple’s former CEO, has done. Steve Jobs – One Last Thing not only examines how his talent, style and imagination have shaped all of our lives, but the influences that shaped and molded the man himself.
Entrepreneur’s Take: It never hurts to have a top-notch mentor.
This film follows the epic rise and fall of dot.com startup govWorks.com founded by high school best friends Tom Herman and Kaleil Isaza Tuzman, as a means of allowing people to efficiently deal with local governments online. The company goes from inception to a $50 million bankroll in less than a year. But, GovWorks.com struggles with superior competing websites and Herman’s creativity clashing with Tuzman’s unbending business savvy. The startup ultimately folds and is consumed by a larger firm after less than two years of existence.
Entrepreneur’s Take: All the funding in the world will get you nowhere unless you can trust your team and provide a better product than the competition.
10. We Live In Public
Harris is a madman. He rigged his own apartment with cameras just as his new girlfriend was moving in. Their entire lives were taped, broadcast and chatted about online — making Harris tons of money along the way. Of course, this breach of privacy ultimately resulted in the demise of the couple and Harris’s sanity. Yet, he predicted that we would soon all be living every minute of our lives online, long before it became a reality.
Entrepreneur’s Take: Don’t be afraid to innovate and push the envelope in your industry — even if some people call you crazy.
11. The Startup Kids
Want to understand the realities of launching a startup, especially at a young age? The Startup Kids takes you on that journey and features interviews with many prominent companies — DropBox, Vimeo, SoundCloud — and their founders.
Entrepreneur’s Take: It gives an insight about the inhouse about these startups that grew to become major companies that revolutionised the industry.
Structured like a television miniseries, Startupland consists of five major plotlines that unfold over multiple episodes. The series focuses on five early-stage tech companies in Washington, D.C. that are enrolled in an accelerator and going through growing pains.
Entrepreneur’s Take: Interviews with seasoned entrepreneurs such as Steve Case, Esther Dyson, and Alexis Ohanian make for some worthwhile teaching moments.
13. Nothing to Lose: The Documentary
It’s the story of Ryan Blair, the single father of an autistic son, who beat the odds to become a serial entrepreneur worth millions.
Entrepreneur’s Take: Fans of Blair’s bestselling memoir Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain will enjoy seeing his story come to life on the screen.
14. Project Code rush
Project Code Rush takes us through the stressful months before the launch of Mozilla by Netscape developers. Though the main idea of the documentary is how it was groundbreaking at the time (in 1998) to share the source code with other developers, the underlying message is about team effort — and how building a great product or service (most of the time) can not be done alone and needs a pool of talented and passionate individuals.
Entrepreneur’s Take: Building a team is one of the most essential ingredients of running successful startup. Get that right.
15. Transcendent Man
Bill Gates calls Ray Kurzweil “the best person I know at predicting the future.” If you’ve ever wondered about what the future holds, there’s probably no one more qualified, revered and seemingly “crazy” than Ray Kurzweil. The documentary reveals his insights into a time that humans will merge with machines, live forever, and become billions of times more intelligent.
Entrepreneur’s Take: It gives a peek of the future was infallible answers giving entrepreneurs a view of the upcoming market, all within the next thirty years.
Tell us which one is your favourite one or any documentary that we might have missed out in the comments!