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5 Documentaries for Better Business

Continuing this summer’s theme of great content to enjoy during down time that entertains as well as inspires our business brains (you can read my recommendations for top TED talks on sustainability here and book recommendations here), this week, I’m sharing my top 5 business-focused films. Of the documentary style, rather than ‘The Social Network’ blockbuster vein, all these films are available to download now.

1) Inside: LEGO

This is a short from the Bloomberg stable and is a fascinating look at how Lego nearly lost everything, and the strategy and execution that brought it back from the brink by focusing on its core business. Although obviously on a much larger scale, there are important lessons for SMBs here about clarity of purpose, company vision and the need to avoid unnecessary distractions.

2) Print The Legend

If you find the rise of 3D printing intriguing, but are unsure what is really going on, catch this Netflix Original documentary. Winner of the Special Jury Prize at 2014’s SXSW Film Festival, Print The Legend follows key players in the industry and takes a sharp look at what it takes to create competitive edge in an emerging industry.

3) Morgan Spurlock, Crafted

From the man perhaps best known for his McDonald’s-centric film ‘SuperSize Me’ comes this short, released last month on Netflix. If you need to remember afresh what made you so passionate about your profession in the first place, this is the film for you. It follows 3 businesses and 5 artisans (including chefs and owners of the acclaimed Bar Tartine right here in San Francisco) and really speaks to the importance on focusing on the core concept of a business, and how important and rewarding working to excel at your craft can be.

4) American Experience: Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley has become the symbol the world over for innovation and technological prowess. This documentary from PBS provides tremendous insight in how and why Silicon Valley came into being, and who were the driving forces behind its origination.

5) Freakonomics

If you haven’t yet read the iconic book of the same name by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, catch this film version which explores the relationship between science, economics and human behavior. As the Wall Street Journal put it, “If Indiana Jones were an economist, he’d be Steven Levitt” which surely makes it a contender!

 

Finally, if podcasts are more your thing, you might want to check out ‘You’ve Got It All Wrong,’ a new weekly podcast available on iTunes. As well as providing philosophical food for thought for the tech age, from a content point of view, it’s an excellent example of how to package complex information into an enjoyable, entertaining experience.

As ever, if you have any recommendations you’d like to share, please get in touch.



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