Watch this before you start your startup!

Sometimes you have to make sacrifices in your job, that’s exactly what I had to do when researching this piece… These are some of my favourite movies, tv shows and games to learn about startups!

Photo by Krists Luhaers on Unsplash

The Social Network ( 2010 )

Check out The Social Network (2010) on IMDb

Perhaps the best known movie about startups, The Social Network tells the story of the founding of Facebook. With a cast consisting of Jesse Eisenstein, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake, it’s no surprise that it scores 95/100 on Metacritic. It brilliantly portrays the journey of how Facebook started as a small website used by Harvard students to the social media giant it is today.

Silicon Valley ( 2014–2019 )

Check out Silicon Valley (TV Series 2014-2019) on IMDb

From the theater we go to the fictional world of television. According to some people the best comedy show created since The Office, Silicon Valley tells the story about an engineer struggling to start his own company. He discovers the bizarre world that is Silicon Valley and gives us a look into starting your own company with the added bonus of laughter.

Fun fact about Silicon Valley, it is responsible for creating the Weissman score for calculating the performance of a compression application. It was developed for the show and later gained recognition in academic research.

Breaking Bad ( 2008–2013 )

Check out Breaking Bad (TV Series 2008-2013) on IMDb

Walter White is a high school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with cancer. To help pay for his treatment, he develops a new formula for a pharmaceutical product and starts his own company with an ex-student, Jesse Pinkman. Together they struggle against large operations that have an inferior product and the government who threatens to shut down their operation.

Breaking Bad can teach us so much about the entrepreneurial mindset. Walter is constantly fighting against giants and stops at nothing to reach his goal. SPOILER ALERT He eventually sells his startup, but later goes back to his roots, much like Whatsapp founder Brian Acton.

The Founder ( 2016 )

Check out The Founder (2016) on IMDb

A much older story is that of McDonald’s. In the Founder, Michael Keaton play Ray Kroc. Though not the original founder of the fast-food chain, he is largely credited with making it the successful conglomerate that it is today. Next time you’re working on your innovative ideas with some McDonald’s in your hand, consider thinking about Ray Kroc and how a tiny restaurant now serves 75 hamburgers per second.

Game Dev Tycoon

Check out Game Dev Tycoon on Steam

I have now mostly discussed passive entertainment, but what if you actually want to do something without actually doing something. Then video games are the answer for you. There are numerous ones that will teach you valuable entrepreneurial skills. One of my favourites here is Game Dev Tycoon.

The game is centred around you playing as a game dev starting your own studio in the eighties. First off, you develop small titles and steadily grow to become one of the largest studios in the world. It is developed by a small startup consisting of two brothers. In the game, one of the most important lessons is that your product is the most important thing. Moreover, the game gives you a historic ( and futuristic ) view of the gaming industry.

Last but not least, for those of you that were thinking of pirating the game. The authors have made a version that is virtually similar, however at some point, your studio goes bankrupt because of players pirating your game.


All these stories are very interesting displays into the world of startups. For more great entertainment, check out my movies page

Disclaimer: the views posted on this website are my own and are not representative of BCG or any other entity.