The path to successful entrepreneurship is ridden with obstacles. But motivation, inspiration, and a helping hand can do wonders to keep the fire ignited in you. Easily one of the coolest ways to find inspiration is by watching an inspiring movie.
You can learn a lot about risk-taking and decision-making through biographical business movies.
Business Movies for Entrepreneur
Here we talk about 10 such business movies that every entrepreneur must watch to channelize their passion.
- The Social Network (2010)
- Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999)
- Wall Street (1987)
- The Big Short (2015)
- The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
- Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (2019)
- The Aviator (2004)
- The Founder (2016)
- Steve Jobs (2015)
- The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
1. The Social Network (2010)
Perhaps the most successful entrepreneur’s story, The Social Network, keeps you hooked right till the end. David Fincher has brilliantly portrayed how Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook while studying at Harvard.
It’s an excellent example of how huge things have very simple beginnings. The story also includes how two friends sued Mark for stealing their idea. Aaron Sorkin’s script has flashes of brilliance throughout the 2 hours.
The excellent ensemble cast with thrilling sequences and David Fincher’s near-perfect direction make it a must-watch. You’d love the scene when Mark Zuckerberg first meets Sean Parker.
2. Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999)
Here’s a movie based on the historic rivalry between two massive tech giants of the 20th century- Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. It’s made by Martyn Burke. The movie is based on the book Fire in the Valley: The Making of the Personal Computer. The film tells the tale of the years before 1999, from 1971 to 1997, just before Steve Jobs took the market by storm.
You can learn a lot about how tech giants operate and how they rise from being down and out. The way the two competed against each other and laid the foundation of technological advances today is undoubtedly inspirational.
You would also learn a lot about both of them as a person. The scene where Steve Jobs interviews a prospective employee is undoubtedly a joy to watch.
3. Wall Street (1987)
You might have already heard the famous “greed is good” speech. Delivered by Gordon Gekko, this speech has inspired entrepreneurs around the world. You will be able to see the enactment of the emotional scene by Micheal Douglas. Douglas went on to win the Academy Award for his brilliant performance in this Oliver Stone film.
Wall Street in itself is a story of greed and ambition. You will learn how you can combine the two and channel your desire to gain massive success quickly. You’ll also learn to be cautious and dynamic by watching the story of the protagonist Bud Fox, who follows the footsteps of Gekko.
Young entrepreneurs can learn how too much greed too soon can lead them to regrettable decisions. The Gekko speech is the star attraction of this engaging film.
4. The Big Short (2015)
Cristian Bale and Steve Carrell together in a movie are already reason enough to watch it. Directed by Adam McKay, the film gives you many more intriguing reasons. The Big Short portrays three parallel stories of people who interestingly predicted and benefitted from the 2007-08 financial crisis.
The movie is based on Micheal Lewis’s book and includes Oscar-worthy performances. The film tells supposedly boring financial concepts like collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) and subprime mortgages with unorthodox cinematic techniques.
If you have always been curious to know the real reasons behind the 2007-08 crisis and how you can be ready for something like that in the future, The Big Short is a must-watch. It highlights the benefits of risk-taking as well as playing it safe brilliantly.
5. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
If you’re a Leonardo DiCaprio or Martin Scorsese fan, you’d have already seen The Wolf of Wall Street. But he’s not the only thing that makes this movie a hit. There are exceptional performances from Margot Robbie, Jonah Hill, and a cameo to remember from Matthew McConaughey.
The movie is about the rise and fall of a businessman. This true story about Jordan Belfort displays his firm Stratton Oakmont doing security scams and engaging in penny stock trading.
It’s a great movie for you to learn how an entrepreneur shouldn’t be. You’d know what greed and lack of empathy can do to you, even as an entrepreneur. The path of scamming and duping isn’t too fun after all. The scene where Matthew McConaughey explains what it takes to be a stockbroker is a winner.
6. Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (2019)
You might have heard about the very popular and probably the biggest ever luxury music festival organized by rapper Ja Rule and Billy McFarland. Celebrities like Bella Hadid, Kendal Jenner, and Emily Ratajkowski promoted the event on social media channels. So, where did it happen?
Well, it didn’t. The Netflix documentary Fyre by Chris Smith portrays this scam organized by experienced scammer Billy McFarland. Prospective festival-goers, team members, and restaurant owners suffered huge losses due to the ill-fated music festival.
It’s a case in point that you shouldn’t blindly invest in marketing. It’s shocking how Billy and Ja Rule thought they could get away with such a gigantic scam.
7. The Aviator (2004)
Another brilliant movie from the successful Scorsese-DiCaprio duo, The Aviator, is Howard Hughes’ biopic. Hughes is a billionaire who fought all odds stacked against him. Despite having a worsening OCD, Hughes also became a successful director.
The noteworthy performance from DiCaprio won him another Oscar nomination. The movie shows how Howard didn’t have to just fight competition from rich and powerful movie moguls but also his OCD.
His passion for aviation kept him in good stead all along. If you have several obstacles in front of you, you might relate to and be inspired by Howard’s story. Fledgling entrepreneurs shouldn’t miss this one.
8. The Founder (2016)
Ever wondered how large food chain outlets develop and grow from scratch? The inspiring story of the largest food chain owner globally, The Founder, by John Lee Hancock, is a must-watch for you. The film talks about how fast food retail tycoon Ray Kroc established his business after taking it over from the McDonald brothers.
He might be a controversial figure, but his story is the epitome of what a good salesperson can do. The milkshake mixer salesman transformed McDonald’s into the most successful fast food outlet in the world. The biopic takes you on an intriguing journey of intelligence and capitalizing on opportunities.
You may feel bad about the original founders – the McDonald brothers, who were slowly forced out of business. But Ray Kroc ordering his first meal at McDonald’s is an iconic scene you’d love to watch.
9. Steve Jobs (2015)
Played by Micheal Fassbender, it is the best movie to date, made on Steve Jobs. Danny Boyle directed it. If you haven’t yet watched the Ashton Kutcher one, just don’t and go for this one. It’s a different take on the Apple co-founder’s life as it discusses only three pivotal moments of his life.
Fassbender and Kate Winslet have delivered a stunning performance. It isn’t as critically acclaimed as it could be. Nonetheless, aspiring entrepreneurs just have so much to learn from the legendary Steve Jobs. Try also to read Walter Isaacson’s biography, which is easily the best work on him.
Jobs’ confrontation with John Sculley is a standout scene.
10. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
This movie, directed by Gabriele Muccino, is popularly known for some iconic scenes played by the Legendary Will Smith. His dialogues strike a chord with aspiring entrepreneurs as well as philosophers. The film is the real-life story of entrepreneur Chris Gardener. It shows his one-year struggle of working as an unpaid intern stockbroker.
Add to that the fact that he was homeless and the inspirational nature of the film multiplies. Will won an Oscar nomination for his excellent portrayal of Gardener.
The circumstances in which Gardener survived are common to a lot of aspiring entrepreneurs. So, you’ll surely learn a thing or two from Gardener’s life.
Sometimes a simple message can do wonders in helping you on the path to success. These were some of the most motivating movies every entrepreneur must watch. So this weekend, when you’re all out of ideas, spend some time with these cinematic gems.