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This article was published on January 31, 2012

10 iconic films that every entrepreneur should see

10 iconic films that every entrepreneur should see
Scott Gerber
Story by

Scott Gerber

Scott Gerber is the founder of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young Scott Gerber is the founder of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.

For better or for worse, art often imitates life and vice versa. Films like Jerry McGuire, Bad Company and Swimming With Sharks have become iconic depictions of what it’s like to navigate the corporate world while TV shows like Entourage give us a glimpse into what it’s like to be a movie star.

So what are those must-see movies every aspiring entrepreneur should see? Here are 10 recommendations from 10 young entrepreneurs.

1. ‘Wall Street’ With Michael Douglas

“The original Wall Street (1987) movie is a classic, as is Scarface (watch your ego!), and The Corporation— a documentary that chronicles what happens when you give a corporation the same legal rights as a person, but none of the same responsibilities or accountability.”

Matt Mickiewicz, 99designs

2. ‘Lorenzo’s Oil’

Lorenzo’s Oil is an incredibly inspirational true story about two parents who find the cure to their son’s rare disease with no background in medicine whatsoever, while struggling with scorn and skepticism from the mainstream scientific community. Innovation, perseverance and unreasonable clarity of vision in the face of adversity are the hallmarks of the true entrepreneur.”

Arjun Arora, ReTargeter

3. ‘The Matrix’

“This movie is iconic among technologists and entrepreneurs. It is a film that celebrates futuristic technologies, and there are abstract parallels between “The One” and being a fearless entrepreneur. Both lead a company along the right path and must bob in and out of dangers in the “matrix” of the (business) world.”

Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.

4. ‘Working Girl’

“Don’t let the 80s hair and a young Harrison Ford fool you: Working Girl is the movie for anyone who has ever felt that playing by the rules won’t get you ahead. This movie really does show what happens when you have the strength of character to break the rules — and take the consequences. It’s a lesson every entrepreneur needs to learn.”

Thursday Bram, Hyper Modern Consulting

5. Learn From the ‘Swiss Family Robinson’

“Tech entrepreneurs need to look outside of their environment for inspiration. This movie encompasses the resourcefulness, tenacity, and willingness to experiment needed to lead a successful venture. While this Disney classic isn’t a Silicon Valley thriller, there is something to be said about surviving against the odds in uncharted territory — sound familiar?”

Tony Navarro, Streamcal

6. ‘Startup.com’

“Check out this 2001 documentary that traces the birth and failure of government streamlining startup GovWorks.com. This movie provides a great perspective on what it’s really like to start a business and the numerous intangibles that are never taught in college. From clashing business partners, to rounds of capital investment, to intense marketplace competition, this flick has it all.”

Benjamin Leis, Sweat EquiTees

7. ‘The YES Movie’

“This is the film that exposes the secrets of today’s youngest millionaires. It is like The Secret on steroids meets MTV. It profiles the stories of several young entrepreneurs and how they made millions of dollars just by following their dreams and acting on simple ideas they capitalized on. Very inspirational and entertaining.”

Louis Lautman, Young Entrepreneur Society

8. ‘The Social Network’

“I find the movie The Social Network a great inspiration for tech entrepreneurs. From generating the original business idea, determining what features it may include, applying for funding, hiring a staff, etc., this story breaks down many of the natural growth phases that a tech startup experiences throughout their lifecycle. Pirates of Silicon Valley is also fun.”

Ryan Holmes, HootSuite

9. ‘Ghostbusters’

“Secretly, the movie Ghostbusters is all about being an entrepreneur. From starting your company to finding your first customer to marketing your business, Ghostbusters is chock full of business lessons with a side of great entertainment.”

Tim Jahn, Entrepreneurs Unpluggd

10. ‘Middle Men’

Middle Men stars Luke Wilson and takes your on an exciting journey through the late 90’s when the Internet began as a new means of commerce. This movie is highly entertaining and provides insight on the “Wild West” days of the Internet, perfect for any tech entrepreneur.”

Anthony Saladino, Kitchen Cabinet Kings

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