Once in a while a good inspirational movie is just what I need to feel rejuvenated and ready to take on the world. I love movies based on real events because it showcases people who succeeded against all odds. Here is my list of movies that marketers and entrepreneurs may find inspiring as well.
I had never even heard of this movie until my Entrepreneurship class at NWTC in 2007. Our teacher told us that he would watch this movie when he needs to be inspired and after watching it, I would have to agree. AMC airs this movie pretty often so if you have that channel, check it out.
October Sky is about a ‘nerdy’ kid in West Virginia who becomes fascinated with rockets after the launching of Sputnik. He (Homer) and his buddies decide to take up rocket building on their own. With the help of the townspeople they are able to build their rockets. After a disastrous start, they kept improving the distance each time they launched one. It was well known at that time in West Virginia that unless you had a football scholarship, college was out of the question. Most kids would likely work in the coal mines when you were an adult. His father worked at the mine and expected his son to follow in his footsteps. Homer went against his father’s wishes because he knew he was doing something he loved and something that was big, really big. He faced Ridicule, tragedy and even an arrest but continued to persevere.
Chris Gardner knows what it’s like to have the world against you. He had invested in bone density scanners and tried to sell them to hospitals. It was a big risk that wasn’t paying off. Eventually, he gets evicted from his apartment, moving from motel to motel with his son and ultimately ends up homeless. He keeps the strong front so his son won’t worry. He gets an intern position at Dean Witter where he is competing with dozens and dozens of people for one opening. Even though he had a lot going on in his personal life, he had the face of success and didn’t let what was currently going on in his life interfere with where he was going. Since he was solely responsible for his son, he knew he had to do in 6 hours what other had to do in eight. He finds a way to work smarter and never gives up his pursuit of happyness.
Maybe this one shouldn’t be on the list because it doesn’t end like most of the others. But such is the way in business sometimes. It is the story of Preston Tucker who decided to take on the major car manufacturers after World War 2. Tucker’s cars were so revolutionary that many of the concepts that were foreign at the time are still being used today. He may very well have been the Steve Jobs of his time. Tucker made the mistake of going after the major manufacturers who had the politicians on their side. They did everything they could to discredit him and yet he kept making cars. In the end, he didn’t have the political power to stay viable but his fight led to a lot of changes in the way that cars in this country were made. He fought to the end and he resembled what American innovation is all about.
This one is on the lighter side but a great, inspiring story. A Jamaican sprinter who was supposed to be a lock for the Summer Olympics got tripped trying to qualify for the 100 meter dash. Knowing his dreams of competing in this summer Olympics have been crushed, he sets his eyes on the Winter Olympics sport of bobsledding. Of course coming from Jamaica, this sport is foreign to them but there is a man on the island that won gold medals in the sport himself. Of course, he won them by cheating.
They go through the growing pains of learning how to get into the sled and have to train by going down a dirt hill because there is no ice in Jamaica. First they have to raise money themselves jsut to get to the Olympics and when they get to Canada, they don’t have a sled. Their coach knew one the American coaches who with an extra, rickety sled. They have problems during their first couple runs, coupled with a coach who was a cheat, just adds to the others teams disdain for them. They learn the ropes and have some very impressive runs and begin to gain the respect of the other teams.
Apollo 13 was supposed to be the third consecutive flight to the moon and thus, not that exciting anymore. It didn’t become exciting until something went wrong. They lost power during the flight so now the flight engineers have to figure out how to get them to land safely back home with limited resources and power. In a sign of ingenuity, innovation and problem solving, there’s a scene where the engineers are challenged to find a way to get a square peg to fit into a round hole, using only the materials the flight crew had on board. It shows outside of the box thinking and how solutions can be found if you get enough minds together. It shows that just because things may seem very wrong, solutions are always present. I will end with a quote. When flight director, Gene Kranz, is faced with this being a horrible disaster, he responds by saying ‘With all due respect, sir, I believe this is gonna be our finest hour.’
What are some movies that inspire you?