Movies are a great source of inspiration, and while there is no dearth of good fictional movies, what really inspires me are biographies. Fiction requires a powerful imagination and have strengths of their own, but true stories are the ones that make the real kill.
It is an awe-inspiring feeling to know what I am seeing did ‘actually’ happen, with real people, in the real world. So, with enormous difficulty, I am listing down a few among the many great bio-pics that I would recommend every entrepreneur to watch and learn from:
1. Tucker: The Man and His Dream
It recounts the life story of Preston Tucker, the automotive genius behind ‘Tucker 48’, a car which was way ahead of its time. In fact, many of the safety features that you see in contemporary cars were inherited from original Tucker 48 sedan.
Many of you might not have heard of this powerful biography, but some of its scenes are worth watching at least a few times. As young startups try to stand tall against incumbents, Tucker stood against all major automobile manufacturers to fight for this dream.
2. The Aviator
This is my favorite movie from this list and it is not because of either the director or the actors. Although that might be playing some part at subconscious level, it is the courageous and risk taking personality of Howard Hughes that amazed me.
I can’t imagine a more interesting life than that of Howard Hughes. There’s practically nothing that he didn’t do. He made movies, designed and flew aircraft, ran his business and invented stuff. He wasn’t afraid to take risks and defy conventions to make his way - qualities every great entrepreneur should possess.
3. American Gangster
Now this might seem like an unusual entry in this list, but wait till you watch it. Don’t be fooled. This movie is much more than a story of a gangster. Frank Lucas did not attend any school to learn how to build or run a business. He used his common sense, street smarts and skills to build an empire.
It will show you what resourcefulness and sheer determination can do. No doubt, he chose an illegal path but what is worth seeing in this movie is not what he did but how he did it, to perfection.
4. The Social Network
It is based on founding story of Facebook and shows how Mark Zuckerberg took it from his dorm room to a company worth billions of dollars. Although it was a bit over-dramatized, you get to experience the Zuck’s way of thinking and his attitude towards everything.
True, he did some things that were not ideal and you might even hate him for that. Hate him or love him, you'll be impressed with how fast he transformed the way we network.
5. Pirates of Silicon Valley
It covers the early days of two of the biggest tech companies, Apple and Microsoft, what the founders did before starting the companies and how they fought their way to the top.
Watch it to see the eccentricities of both Jobs and Gates. It is difficult to choose the best part of this movie. It is filled with great pieces, like the scene in which Gates got the IBM deal or the one in which he convinced Jobs that they were not working on Windows (when in reality they were). It’s a must watch for anyone in the tech industry.
6. The Pursuit of Happiness
It is based on the struggling period of Chris Gardner’s life. This was my first movie from this list and is probably one of the most heartwarming and motivational movies I’ve ever watched.
Watch this movie to experience the journey of a determined man fighting all odds to realize his dream. You can not come out of this movie feeling uninspired, that much I can guarantee.
7. The Wolf of Wall Street
It covers the true story of the outlandish rise and eventual fall of Jordan Belfort. He was an honest Wall Street broker in the beginning, but he soon transformed into a corrupt one. What you see on screen is the perfect combination of greed and ambition.
What amazed me most was how he convinced others to join him in the beginning. He took some not-so-smart folks and turned them into superstar salesman. If you have ever tried to hire someone yourself, you know that is not an easy task .