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5 Movies about Business: What Startups Can Learn From Them ‍


If you like watching movies about self-development and business success stories more than you do reading about them, then you're going to love this article! 

On our list are some of the most intriguing, emotionally accurate, and wildly entertaining cinematic masterpieces that tell about the plight of five entrepreneurs. 

They reveal the secrets to successful negotiations, convey the tactics behind crisis management, uncover the truth behind corporate finance, and examine the rise and fall of real-life startups. 

Although most of these movies are fictional, there's a lot you can learn from these money-minded flicks from the comfort of your couch, from entrepreneurship skills to personal sales techniques to creative problem solving up to negotiation techniques and more. 

Whether you're just getting started or are already entering the declining phase – no matter what stage you're at in your business venture – you're going to get some much-needed inspiration from these films. 

So, without further ado, here are five movies about businesses that our Fort Lauderdale SEO experts recommend you to watch.

The Top 5 Movies about Business 

1. Startup.com (2001)

Startup.com movie poster
Photo from Amazon
Business Topics Covered:Financing, capital raising, growth management, entrepreneurship, team development, and managerial abilities.

Startup.com is an exciting documentary to see if you want to understand more about the emergence and demise of internet enterprises during the dot-com boom.

It follows the story of GovWorks, a promising startup that received $60 million from Hearst Interactive Media, KKR, the New York Investment Fund, and Sapient before failing miserably due to internal mismanagement and power struggles.

It's worth seeing if you want to better understand the dot-com rise and fall.

What Can Startups Learn?

Startup.com shows us that developing business partnerships with your close friend isn't always the best idea. Just because a person is a good friend of yours does not always mean that they'll make a good business partner. 

Although some people can make it work, often, the stress a business can put on your friendship can lead to disaster.   

What we're trying to say here is that if you want to start a business with your best friend or a close friend, you need to think about it carefully and consider the following:

  • Integrity: Can your close friend be trusted?
  • Work Ethic: Is he or she willing to put in as much work, time, effort, and money as you are?
  • Persistent: Will he or she stand by your side when all else fails and remain steady through the hard times?

2. The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

The Devil Wears Prada movie poster
Photo from Alpha Coders
Business Topics Covered:Branding, sales strategies, the relevance of media, and professional growth.

The movie is about the power of success and intimidation. It is based on the actual experience of a young lady determined to make it in the publishing industry.

Despite her fashion faux pas, Andy (Anne Hathaway) is a budding writer who manages to impress Miranda Priestly (a disguised Anna Wintour portrayed by Meryl Streep), the editor-in-chief of the prominent Runway magazine (a nod to Vogue magazine).

Andy gradually learns that sitting on the heap of "the worst people ever" isn't all it's actually supposed to be and that she may have lost her innate sense of ethics and integrity along the way.

What Can Startups Learn?

The Devil Wears Prada will inspire you to take the leap of faith and pursue your ideal career. As a startup, you'll have to deal with difficult circumstances and cross unfamiliar surroundings. You have to keep in mind that hard effort always pays off in the end.

When you're passionate about your new business, giving up on something you've started from scratch won't be an option. However, as a young entrepreneur, you must understand when to quit; that is when your business is no longer making enough profit to sustain its operations.

3. Wall Street (1987)

Wall Street movie poster
Photo from IMDb
Business Topics Covered: Corporate finance, portfolio management, mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, investment legal concepts, company valuations, and business ethics.

The infamous "Greed is good" mantra was popularized by this movie. This film depicts the life of Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen), a young and ambitious stockbroker who jumps headlong into the risky 1980s stock market.

Wall Street is a story about ambition and greed. Bud Fox, the main character, idolizes Gekko (Michael Douglas) and becomes captivated with his flashy lifestyle, only to get trapped in the cruel web of insider trading.

What Can Startups Learn?

Wall Street is a story that warns us about how ambition fuelled by greed can lead you on the wrong path. 

For startups and young entrepreneurs, you can get swayed by materialism and make ethically wrong choices to get what you want.

So, when you make business decisions and are confronted with ethical issues, you always have to think twice and ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the short and long-term impact of my decisions? Will it bring harm to my company and employees?
  • Is my decision in line with my company's core values?
  • Is this the right way to achieve business success?

4. Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (2019)

Fyre movie poster
Photo from Harper's Bazaar
Business Topics Covered:Social media marketing and the importance of preparedness and contingencies.

The documentary is based on the epic flop of the Fyre Event, which was advertised as the greatest music festival ever. It was organized by Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule, and celebrities and social media influencers such as Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Emily Ratajkowski even promoted it on Instagram.

The only issue? It was all a scam planned by MacFarland, who had a habit of launching bogus business projects.

To get a sense of the scope of the fraud, you need to watch the documentary. It includes shocking revelations from Billy's unfortunate team members, festival-goers stranded on the island, and the heart-breaking story of a Bahamian restaurateur who had to spend $50,000 of her own life savings to pay her staff who was preparing and serving meals to the stranded festival-goers.

What Can Startups Learn?

The Fyre documentary is about young entrepreneurs who sold tickets to a supposedly "luxury music festival" on a posh private island. But, the entire thing ended up being a scam. 

The idea of a luxury music experience would've definitely been a great success had they only executed what they promised these festival-goers. Unfortunately, everything turned out to be a disaster. 

On a small scale, this actually happens more often than we realize. Many businesses out there are spending a lot of money on marketing and promotion but aren't really investing enough money on the actual product itself. 

When you make promises you can't keep, chances are your customers will get disappointed. As a result, they will advocate against you by leaving negative reviews, fewer people will be willing to buy from you, and your previous customers will never trust your brand again. 

As a startup, the one thing you should never do is make misleading promises or provide distorted facts. Always be honest and never exaggerate. 

To do this, you must first learn about business practices. Enrolling in a business crash course is not enough, though. You must continually educate yourself by attending business seminars, conversing with people who have actual business expertise, and seeking guidance from successful company owners.

5. Thank You For Smoking (2005)

Thank You For Smoking movie poster
Photo from IMDb
Business Topics Covered:Public relations, crisis management, marketing & advertising campaigns, corporate communications, and persuasive negotiating abilities.

Thank You For Smoking is the perfect movie for anybody looking to learn a few strategies for selling just about any product. This American satirical dark comedy film is based on Christopher Buckley's 1994 book.

It builds on the efforts of Big Tobacco's lead spokesperson, Nick Naylor, who uses vital spin techniques to lobby for cigarettes while still striving to be a role model for his 12-year-old son.

What Can Startups Learn?

Selling is an essential component of any startup business. Thank You For Smoking shows you that you can sell anything as long as you know everything there is to know about your products and the ability to persuade your audience.

For entrepreneurs, selling for the first time may be nerve-racking. However, you need to believe yourself. Once you're sold on the idea that you can effectively market your products, your business will take off. A good entrepreneur knows how to persuade others.

If you want to learn the art of persuasion, know it here: Why Persuasion Is So Important for Entrepreneurs.

Become a Successful Entrepreneur Like in the Movies

People love watching movies about wealthy billionaires and successful business people, primarily entrepreneurs aspiring to become successful in their own field of expertise. 

It's probably because we're all curious to know how the wealthy live and how they could achieve such massive success.

If you're looking for inspiration, find time to watch some of these movies and try to learn a thing or two about how to turn your startup into a success story.

For startups, films about successful individuals encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone and pursue the path less taken. 

And, if you're ready to launch your own company, don't be afraid to work with Digital Resource. We are a Fort Lauderdale SEO firm specializing in assisting startups with their digital marketing and SEO needs.

Contact us today to learn how we can help your startup grow and become a leader in your chosen niche.

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