Jobs is a 2013 film that depicts Steve Jobs’ rise from a college dropout to one of the greatest entrepreneurs of the last century. The movie does not provide an attractive portrait of the man who co-founded Apple Computer and invented such history-changing products as the personal computer, the iPod, and the iPad. The film does show how Jobs combined drive and vision to change the world and become awesomely rich while doing it. Jobs is also a cautionary tale about the human cost of pursuing a vision to the exclusion of all else.
2. The Pursuit of Happiness
The Pursuit of Happyness is the real-life story of how Chris Gardner, a salesman, undertakes a career change to become an investment broker. Gardner was not only a single father, but, for a while during his unpaid internship, he was homeless. However, he did not let those impediments stop him on his way to acquiring a better life. He also learned that being himself, even if it turned out to be off-putting during the interview process, helped to make him stand out for people who might help him along the way.
Moneyball depicts how the Oakland As general manager, Billy Beane, assembled a winning baseball team by thinking outside the box, a key quality for any successful entrepreneur. Before Beane, talent scouts would choose players based on intangible factors, such as the angle of a swing or even if a potential player had an ugly girlfriend, suggesting a lack of self confidence. Beane recognized that the cash-strapped Oakland team would not be able to compete with more well-heeled teams such as the New York Yankees if it kept recruiting players the old-fashioned way. So he developed a computer-generated analysis system based solely on statistical data to evaluate potential players. In so doing, he changed the face of professional baseball.
4. Any Given Sunday
The entrepreneur can get two lessons out of this run-of-the-mill sports drama. First, when opportunity knocks, open the door. The movie is about how a third-string quarterback is put into the game after the starter is taken out by an injury. The third stringer uses the chance that was given him to prove that he has the ability to be a pro football player. The film also shows how motivation can be a key to success. Watch Al Pacino’s speech to the team to show how a leader motivates his people to perform above and beyond how they think they can.
Ronin, a story of spies and special ops commandos forced to work in the private sector after the end of the Cold War, demonstrates how to deal with three frustrations an entrepreneur often faces. First, one often runs into people who think they know what they’re doing but really don’t. The second is best expressed by the character played by Robert De Niro when he says, “Whenever there is doubt, there is no doubt.” What he means by that is that if something seems wrong but one cannot put one’s finger on it, it probably is wrong. Finally, everyone likes to be paid what one is worth.
6. Draft Day
Draft Day is a movie that is supposed to be about football but is really about negotiation and knowing what you want. Kevin Costner’s character has to decide exactly the kind of players he needs to rebuild the Cleveland Browns football team. The savvy entrepreneur should also pay attention to the scene in which Costner’s character uses hardball tactics and psychology in a fast-paced negotiation to get the players he needs. Every entrepreneur will be faced with a similar situation, likely more than once, on the way to being a success.
7. Sea Biscuit
The main lesson imparted by Seabiscuit is how teamwork can transform a group that as individuals are subpar into something that can win big. The film is the true story of how a horse that seemed too small and too lame to perform was transformed by an owner, a trainer, and a jockey, each with their own problems, to become a champion thoroughbred racehorse, winning the Triple Crown in 1937. The effort turned the people who were involved into winners, as well.
What do you think of the list? Which inspirational movie should have made the list? Which movie should not be on? Comment below.