Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Hollywood Startup Model


Have you ever thought about how movies get made? Here's the simplified version. A producer finds a script that they think would make a terrific movie. They option the script and then work to put a team together that could make the movie. They find a director. And stars to play the key roles. Then they approach the studios for financing of the movie. Once they have everything in place, they pull the trigger and the movie gets made.

Think of your startup in the same way. You are the producer. You have an idea which you've turned into a business plan (the script) and it is your job to pull together the other pieces to make a successful startup (the movie). Can you get a CEO to commit to the project (your director)? Can you find engineers to design the product and salespeople to sell it (the actors)? Once you have all the pieces lined up, you go look for funding from VC investors (the movie studios).

Some movies are independent films, not financed by the studios, but by outside investors (angels). If you want to get the backing from a studio, you have to have a top director and recognizable actors and a incredibly tight script? Does your movie have that?

There's nothing wrong with independent films, that's how most producers and directors and actors get their start. After you've made your first successful picture, it is far easier to gather top talent and get studio backing. They might even give you a development deal and pay you to put deals together (Entrepreneur In Residence).

If you think of your startup, and your serial-entrepreneur career arc as being similar to a movie producer, it might all start to make much more sense.

(btw, can you tell what movie is being filmed in the pic?)

1 comment:

Lance Weatherby said...

A most excellent analogy. Pitching investors is the third or fourth step.