Entrepreneurs find inspiration in unusual places. One of those places, for me, is television. I use it to re-charge and find inspiration.
But that's me.
I am sure as many or more people find distraction and inspiration in movies. Box office revenues back that up. Here, then are five 1980s movies entrepreneurs should see. In retrospect, the 80s may not have been a golden era in American business--we can laugh at some of these things now. At the same time, some of these entrepreneurship moves and personalities are eternal.
Tucker (1988)--Tucker is a great, true story about Preston Tucker who tried, unsuccessfully to build a new American car company. He got so many things right but it still wasn't enough. That's a journey every entrepreneur can relate to and be inspired by.
Scarface (1983)--No question, a Miami drug king-pin may be an ill-suited business role model but few leading men in any movie are a stronger example of sheer determination than Tony Montana. Entrepreneurs can take lessons from his drive if not his product. And there's never a bad time to say hello to his little friend.
Risky Business (1983)--Maybe the definitive movie (for the 1980s anyway) about taking risk. As the title implies. And, like Scarface, a bad example for a business model (prostitution vs drugs) but it's still a must see. Entrepreneurs will immediately reconnect with the thrill and youthful enthusiasm of risk itself. Remember when risk was sexy and instead of a spreadsheet? This will remind you.
Wall Street (1987)--If you're looking to re-charge your faith in capitalism, find and watch this one. It has, of course, the classic line, "Greed is good." And is a fascinating look at 1980s corporate culture--or at least what Hollywood thought of it. Sexy, greedy and entrepreneurial.
"One of my favorite lines is when Bud Fox says, 'I'm tapped out, Marv. American Express has got a hit man lookin' for me.' Entrepreneurs have a habit of over-extending themselves," Says Teer1 President and CEO, Tim Padgett "but if they believe and persevere, their ship will come in. Or not. But they've got the stones to find out."
Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)--Yes, technically, this is a 1990s film but the play on which the movie is based was written in 1984 so I'm only half cheating. And it's the blockbuster on this list. Alec Baldwin's expletive-riddled sales speech is classic beyond words. It's dark, depressing and shows a dark underside of being in business and the grind of selling a product.
No one is suggesting that you can--or should--bring a Scarface demeanor to your next board meeting or pitch opportunity. Or treating your employees like they work in Glengarry. Neither of those moves may be your best play.
But I do promise they will be fun and enlightening. Tracking these movies down may be a challenge but they are worth firing up the popcorn and plugging in (tuning out) for a few hours.