Friday, October 1, 2010

The Social Network: The Movie that Could Save Us All

Just saw The Social Network, the movie about the launching and development of Facebook.

Aside from an awesome script and great editing that results in a great movie, I think the real sleeper about this movie is that it will drive millions of youth to become entrepreneurs.

As we all know there is zero promotion of entrepreneurship in high schools and colleges, even at the MBA level it's all about modeling nonsense. There is nowhere where youth are introduced to entrepreneurship. This movie in two hours makes up for this failure of  government influenced schooling. It's going to light the fire of perhaps millions that entrepreneurship is possible and a legitimate option.

Michael Douglas says that to this day he is most remembered for his role as Gordon Gekko in the original Wall Street movie. He reports that regularly Wall Streeters come up to him and tell him that they chose a Wall Street career because they were influenced by his role in that movie. This despite the director, Oliver Stone, attempting to make an anti-Wall Street movie.

 In the Social Network, there is no Gordon Gekko to emulate as much as entrepreneurship just permeates the film. Don't get me wrong, the film does not promote entrepreneurship throughout the film as much as it mostly just shows it being done. For me, the side theme of the film is the plot which tries to examine how much of an "asshole" Facebook founder Mark Zuckenberg is. The lucky will see past that and understand that this film is about the success you can achieve by striking out on your own with a great idea.

In this sense, I believe that given the current precarious nature of the empire, it may very well be the most important film made to date. What we need is more entrepreneurs, desperately. With the financial and economic system on the brink of collapse, our only hope may be entrepreneurs that respond to the changing environment and find ways to react quickly and fix leaks in the collapsing government created infrastructure.


  1. I thought it was just me, but even at age 49, I came out of this movie fired up about getting putting my ideas on paper, getting a Web-based business started, and changing the world! Yes, the movie was a fascinating interpretation on the origins of Facebook, but it also had a strong pro-entreprenuership message, as you saw a group of young people striving to do something innovative and create their own jobs. If this movie helps create a save of entreprenuerial energy, then it's worth it's weight in gold....or Facebook stock!

  2. Good review. The movie fails in its attempt to show the Zuckerberg character as an asshole (I don't know how true to life the character is). It's also hard to tell if the movie intended to show how ridiculous some intellectual property claims are, but as argued very well in a post on The Daily Caller, the movie does show this. As that post noted, when twins Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, whose plans for an exclusive Harvard student network were upstaged by Zuckerberg, complained that he "stole" their idea:

    "“If you had invented Facebook, you would have invented Facebook,” Zuckerberg sneers, dismissing the Winklevoss twins’ contribution to the existence of Facebook. Yet it’s indisputable that the networking site the twins envisioned at least partly inspired Zuckerberg, who gave them the run around for weeks while quietly launching a rival site.

    Dubious as Zuckerberg’s tactics may have been, “The Social Network” does not consider him a criminal. Audiences shouldn’t, either.

    In an age where websites like Facebook have made it easier than ever for people around the world to interact and share their ideas, laws shouldn’t stand in the way of the free flow of information and innovation.

    During a legal hearing, Zuckerberg makes the ultimate statement against intellectual property rights, asking, “Does a guy who makes a really good chair owe money to anyone who ever made a chair?” If people value Facebook and the system that made its development possible, the answer should be a resounding no."