10 essential entrepreneurial videos
This article first appeared June 15th, 2012.
There’s nothing quite like seeing entrepreneurship in action. A business’ facts and figures may catch the eye, but it’s not until you see the founder talk about their idea that it truly comes to life and fires the imagination.
With this in mind, we’ve put together 10 videos that should be compulsory viewing for every start-up.
Some are instructive, others inspiring and one or two may raise a smile. But they all, in their own way, give an insight into what it takes to build a business.
1. What is a start-up incubator?
The recent explosion in start-up incubator numbers in Australia have led to a rush of budding entrepreneurs applying to the likes of AngelCube and Startmate.
But what, exactly, are incubators, how do they work and are they worth joining? In this video, Jay Adelson, founder of internet TV firm Revision 3, cuts through the hype to give a candid view on the pros and cons of incubators.
2. Into the Dragon’s Den
Australia’s start-up landscape is a poorer place for not having Dragon’s Den on our TV screens. The BBC program, which shows wannabe entrepreneurs thrown into the bear pit of pitching to a panel of hard-nosed business angels, was adapted for Australian audiences but dropped after just one season in 2005.
Here, an early episode of the UK version shows Rachel Lowe pitching a new kind of board game. She slips up on her figures, but she has the last laugh – her game outsold Monopoly in its first year and is still going strong.
3. Starting young
Mark Zuckerberg may be considered a youthful business founder by some, but he has nothing on Laurence Rook.
The 13-year-old schoolboy has invented and patented a ‘smart doorbell’, which rings your mobile phone whenever it is pressed. Rook’s composed demeanour and the astonishment of his interviewer, Jon Snow, is a sight to behold.
4. Going viral
So you have a web start-up. You plan for it to go viral immediately and have investors ditching Facebook and queuing at your front door within days. You aren’t too worried about developing the product or how you will monetise it.
In short, you need to watch this.
5. Zuckerberg goes back to start-up school
“I was in denial that we’d make a company,” admits Mark Zuckerberg in this fascinating interview at YCombinator’s ‘start-up school’. “We didn’t expect it to be a company, we just built it because we thought it was awesome.”
Along the journey to building Facebook, Zuckerberg says he faced many of the same problems that every other start-up grapples with – growth, finance, staffing and so on. This great video demonstrates the Facebook founder’s start-up philosophy in a very relatable way for other entrepreneurs.
6. Motivating sketches
It is now fairly common to see thought-provoking talks accompanied with a swish of a pen to hold the attention of YouTube viewers, but this RSA Animates video was truly ahead of the pack.
Not only are the illustrations fantastic, but Dan Pink’s insights into what motivates people is essential viewing for any business owner.
7. Getting social
Muhammed Younus turned the concept of entrepreneurship on its head. By creating a bank that provides micro-loans to the world’s poor, Nobel laureate Younus helped kick-start the trend of ‘social entrepreneurship’, whereby personal profit is set aside for the benefit of the community.
Here, Younus explains how he manages to marry business opportunities with social good.
8. Where ideas come from
The business world has taken to worshiping Seth Godin in recent years, and in this video you can see why.
Here, the marketing expert, who continues to churn out highly popular books and talks, explains where good ideas come from, challenging standard conventional thinking along the way.
9. Sparking a movement
Leadership is a regularly-glorified quality in business. Held up as the vital cog in the wheel of every company, a leader is often seen as the one and only driver of success.
As this video brilliantly shows, however, no leader is complete without a ‘lone nut’ who decides to follow them. If you’re lacking a lone but, maybe it’s time to start looking for one.
Speaking of leadership, surely there is no finer example of the genre than David Brent, boss of Wernham Hogg in the UK version of The Office.
Here, Brent shows all the aspects of a top boss – staff motivation, high-level negotiations and the ability to deliver a winning sales pitch. A true inspiration.