10 inspirational cult movies for startuppers

Team building and know-how: the foundations to motivate a startup and make it confident and winning

The strenght of a young startup often does not lie in its founding idea, but rather within its team. If you have some experience in this field, you will surely agree that trust in one’s buddy startupper is of utmost importance to achieve your goals.

What makes the difference are the people: the ability to self-discipline and the courage to start afresh  when you realize you have gone through the wrong direction, are essential attitudes. It is also an advantage to be a dreamer, optimist and have role models to follow.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”
T.A. Edison

In the last 2012 Academy Awards Ceremony, one of the nominee for best motion picture was Moneyball , directed by Bennett Miller and starring Brad Pitt: a powerful movie based on a true story about a baseball team’s general manager, that being on a tight budget, employs complex statistical analysis to engage the best possible players and start winning again.

Movies are often source of inspiration for a startup, as well are team sports -like basketball or rugby- in which the team building process is important: the real strenght in a group of people comes from the different sets of values and skills that make the difference when they are blended together.

Trust and respect towards the teammates, accurate strategies, but also individual intuition, the will to dream and the ability to see opportunities in defeat: these principles in team sports are the same a young startup needs to look for.

Here you are, then, 10 of the best inspirational cult movies, that show important behavioural and motivational know-how for young entrepreneurs. The movies are randomly ranked.

1. Tucker, The Man And His Dream (1988)

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Synopsis: The story of Preston Tucker, that fails to accomplish his dream to revolutionize the car industry with a project he made
Message: You will encounter unnumerable obstacles on your path. You will need courage to dream and to overcome those obstacles, making the best out of failures.

2. Antitrust (2001)

Director: Peter Howitt
Synopsis: Gary Winston, a computer science tycoon, is in trouble: his empire is turning into a monopoly. Helped by young computer geniuses and regardless of his trials, he keeps on working on Synapse, a new global communication system. Some of these young men die in mysterious circumstances, and the smarter of all, Milo, starts to understand…
Message: Beginning a startup is often more satisfactory than being an employee

3. Invictus (2009)

Director: Clint Eastwood
Synopsis: Nelson Mandela, after the end of apartheid, becomes President of South Africa. In 1995 the African Nation hosts the Rugby World Cup for the first time, and the South Africa Rugby Team participates after a 15 years ban. The unifying strenght of the Nation and the racial integration practiced by Mandela leads the National Team to the World Cup victory, thanks also to his captain, Francois Pienaar.
Message: Unity makes strenght, and motivation in most cases is the foundation to success

4. Jerry Maguire (1996)

Director: Cameron Crowe
Synopsis: A young and brilliant sports agent, Maguire, after a long ethical consideration on his job, he understands that money is not all in life and describes his ideas to his bosses. After being fired, he starts from scratch with only one client, a football player, and a young assistant.
Message: The movie transmits honesty, loyalty and ability to overcome failures, as well as courage and consistency to achieve success

5. Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999)

Director: Martyn Burke
Synopsis: The story of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, with flashbacks fromSteve Wozniack and Steve Ballmer
Message: Very inspirational, it makes clear how as a leader, it is sometimes hard to pay attention to the people under you

6. Startup.com (2001)

Director: Chris Hegedus, Jehane Noujaim
Synopsis: A documentary that portraits the birth and failure of a media company, govWorks.org
Message: Beginning a startup is often like riding a rollercoaster

7. The Social Network (2010)

Director: David Fincher
Synopsis: Mark Zuckerberg and the birth of the most famous social network in the world, Facebook, together with its burocratic and legal issues that led to the social phenomenon we are witnessing
Message: Stop procrastinating, work hard, and you can change things around, finally acheiving your goals.

8. Wall Street (1987)

Director: Oliver Stone
Synopsis: Bud Fox, young and ambitous stockbroker, in order to reach Wall Street stardome, provides inside information to Gordon Gekko, a seasoned, rich and ruthless broker. In a confrontation with his honest, hard working father, Bud finds out that Gekko is taking over the airplane factory where his dad works.
Message: Greed has its price

9. August (2008)

Director: Austin Chick
Synopsis: Tom Sterling is a young entrepreneur from New York in crisis with his girlfriend Sarrah. Moreover, his company is risking to be crushed due to the Wall Street drop after the 9/11 attack. Won’t be an easy task for Tom trying to put the pieces together and resist these adverse situation
Message:  Creating a startup means being prepared to face every kind of problem, even if they are unexpected

10. Revolution OS (2001)

Director: J.T.S. Moore
Synopsis: This documentary traces back the 20 years of free software, open source and GNU/Linux movement. Notorious hacker and entrepreneurs are interviewed, while accusations are moved towards Microsoft.
Message: It does not bear a proper message, but it shows the dynamics and the circumstances that lead people or products to revolutionize a market and a generation

Now all you have to do is placing yourselves and your buddy startupper in front of a 40″ screen and make the best out of these movies. If you have further movies to point out and tell us their plot and message, you can add them in the comments below