Early-stage entrepreneurs need to pull inspiration from all kinds of places; how about the movies? Here's a list of movies that are perfect for just the right time or right situation you might face with your high growth startup.
Instead of a coffee...: Having trouble getting charged up for that very important first customer meeting, or need to inspire the team when you've had a tough week? War movies show the purest form of competition and Gladiator has the best opening of any. "Unleash(ing) hell" on the competition is a good thing! (Honorable Mention: Jerry Maguire. How often do you think "help me, help you"?)
Feeling down? Whatever unexpected challenges the market has thrown at you this week, you are still in better shape than the guys in Apollo 13. Watch it for the inspiring examples of the principles you face every day: 1) the best laid plans don't always work, so be ready to adapt quickly, 2) it's amazing what you can do with just a few resources, and3) there's a lot to learn, even positive outcomes, from "failure". (Honorable mention: Rudy, for the principle that "hard word really matters".)
Reminder: Execution is everything. The 2000 movie Memento starring Guy Pearce was a mind-blower. The story is interesting, but it's the delivery (read: execution) that brings the movie to life. Any other execution and the movie still would have been very entertaining, but the way it was told revolutionized the experience, brought a totally new kind of innovation to storytelling, and changed the way I think about movies to this day. (Honorable mentions for similar executional surprises: Pulp Fiction and Crash.)
Worth more than I paid. We all want to get the pricing that will allow us to generate healthy profits, but to do so you need to deliver value beyond what you'd expect for the money. Avatar (the 3D version) wins. I paid $38 for my entire family to see this and wow, 3 hours of pure entertainment later, I would have paid double. (Honorable mention: The recent Percy Jackson and the Olympians movie, for being infinitely better than most kids' movies. Last summer's The Hangover was worth gold.)
It's very cool to be an entrepreneur. There are so many movies that can summarize why entrepreneurship is worth the trip, but my absolute favorite is Risky Business. It's the ending I especially love. The students who are members of Young Enterprises Club present the summaries, and outcomes, of their businesses. Most of the students sell somewhat familiar things (like new paper towel holders) and earn a profit, albeit small. Joel deals in a riskier world, and he grosses a lot more money than his fellow students. Risky business he was in, and he wasn't sure how it would work out, but he took the gamble and got the big payoff. Products aside (obviously, as our clients' products are legal), JumpStart clients are in this same world -- risky, scary businesses that could lead to big payoff, but only after taking big risk. Brilliantly fun. (Honorable mention: None - It's in a category all its own)
What movies would you add to the list?
Cathy Belk is the Chief Marketing Officer of JumpStart. She specializes in branding, marketing communications, and business management. She brings 16+ years of experience in a variety of marketing and business roles, but gets her energy from working daily with entrepreneurs and their growing companies.