Startup.com: The Movie
I worked at three very different startups (two of which are still doing well) and I have a lot of fond memories of the challenges, environments and people I was fortunate to work with. While I was in the trenches it was very hard to not know about, and to a limited degree get involved in, the other aspects of the business. From gearing up for a week of presentations (in a different time-zone) in an attempt to get more funding that would be hitting the system quite hard to the moments of desperation when almost a dozen people were laid off simultaneously (a sysadmins life is not always a pleasant one).
I’ve given this hint of my background to explain why I’m not the most impartial of people when it comes to films like Startup.com. Startup.com follows the rise and fall of govworks.com, a startup that aims to make dealing with municipal governments a lot easier. The film itself covers a lot of the things most startups had in common, strong founders that were never fully aware of how big were going to get, the ever present threat of losing mind-share and the constant need to get bigger and more expensive.
Now as most people who survived the bout of insanity that was the dotcom bubble can tell you, a lot of common-sense was ignored by people that should have known better and this film shows some of it in action. The destruction of personal relationships, both friends and partners. The staggering growth in such a short time and the constant land grabbing attempts are all represented here and bring back a number of fond, and not so fond, memories. As for the film itself if you’ve never worked at a startup it’ll give you a glimpse of what most of them seemed to be like. If you are one of the survivors then it’ll be a reminder of what the bad times involved as nostalgia kicks in and you forget exactly why you wanted out. 6/10.