7 Netflix Documentaries Every Entrepreneur Should Watch

Learn how to turn your vision into a reality from the comfort of your couch.

February 23, 2016

Netflix is great for Friday nights spent on the couch, long study breaks in the library, and House of Cards marathons.

But did you know it’s also an amazing way to learn about business?

If you’re an entrepreneur interested in starting your own company, your couch just became your best friend.

Print the Legend

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This 2014 documentary focuses on the 3D printing revolution, but it’s also a great corporate drama.

On one side of the arena, Brooklyn-based MakerBot is under the leadership of co-founder Bre Pettis, a very Steve Jobs-like character who pushes for cost-efficient products and loses friends in the process. On the other side is Formlabs, a much more humble company struggling to fund projects.

Money vs. friendship, business vs. innovation… these are all themes explored in the film.

Key Lesson:

Starting a business isn’t always pretty, especially if/when you achieve success. So, be prepared. And know why you do what you do.

Watch now

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

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This 2011 documentary tells the story of Jiro Ono, 90-year-old Japanese sushi chef and restaurant owner who is widely considered the best in the world. The movie takes you inside the day-to-day life of Ono and his staff while also telling the unique story of Jiro preparing his 50-year-old son, Yoshikazu, to succeed him when he retires.

Jiro and his staff’s dedication to quality and obsession with perfection are present in every meal they serve, which explains why people will pay $300 a plate.

Key Lesson:

If your dedication and passion are present in the products you create, people will not only notice, but they’ll also appreciate the value in what you provide.

Watch now

Steve Jobs: One Last Thing

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This documentary was produced by PBS and aired shortly after Steve Jobs’ death in 2011. It presents a balanced look at the often complex life of the Apple founder, featuring interviews with Ross Perot, Dean Hovey (who designed Apple’s first mouse), and even an interview with Jobs himself that was previously thought to have been lost.

It’s less than an hour long and will undoubtedly leave you appreciating Jobs’ marketing genius.

Key Lesson:

Marketing your product is just as important as the product itself.

Watch now

Burt’s Buzz

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Burt’s Buzz tells the story of Burt Shavitz and the company he co-founded in 1984, Burt’s Bees. It details the journey from an abandoned one-room school building to a company that was eventually sold to Clorox in 2007 for more than $900 million.

Despite fame, fortune, and his near celebrity status, Burt remained somewhat of a recluse, summing up his philosophy in one sentence: “A good day is when no one shows up and you don’t have to go anywhere.”

Key Lesson:

There is no prerequisite for starting a successful business. No MBA? No problem. If Burt did it, so can you.

Watch now

TED Talks: Life Hack

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This is a collection of 10 popular TED lectures, offering tips in life and business. Two highlights are Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy providing her body language secrets, and positive-psychology expert Shawn Achor speaking about research-proven productivity tricks.

Key Lesson:

Too many to count. Stop watching old episodes of Family Guy and go see for yourself.

Watch now

Something Ventured


This documentary portrays some of the most successful and prolific venture capitalists from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Whether through genius or luck, they made big early-stage bets on tech companies like Google, Intel, Cisco, and Atari – and won.

This film provides a crash course in venture capital and modern-day business.

Key Lesson:

Venture capital was crucial in building America’s tech giants 30 years ago and that remains true today. Understand how it works so you aren’t left scratching your head later.

Watch now

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

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This 2005 documentary is a cautionary tale about the fall of Enron, a company once valued at $70 billion before filing for bankruptcy.

The film details the financial corruption and accounting fraud that occurred while also exploring the psychology behind it all.

Key Lesson:

Don’t be Enron.



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