The world is going crazy about startups: you hear about them all the time, you see them everywhere, including in the movie theater. However, movies about startups usually deal either with made-up stories or with huge, well-known names like Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs, neglecting the fact that there are plenty of stories that are just as fascinating - just a bit smaller.
1. Darn Tough
What can be more prosaic and mundane than socks? Socks are something unremarkable, something we wear without giving it much thought - yet it is exactly what allowed Ric Cabot to create a brand that is not just wittily punny, but is known throughout the United States.
The main selling points of Darn Tough are purely American manufacturing, high performance and quality supported with something that one hardly associates with socks - a lifetime guarantee. Today this business with humble beginnings sells 5 million pairs of socks a year and costs more than $40 million.
2. ENERGYneering Solutions
The story of ENERGYneering Solutions isn't that of rapid, explosive movement towards success Hollywood is so fond of, but rather of a steady, measured march. Benny and Julie Benson are a couple united not only in marriage, but in their passion for engineering, renewable energy and making the world better.
Not liking the lifestyle they saw around themselves, they not only moved to another location, but did their best to improve the situation nationwide: first designing bio-gas plants for others and then starting their own company dedicated to the idea of renewable energy. Today ENERGYneering Solutions is responsible for more than 50 renewable energy plants, powering more than 150,000 households.
3. International Fulfilment Solutions
Contrary to how it may sometimes seem, not all startups deal with high-tech or IT, not by a long shot. Resourceful people like Devin Johnson are more than capable to bring something new into such age-old industries as cargo shipping. Starting out with a humble goal of providing a livelihood for his growing family, he now runs a million-dollar business.
4. Secret Escapes
Secret Escapes is company that works with four- and five-star hotels to persuade them to sell their unoccupied rooms at up to 70 percent discounts and then persuades people who wouldn't otherwise go for a trip to do so, generating income from rooms that otherwise would've remained unused.
It is a startup of a kind we are more used to today: based on digital technology, heavily utilizing mobile traffic and finding their clients via the Internet. Starting as a UK-only company, since its inception in 2010 it expanded into Germany, Italy, the United States and a number of other countries.
Today Reddit may be called the front page of the Internet and one of the most visited websites in the world, but its beginnings were much less glamorous - to the extent that its founders had to create an army of fake accounts to set the tone of the site and simulate bustling activity there.
Startup success is not always a prime source material for movies - sometimes the scale isn't epic enough, sometimes there is not much epic stuff about what is being done as well - which doesn't mean that these stories hold no fascination of their own.