As an entrepreneur, you’re no doubt in constant search of new ways to grow your business. But who wants to slog through another lengthy how-to book on the entrepreneurial process?
The online movie and TV service has a vast cache of business and tech documentaries that anyone can watch instantly. The topics range from profiles of great innovators like Steve Jobs and Henry Ford to the psychology behind human behavior.
Here are the 10 best documentaries every aspiring entrepreneur should watch,
This documentary has become a reference on how not to do things, including why $50 million in funding doesn’t necessarily mean success and how it can all be lost in a year if your product is weak. Learn valuable lessons from crucial mistakes made in the areas of strategy, human resources, finance, marketing, operations and IT.
Follow two old Harvard classmates and observe the rise and fall of their dot com startup during the course of one year, just as the Internet bubble was bursting.
Where to watch: iTunes | Vudu
2. Steve Jobs – One Last Thing
This documentary was produced by PBS and aired shortly after Steve Jobs’ death in 2011. It presents a balanced look at the often complex life of the Apple founder, featuring interviews with Ross Perot, Dean Hovey (who designed Apple’s first mouse), and even an interview with Jobs himself that was previously thought to have been lost.
It’s less than an hour long and will undoubtedly leave you appreciating Jobs’ marketing genius.
3. Jiro Dreams of Sushi
The 2011 documentary “Jiro Dreams Of Sushi” profiles Jiro Ono, a Japanese sushi chef and restaurant owner who is widely revered for his skill and $300-a-plate dinners. It follows the now 90-year-old master as he works with vendors to secure the finest ingredients, manages and mentors his staff, and prepares his son to succeed him when he retires. The movie brings viewers inside the dedication, obsession, and decades of hard work it takes to achieve perfection.
4. Freakonomics The Movie
The filmmakers weave brief, diverse tales aimed at answering the question: What really makes people do what they do? Will the possibility of a financial reward encourage students to improve their grades? Will sumo wrestlers cheat if given the incentive to do so? The answers are always entertaining and often surprising.
Will trigger a creative thought and help understand your customers more.
Napster and its creators are the stars in Downloaded, a 2013 film about the rise of file sharing on the internet. Viewers learn how the company developed, about the impact it made on the music industry, and how it was eventually acquired by Rhapsody. Most important, we hear the narrative from multiple perspectives –Napster’s founders as well as musical artists and legal experts.
Where to watch: Netflix | Vudu
6. Beer Wars
Watch how a group of small craft brewers attempt to crack the market share of beer-giants like as Anheuser-Busch – the makers of Budweiser, Stella Artois and Becks. Nothing is more important than the quality of your product. Make it the best, and tell the world that you’re truly superior than the competition.
7. The Startup Kids
Made by two Icelandic entrepreneurs, this documentary puts the spotlight on several young startup founders (Vimeo, Dropbox, Foodspotting, Soundcloud, Kiip and many more) revealing what drives them to do what they do. You will learn what it takes to make it as a startup even if everyone is saying “no” to you.
8. Something Ventured
“Something Ventured” portrays some of the most successful and prolific venture capitalists, who through genius or luck made big early-stage bets on tech companies like Apple, Google, Atari, and Intel.
For a crash course in venture capital or a modern business history lesson, this 2011 documentary shows how entrepreneurs partnered with investors to build some of the greatest American companies.
Back in 1998 two young investment bankers founded Kozmo.com – a one-hour delivery service of dvds, food, video games, alcohol, magazines and more. See how a company went from new sensation to liquidation within a 2 year period thanks to the dot-com bubble. How a great forward-thinking idea may not work if the public are not ready for it yet.
Where to watch: Netflix
10. The Director
Produced by James Franco’s company Rabbit Bandini, “The Director” goes behind the scenes of world-renowned fashion house Gucci.
It follows the career of Italian fashion designer and Gucci creative director Frida Giannini. Viewers see how a collection goes from concept to runway to closets, and can learn a lot about building a venerable brand.