As any entrepreneur will tell you, their life is full of roller coaster ups and downs. Many a times, the entrepreneur’s is a lonely place to be and one can use all the motivation one can get.
I have started 4 different entrepreneurial ventures in my professional life of over 20 years and I have watched countless movies/pictures/films. I cannot count how many times I found badly needed motivation from a good movie. During all those times when I needed a buck-up, a well-made story of an individual’s struggle would come to the rescue. That is on a strategic level as well as a tactical level. What does that mean?
Well, broadly speaking, I would get motivation for keeping the struggle afoot, but I would also get many many many tactical ideas on execution, as well as customer offerings, from these movies. Popular culture afforded a lot of contribution to my ventures.
I am going to put this out in 2-3 parts. So, here are some of the movies that impacted the entrepreneur in me J in no particular order.
The Pursuit of Happyness
This definitely is one of the most impactful movies, maybe even the most quoted one, in the entrepreneurial circles. A beautiful story about struggling to better one’s life, in the face of true financial and familial hardship.
Chris Gardner is portrayed very well by Will Smith and emotion flows through the entire movie, particularly in the manner Gardner narrates it.
I don’t think any list of this sort is complete without The Pursuit of Happyness.
I loved this story. Ray Kroc is one of the most recognized names in the entrepreneurial world. Even though I was aware of bits and pieces of it, this film put it all in one place. And I got to know the story behind one of the biggest brands the world has ever seen, McDonald’s.
The fact that he was 52 when he got involved with this venture, the fact that he used his skills to create/develop a unique offering, initially for the Americans, and eventually for the world, is very motivating, for a person like me. Michael Keaton does a wonderful job as Ray Kroc.
I like Jon Favreau and have always been interested in food related ventures. In fact, my first business was in food.
Anyway, the story of Carl Casper, following his passion, struggling with starting a food business with limited means, really resonated with me.
Flash of Genius
I recall feeling really emotional when I watched this. The opposition and disappointments Robert Kearns faces after inventing the intermittent windshield wiper was insightful.
I also remember that I saw a stand up comedian making fun of this movie while reviewing it on a TV show, which is in poor taste as it is. Only an entrepreneur can empathize how Kearns felt.
The Company Men
I was attracted reading the cast list but found the story to be very interesting. The story of Bobby Walker (played by Ben Affleck), one day a blue-eyed boy of a conglomerate, and a struggling unemployed survivor the next, provides a glimpse into the realities of the harsh corporate world. How he has to let go of the things he thought were necessities (read toys), and what he has to do to survive is quite insightful. Getting back on your feet, after a fall, is what this story is all about.
To be continued…