Are you a budding entrepreneur or a business owner? Grab your popcorn and settle down to watch these inspiring documentaries…
1. Burt’s Buzz
Lip balm, body butter, shampoo, conditioner, hand cream, foot lotion, eye cream, hair treatment, aftershave lotion, toothpaste, cuticle cream… When he became a beekeeper, Burt Shavitz never imagined he’d one day be producing all of these products and more – let alone be co-founder of a billion-dollar international brand. Burt’s Bees buzzed into the world in 1984 and was sold in 2007 for more than $900 million. This documentary takes a look at the life of Burt and highlights the importance of working with the right people. It delves into his complex relationship with co-founder Roxanne Quimby, who ultimately bought him out and sold the business on.
2. Jiro Dreams of Sushi
“You have to love your job,” says Jiro One, owner of a tiny Michelin-starred sushi restaurant in a Tokyo subway station. Described as a ‘work of art’, this documentary focuses on the world’s greatest sushi chef, who has been declared by Japan as a national treasure. Even at the age of 85, he still strives for perfection and to reach the top – even though, by his own recognition, no one knows where the top is. The takeaway from this documentary is that you can’t have a successful business without passion. Passion and, in Jiro’s case, an obsession with sliced fish.
When it comes to work, what motivates you? Money? Job satisfaction? Holidays? Climbing the ladder? This documentary is based on the bestselling book by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, and explores the economic and scientific notions behind human behaviour. The bottom line? Incentives matter. If you can figure out what your customers/employees/colleagues want, you stand a good chance of figuring out how they will behave.
4. Steve Jobs: One Last Thing
Dropout. Creator. Misfit. Inventor. Failure. Hero. Tyrant. Rebel. Visionary. Genius. Throughout his life, Steve Jobs was called many things. Whatever your opinion of the late co-founder, chairman and CEO of Apple, you’ve got to respect his drive, talent and imagination. This documentary looks at one of the most esteemed entrepreneurs and designers of our time. In it, he says: “Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact, and that is: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you… the minute that you understand that, you can poke life… you can change it, you can mould it… that’s maybe the most important thing.” Inspiring.
5. Management by Inspiration – Seattle’s World Famous Pike Place Fish Market
You may have already seen the most watched training video in the world, which outlines the ‘Fish! Philosophy’. It shows happy, laughing, high-energy fishmongers throwing fish around the Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle, much to the delight of its customers. The video highlights four things you need to do to have a successful business and, above all, enjoy your job:
– Make someone’s day
– Be there
– Choose your attitude.
The ‘Management by Inspiration’ film includes interviews with John Yokoyama, owner of Pike Place Fish Market, and Jim Bergquist, business coach for the market. Using the spirit of teamwork, positivity, commitment and fun, they turned a smelly fish market that was close to bankruptcy into a world-famous tourist destination that attracts more than 10,000 visitors a day. You could learn a lot from them.
6. Print the Legend
3D printing – where objects can be made using a computer – is changing the world. Apparently, if you can dream it, you can print it. This new technology is being used for fashion (3D-printed trainers, anyone?), for medical science (such as 3D-printed prosthetics) and, unfortunately, also for malice (gun designs can now be downloaded and 3D-printed). This documentary explores the ugly side of starting and owning a business. As well as the terrifying gun issue, it outlines what founders of 3D-printing businesses MakerBot and Formlabs had to sacrifice in order to succeed.
7. Crafting a Nation
What are the most important factors when starting a business? Investors and a watertight business plan? No! Dedication and passion. Crafting a Nation follows a number of craft breweries, where the owners have these two things in spades. They work hard, face struggles head on and don’t give up on their dreams. The documentary also looks at the positive impact these businesses have on their communities – like employing local farmers to grow hops. Anyone for a brew?