This morning I attended the press screening for The Social Network together with 80+ journalists, representatives from Sony and security guys in night goggles who patrolled the isles looking for hidden photo or video cameras. I think the journalists liked it. They seemed to enjoy the movie and LOLed regularly.
Me? I was blown away.
Seriously. I left the theatre after the movie ended, walked back to the office all dazed and confused with red eyes and a hot head. I think this movie marks a definitive turning point for us. For everybody? No, just ‘us’. I mean the people who read this blog, the people I call my friends and the entrepreneurs who work in our industry. That is ‘us’.
Let me explain: I started working with the web in 1996, launched my first company in 1997, sold it in 1999, became a paper millionaire, lost everything in 2001, started another company, sold it in 2003, made a lot of money, started a new company, then The Next Web and a whole bunch of other companies. I’m pretty sure I’m a paper millionaire again.
But besides all that, I absofuckinglutely and totally love with what I do. There are no words to describe the thrill of working with the most important invention of all time: The Internet. In fact, not just ‘working with’ the Internet but making possible, growing, reporting on and playing a part in it.
Not that I didn’t try to explain it to other people. In 1996 people simply didn’t understand. In 1999 they didn’t understand either but they noticed that there was some money to be made. In 2001 they sighed in relief because the thing they didn’t understand apparently turned to shit and seemed to drag all those damn geeks with it. In 2003 they wondered why I was still doing what I did but I still had a hard time explaining why I loved my work so much.
Now, in 2010 you would think they would understand. But no, I still get people who seriously ask me ‘How the hell will facebook ever make money’ or ‘I don’t get Twitter and all those people who need to tweet what they are having for breakfast’. I don’t exactly blame them for being ignorant dinosaurs but damn, they don’t make life easier either.
Now back to the movie and why I think it is so cool: the reason it is so incredibly mesmerizing to watch, the reason I’m going to send my friends, family, hell, even enemies too is because David Fincher (the director) did such an amazing job of catching exactly why I love the work I do. Never before have I seen a movie /show/book catch the thrill of working on start-ups, writing code or blogposts and seeing the world interact with your inventions. This movie is going to do for tech entrepreneurship what Wall Street did for Wall Street.
That is the reason why I came out shaking and close to tears. Not tears of sadness but of happiness. I felt invigorated, energized and ready to go back to work and try to change the world.
So, are you a geek, an entrepreneur, do you like the Web and think it will be ever better in the future? Are you thinking about starting a business or are you running one? Do you like, dislike or don’t even know Mark Zuckerberg? Are you on facebook, twitter or still holding back? Then drop what you are doing and go watch this movie.