Films Can Inspire Entrepreneurs in a Big Way
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Entrepreneurship is the buzzword these days, and disruption seems to be the norm with old rules of doing business being shattered daily and new ones being made. These disruptions are not just creating new business models but also a new generation of billionaires and leaders, who are showing the world how you don’t have to be born rich, you don’t have to be well connected rather all you need is one ‘big idea’.
The most outstanding quality of these business leaders is that they inspire thousands of others to follow in their footsteps. They have shown how perseverance and hard work can make even the most impossible of dreams come true.
One main reason why they refused to quit even when times were tough was that they had a very clear vision of what they were doing and why they were doing it.
The vision provided a direction to their business.
All meaningful companies are built upon a strong timeless vision.
The vision statement of some of the world’s best companies are as follows
“To organise the world‘s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” — Google
“To be the pulse of the planet” — Twitter
“To be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.” — Amazon
“To establish Starbucks as the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world while maintaining our uncompromising principles while we grow.”-Starbucks Coffee
Leaders with a strong focus and determination are also the ones who have been creators of companies with a strong vision.
When Raunak Singh, co-founder of 3Dexter, got into 3D printing his vision was not just to sell 3d printers but rather to educate the new generation and make them aware of the impact 3D printing would have on all things in the future and to prepare them to handle this new technology. Hence he decided to study the curriculum of the syllabuses of all boards ISC, CBSE etc and built a new curriculum which integrated 3D printing into the course structure. With a vision like that his company knew exactly where it was going and what it wanted to do.
Similarly, Kaushik Ethereal of Ethereal Machines says his purpose was clear. He was never in the business of making machines but making entrepreneurs - that is the vision he had of his company. Every business decision is based on the question - ‘Will this help us make more entrepreneurs?’ If the answer is yes then they go ahead and do it. He says a clear vision keeps us going especially when times are rough. The vision motivates us to work harder and not quit.
Great leaders inspire us in much the same way as great films do. The most successful films are those that tell a story about the tenacity, undying passion and persistence of their key characters, which are the very qualities that every entrepreneur requires too. Films like Gone With The Wind, The Shawshank Redemption, The Pursuit of Happiness have the ability to lift spirits and motivate us, just the way a good leader can.
Leaders Need Inspiration Too
Yes, these leaders inspire but what is it that inspires them and makes them do things which seem almost superhuman?
The journey of an entrepreneur is not an easy one but rather like a roller coaster ride always full of ups and downs. During such times whom do they look up to for inspiration?
Inspiration can come from the strangest of places.
Singh says that the first time he heard of 3D printing was while watching the Big Bang Theory. There was an episode that featured a 3D printer. There he saw how the characters were making their own bobblehead and miniatures with the help of 3D printers. That made him very curious about this technology and he started doing research on his own. This curiosity became a passion and soon he had a team in place and today he has a successful business of 3D printers.
So yes movies, TV shows are mediums that can teach us a lot and expand our horizons. Books are one but we cannot deny the power of these mediums too.
Rohit Asil, co-founder of Fracktal Works, a technology company says that it was the movie ‘Back to Future’ that actually inspired him and made him want to do something in that space. This was the one movie that brought him closer to technology. The movie showed how technology could make the future so exciting and motivated him to make a career in this area.
Kaushik says whenever he is faced with difficulties it is He-Man that he looks up to for inspiration. He draws his leadership lesson from He-Man and says when the world does not believe in you and the odds are against you, then like He-Man just go out there and fearlessly do what you believe in and eventually it will all work out.
These entrepreneurs were inspired by films and TV shows which helped them discover their passion and start their businesses.
Films & Firms
Films and firms may look like they belong to two completely different areas but actually, they are so similar and both draw inspirations from each other. It takes years of hard work to make a movie and a few minutes by viewers to write it off as a flop. The same goes for companies. Firms have come into existence after watching films and films are being made by watching firms (The Wolf of Wall Street, The Social Network).
Lastly be it films or firms each one whether a hit or a flop has a lot to teach us and each film and film-maker is an inspiration.