Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Double Thumbs Up (Or is that Two Likes?)

"I started the site when I was 19. I didn't know much about business back then"

Caught "The Social Network" the other night and immediately added it the TSB "must-see" list of business movies.

Watching a movie with a snap-crackle-and pop pace, whip-smart dialogue and so many interesting observations about such an increasingly relevant subject made for a refreshing movie experience as the story behind the founding of Facebook unfolded on the big screen. Whether you are a fan or not, there is no denying that Facebook has, in a mere seven years, forever altered the way we interact socially; a fundamental game changer that happens once every couple of decades, if not centuries.

Reviewer James Kendrick captured "The Social Network" this way:

"A virtuoso modern parable about greed, innovation, and betrayal, as well as a compelling portrait of how technology is changing the landscape of both business enterprise and interpersonal relationships".

No matter how much of the story of Mark Zuckerberg as depicted in the film is true, the human drama that accompanies the start-up phase of any company is blisteringly accurate. If nothing else, "The Social Network" vividly demonstrates the fragility of trust in any business relationship and how that level of trust easily erodes once the potential of a few hundred million dollars enters the picture. "The Social Network" also hits the mark by painting a stark contrast between the plodding dinosaurs of the 20th century business world and the full-throttle, warp-speed thinking required for success in the 21st century Digital Economy.

For the record, Zuckerberg has objected about the way he was portrayed in the film. The Facebook co-founder, played by Jesse Eisenberg, claims filmmakers Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher completely misrepresented his reasons for starting up the online networking site. Zuckerberg has stated, "The thing that I think is most thematically interesting that they got wrong is... the whole framing of the movie, I'm with this girl who doesn't exist in real life who dumps me," he said during an appearance at Stanford University.

Zuckerberg continued: "The reality for people that know me is that I've been dating the same girl since before I started Facebook so obviously that's not a part of it."

The entrepreneur also spoke of a "disconnect" between Hollywood and Silicon Valley, saying, "They can’t wrap their head around the idea that someone might build something because they like building things."

The 26-year old Zuckerberg recently screened "The Social Network" for his employees at Facebook.

"By giving people the power to share, we're making the world more transparent"

P.S. ... That "must-see" TSB business movie list also includes "Boiler Room", "Wall Street", "Any Given Sunday" and one unforgettable scene from "Glengarry Glen Ross".

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