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5 Must Watch Netflix Movies and Documentaries About Business and Entrepreneurship

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netflix movies and documentaries about business and entrepreneurship
Image Credit: The Pursuit of Happiness

We all love to sit down after a long day of work, unwind, and turn on some of our favorite shows. Whether it’s humor, drama, or something more educational you’re after, your favorite streaming service is likely to have plenty of options. But what if you’re like a lot of us, and love the world of business, finance, and entrepreneurship, and your idea of entertainment is sitting down for 1-2 hours and becoming entrenched in the latest movie or documentary that delves into the world’s biggest corporations, the most prolific entrepreneurs, or simply a story of struggle that results in success. Well, then Netflix has plenty to sink your teeth into.

Below we have listed 5 of our favorite Netflix movies and documentaries that touch on the world of business and entrepreneurship:

1. Inside Bills Brain

One of the most talked about docuseries of 2019 has been “Inside Bills Brain”, where Oscar winning director, David Guggenheim, sits down with the founder of Microsoft to talk among many things, what makes Bill Gates tick, the rise of Microsoft, and how he is working to eradicate some of the worlds biggest problems. It’s rare that we get such intimate access to an individual like Gates, however the 3-part series does an incredible job of pinpointing what makes his mind different, and the characteristics he possesses that makes him one of the world’s richest men.

2. The Pursuit of Happiness

One of the most inspiring movies of the 00’s, The Pursuit of Happiness, touches on the trials and tribulations of Chris Gardner, and how he pushed through the bad times to ultimately become successful. Gardner, a single father who is evicted from his home, takes an unpaid internship at a prestigious San Francisco brokerage firm, all while going from shelter to shelter and enduring many hardships with the hope of one day being financially free and being able to provide for his son. Eventually landing a full-time job at the same brokerage, the movie ends with Gardner getting a taste of what it truly means to be happy. A touching story that is a great lesson in what it often takes in order to taste success.

3. Maddman: The Steve Madden Story

Maddman: The Steve Madden Story is a fascinating chronicle of the ups and downs of entrepreneurship and life. While many of us know Steve Madden from his distinctively designed shoes, and his character in the 2014 movie, “The Wolf of Wall Street”, this documentary gives us an insight into the mind and character of Madden, his successes, failures, and lessons learnt along the way.

From working in a New York shoe store as a kid, to launching his own brand with just $1100 in his bank account, to getting involved with the now infamous Jordan Belfort, to being sentenced to 41 months in federal prison, and eventually getting out and bringing the Steve Madden brand back to its glory days, this documentary is an enthralling watch for anybody who has an entrepreneurial bone in their body.

4. Silicon Cowboys

An underrated, yet brilliant documentary on how Compaq, and it’s three founders, who in 1982, took on the Goliath that was IBM at the height of its PC dominance. While IBM had a firm stranglehold on the personal computer market throughout the early 1980s, few would have predicted that three guys from Texas would be the ones to put the multi-billion-dollar corporation on the back foot. How did they do this?

Through innovation, a lot of hard work, and ultimately providing the consumer with something new and convenient, a portable PC, the first of its kind. The documentary chronicles the rise, and ultimately the fall of Compaq, but at its core, tells the story of how important Compaq was to the progression of personal computers as we know it. It is often said that without Compaq, there would be no iPhone. A must watch for all gritty entrepreneurs who themselves have hopes of one day shaking up an industry that is dominated by one player.

5. Hank: Five Years from the Brink

If you’re looking for a feel-good entrepreneurial rag to riches story, then this hour-long documentary about the 2008 financial crisis probably isn’t for you. However, what it lacks in entrepreneurial and fundamental startup case studies, it makes up for in lessons of greed and corporate mismanagement, which are essential pitfalls to avoid when starting your own business.

Hank Paulson, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, and then Treasury Secretary of the United States, walks the audience through what it was like being at the center of one of the largest financial collapses in modern history, a time when we saw investment banks such as Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, and Wachovia disappear overnight. While it isn’t in the same lane when it comes to grittiness like The Pursuit of Happiness, or Silicon Cowboys, it does provide many lessons and offers a unique insight into corporate America at a time where the entire financial landscape changed across the World.

Throughout the years, there have been many movies and documentaries that have been showcased on Netflix that revolve around Business and entrepreneurship, however, we decided to make sure this list only contained movies and documentaries that are currently available on the streaming platform. Let us know what you think of our list, and if you’ve happened to have watched any of the above, what you thought.

Michael is a Brand Manager at SelfMade, one of New York City's fastest-growing startups, where he helps eCommerce businesses scale online. When he is not helping eCommerce companies scale their businesses, he is writing for Entrepreneur Magazine, Business.com, and running TechPress, an online PR database he created to help thousands of startups get their business featured in the news more often.

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