Before we indulge in something as big as starting up our own company, we need to be sure that we have exercised all the scenarios and possible challenges we are about to face and have logically thought about the most probable pros and cons. But all of this can be quite tedious, and when we are on a clock (which we are always), we need something abridged and something that can educate us about the problems at hand and inspire us as well. At those moments, these must see documentaries which provide valuable guidance and entertain us at the same time, come to our rescue.

So let us observe these 10 must-see documentaries that every entrepreneur should watch and believe me, time spent watching these documentaries is a time well spent.

1. Freakonomics

The cornerstone idea of this documentary is, “incentives do matter and if we can figure out what peoples’ incentives are, we can safely predict their behaviour.”

This is one of those must-watch documentaries that challenge our conventional wisdom and it asks us a completely different question – What makes someone do what they do? The answers to these type of questions are many times more fascinating than your imagination can fathom.

If we can really know what motivates a person, be it monetary gain or success or another thing, we can clearly use it to motivate people to be our customers.

2. Once in a Lifetime

This film which aptly earned its place in this list of top ten must see documentaries, depicts the story of the New York Cosmos team and their road to glory after signing in Pele and other star players.

This one of the few existing must see documentaries that portray how a top-notch talented staff can lift a company to the zenith of success. Once a struggling team, New York Cosmos went through a team-reshuffling and just within two years, they became the national sensation by winning the title.

A company is what its employees are and it becomes a great enterprise when its employees are great and not the other way round.

Recommended read: 10 Best Motivational Videos to Help Entrepreneurs Succeed

3. Standing in the shadows of Motown

This film, a classic instance of must see documentaries, is the untold story of the Funk Brothers and the long due gratitude that the music and the world owe them.

Despite creating numerous records and sublime melodies for many renowned singers, the Funk Brothers were the direct recipients of the fame that it brought but it were the singers with whom did they collaborate with. Yet, those who knew recall them as the masters of their craft and the soul of all the past hits!

It is equally crucial to place people with due talent at positions of the company which are normally overshadowed in the corporal chaos. A good and capable secretary is as much important as a good CEO for the enterprise. It’s all about having a A-class team by your side.

Also, your good works may not get their due applauds but it doesn’t mean it is anything less valuable.

4. Ayn Rand: In Her Own Words

This penultimate film in the must see documentaries list, is a collection of numerous anecdotes and interviews of Ayn Ryad, a renowned author.

A well-established author and objectivist, writer Ayn Rand believe in a world where actions are driven by crude logic, and where self-esteem drives passion and decisions.

Through this documentary, she presents before the world her philosophical take on modern worlds’ logic and how every life matters and others shouldn’t sacrifice their lives for the happiness of few people out there. She despises regulated economy and any form of control that’s taking over mankind.

Ayn Rand’s objectivist philosophy will hep you see the world in a whole new perspective and re-establish your faith in methods of reasoning and logical decisions.

5. The Call of the Entrepreneur

It is an Acton Media that produced and directed the documentary. Through a series of interviews it depicts how entrepreneurship paved the way for the modern day American economy. Its basically a bunch of powerful success stories.

This documentary is quite inspiring and in fact, one of those must see documentaries which can make anyone fell in love with entrepreneurship. Also, it describes the importance of taking risks and how the entrepreneurs see opportunity where others see barren failures!

It is the genius of entrepreneurship that has made the world economy better and prosperous. Sometimes, all an entrepreneur needs is motivation and he or she should never shy away from taking risks.

Also Read: 10 must read books for entrepreneurs  

6. Dogtown and Z-boys

This film on this list of must see documentaries is narrated by Saun Penn and it focuses on early days of Venice Beach’s Zephyr Skate team and how they took skateboarding to a whole new level.

An entrepreneur is one who makes opportunity where there is none. He has the ability to turn something ordinary to the epitome of success. They change the way people think. That’s what Zephyr skate team did with skating. Skateboarding was a game which was looked down upon which was turned into a national sensation and an acclaimed sport by a bunch of teenagers who ended up influencing kids all around the globe.

An entrepreneur has the propensity to see a garden even in a dump and this is the genius of him that makes the art of entrepreneurship even more beautiful.

7. Beer wars

The film manifests the competition between large and small breweries and the unfairness of the battle between them, with laws favoring the oligopoly of the former.

An entrepreneur starting up a business faces a lot of challenges from an already established market. Also, the competition is never close to fair. But one shouldn’t be intimidated by this chaos as the desire for survival has to be complemented by the intensity of struggle.

So, this documentary is truly one of its kinds in this list of must see documentaries and it lets entrepreneurs relate their grievances with those of small breweries and establishes the importance of superiority of their end products.

What to do when the wind is against us and the rivals are having a complete advantage?

Backing down is not an option. Target the consumer base by realizing their needs and correspondingly refining your product. If you are better, then you have to prove the same to your consumers one way or the other.

8. Steve Jobs: One last thing

This film had to be included in this must see documentaries list and it consists of interviews with people who worked with Jobs and how he went through the ups and downs of his life in Silicon Valley.

The face of Silicon Valley and one of the best corporal philosopher, Steve Jobs had a life comprising many lessons for young entrepreneurs. His art of adding fitness to a project can teach you a lot. You can get to know from people who were around him and influenced by his impressive personality.


One of the most controversial must see documentaries, is about dot-com startup, which raised millions of dollars from investment funds. But eventually it didn’t work out as the inner feud clouded the greater good and the startup succumbed to the normal startup challenges, after initial success. had everything needed to be a great Netflix flick.

It had the story about some underdogs, their inceptive success, inner drama, stubborn ideals of founders and then an unexpected demise. No wonder the documentary was a hit. But it tells young entrepreneurs what ‘not’ to do and pitfalls to avoid in their blooming stages.

Even if your company gets the funding of the world, you cannot succeed if you let go the sight of the greater goal i.e. the company’s good. This is one of those must see documentaries which is recommended to startup enthusiasts who have no prior experience in the business world.

10. We live in public

Filmmaker Ondi Timoner followed Internet television pioneer Josh Harris of and shows how Josh realized the concept of internet TV way before the bloom of the corresponding industry in this film.

The main focus of this documentary which is my favorite one in this list of must see documentaries is the founder of It portrays him as a revolutionary pioneer of reality on TV and also questions the man’s sanity as he rigged his own apartment and willingly broadcasted his life and his girlfriend’s personal life and thus turning the internet community upside down. The venture was a success as no one has ever done it before and he correctly prophesied the course of the internet community.

Why was he successful? Because he had a great idea and realized the opportunity when no one thought there was any and even if it wasn’t done before he did it anyway.

So never stop innovating and taking calculated risks and more importantly never stop bashing against the conventional cognitive barriers!

Honestly, this is one of those articles which is quite self-explanatory and doesn’t need an ending note. But there are some things that I have got to emphasize again.

These must see documentaries offer the young entrepreneurs, a lot to learn. They establish certain values and qualities that every successful entrepreneur must have and the common pitfalls that he or she must avoid.

In a nutshell, an entrepreneur has to have a vision that should be productive and unique. Along with it, like all these must see documentaries have manifested, he has to have the courage to take risks and strong should be tough enough to take the blow.

One can supposedly avoid risks being on the safe side but being ‘just’ safe was never fascinating enough for an entrepreneur, was it?

Rohit Srivastava

An engineer by profession and an avid reader, he is a strong believer of the fact that entrepreneurship is more of an art and science rather than mere starting up a new company!