Hollywood loves a good story, and what better story is there than a story about someone facing the struggles of trying to succeed in business? From scrappy underdogs trying to succeed against powerful, established competitors to simple explorations of the daily struggles faced by business, there are dozens of classic movies about the business of doing business. There are a number of important lessons any budding new entrepreneur can learn from Hollywood's version of business as depicted in these movies.
Here are ten movies every entrepreneur should watch. Some are educational, some are cautionary, some are a bit of both, but all of them have important lessons for you:
1. Wall Street (1987)
Filmed at the height of Reagan presidency, this movie informed a generation of young business people that 'Greed is good". An object lesson in what happens when you shed all traces of morality in the pursuit of money and power, this movie is a perfect reminder that giving up your principals for money comes with a high price.
2. Joy (2015)
A woefully unappreciated and not widely known movie about how one women completely revolutionized the mop industry in the 1990s. This movie tells the story of Joy Mangano, whose invention of the Miracle Mop self-wringing mop turned her into a millionaire. Her story is an inspirational must-see movie for anyone who considers themselves a market disruptor.
3. The Social Network (2010)
Although largely fictionalized, this account of the founding and eventual success of Facebook is an inspirational story of how true entrepreneurs face challenges. The movie teaches important lessons about the need to be resilient yet flexible enough to change direction when needed.
4. Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
A perfect time-capsule of the cutthroat world of Chicago real estate during the early 1980s - the movie is based on David Mamet's Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name - this movie is a lesson in what happens when business values money, and sales, above all else. A perfect lesson in how not to run a sales department.
5. Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999)
A made-for-television exploration of the early days of Apple and Microsoft, and the fluctuating love-hate relationship between company founders Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. An inspirational story with quite a few useful pointers for entrepreneurs.
6. Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
An inspirational movie based on the true story of Chris Gardner, who rose from desperate poverty and homelessness to become a Wall Street legend. Gardner's story is the story of how you can never give up on a dream regardless of what obstacles may come your way.
7. Moneyball (2011)
The true story of how Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane disrupted baseball by using computer-generated analysis to recruit players and build a powerhouse team. His use of overall career statistics - rather than recent performance - to recruit players revolutionized baseball.
8. Jerry Maguire (1996)
Jerry Macquire tells the story of a highly successful sports agent who seemingly has it all but comes to realize that a career built solely around money and success is an empty one. He comes to question the value of his work, and his life, and gives it all up for a chance to follow his dream of working as an independent agent who values client relationships above simply getting richer. A lesson in how following your dream can be much more fulfilling than simply chasing money.
9. Steve Jobs (2015)
A relatively unflinching look at Apple founder Steve Jobs, this movie details both his success and his failures, and his struggle to keep Apple a leader in tech innovation. Jobs' story is both inspirational to entrepreneurs and a cautionary tale of what happens when one man becomes the very soul of the business they founded - and what happens when that person leaves the company. A must-see for every entrepreneur.
10. Office Space (1999)
A perfect microcosm of the modern office cube farm - complete with disrespectful, clueless management and tedious, mind-numbing routine - that has created the rise of the modern entrepreneur. An inspirational tale of how one man leads an in-office revolution on a bold chance to break out of his existential workplace hell. Several valuable lessons in this movie including the value of daring to break free of your mind-numbing office job and follow your own path. Also carries a powerful message about the importance of wearing the right amount of flair at all times.
What are your top ten movies for entrepreneurs?