Episode 47 | Movies For Nerds

Show Notes



Startups For The Rest Of Us Episode 47


Rob Walling:  [0:00] This is Startups for the Rest of Us: Episode 47. [music]

Rob:  [0:12] Welcome to Startups for the Rest of Us, the podcast that helps developers be awesome at launching software products. Whether you’ve built your first product or you’re just thinking about it. I’m Rob.

Mike Taber:  [0:20] And I’m Mike.

Rob:  [0:21] And we’re here to share our experiences to help you avoid the same mistakes we’ve made. What’s the word for this week, Mike?

Mike:  [0:28] You’ve got to hear this. One of the most recent academy launches that we did… The listeners probably don’t necessarily know all the details of this, so I’ll explain a little bit. When people sign up for the Micropreneur Academy, the initial sign‑up process walks them through and after they put their email address in and sign up for their account and everything, they get added to a MailChimp list. [0:48] Well. What we wanted to do is to get notified when people were signing up, so that we had some idea instead of having to go into PayPal every time and figure out who has signed up during the day. We’d just get an email. The problem with that was that we wanted to make sure that this process was actually happening properly.

[1:05] So, I wired everything up to a cron job so that when that MailChimp subscription goes through or after somebody signs up; then this cron job basically takes their email address and sends it over to MailChimp through their API and registers them. Then they have to do the double opt in what we should do, because we don’t want to spam people.

[1:25] But the problem is that it started failing. This cron job runs every five minutes and I started getting an email every five minutes because it was failing. I was out on the road and I didn’t have access to a computer and I wasn’t going to get access to a computer at anytime, anywhere in the near future.

[1:43] I was looking at the messages and I could see exactly what was wrong, but I’m sitting there working from my phone. So I went out and I downloaded an SSH application and I paid $10 for this SSH application because the first two or three that I tried did not work for some reason, they just failed miserably. So I said, “The heck with it. I’m just going to buy the $10 application which had better fix the issue.” [laughs]

[2:07] I was able to SSH in, used VI and fixed this little PHP script that was running and everything went back to normal all from my iPhone. It was pretty cool.

Rob:  [2:16] That is cool. I’ve actually done that from my iPad a couple of times. I don’t know if I’ve ever done it from my iPhone. But I’ve used FTP On the Go, I think it’s probably $5 or $10 as well and it just has a… You can SFTP in, obviously, and you can click on a file and it downloads and has a little built in text editor. [2:36] It’s so much easier to do on the iPad, of course, because you have more room. But you could work it on an iPhone as well. And then edit it and save it up. I actually did the same thing ‑ it was within the last week and all I had was my iPad and something was going wrong. I don’t remember if it was on the Micropreneur site or not. But yeah, that’s cool, man! It’s like having a computer in your pocket these days, isn’t it?

Mike:  [2:56] Yeah. I thought the really funny thing was that if I didn’t know how to use VI, I would have been totally screwed.

Rob:  [3:04] Yeah, that’s right. We could have done Emacs, right? Emacs is built in?

Mike:  [3:07] I don’t know. I’m not an Emacs person.

Rob:  [3:09] Got it.

Mike:  [3:10] It wouldn’t have made a difference, even if it is.

Rob:  [3:12] If you didn’t know how to use VI, certainly you would have known how to use Emacs, right, because it’s an either/or scenario?

Mike:  [3:17] Yeah, probably. [laughter]

Mike:  [3:18] I have no idea.

Rob:  [3:19] Cool. I’m speaking tonight at the 59 Days of Code which is a big event here in Fresno. It’s kind of the big event here in the central valley for startups. I’m doing the similar talk, kind of a variation of the talk I did at Microcon. So I’m excited. I’m going to get out of here in about an hour or two and get some dinner and then head on over there. That’s my news this week. [3:44] Maybe I’ll have ‑ I don’t know if it will get videoed or not. [laughs] I almost said videotaped. I don’t know if it will get recorded or not, but I’ll have a version of this. I did a similar version of it up in Vancouver and I think they recorded it. So, I will link to it in the show notes when this goes up if possible.

Mike:  [4:03] Cool. Yeah, about the only other thing I’ve been doing is catching up on email and various odds and ends since the conference and just trying to get everything all situated so that I can get back to work on AuditShark.

Rob:  [4:16] Nice. Boy, about the only other thing I’ve been working on is ‑ and I don’t talk about this much, I’m not sure why ‑ DotNet Invoice which is my flagship product, one of the first successes I had. We just launched version 2.7 which integrates with QuickBooks and it took us so freaking long to get this out. It is ridiculous how hard that is! It should not be that hard. It’s data. It’s like text. You should be able to import it in and out, but it was so painful and I don’t even want to go into it. [4:46] Typically we release two to three times a year, new versions of DotNet Invoice, and this we haven’t released for a long, long time. We haven’t released for well over a year. It’s painful.

[4:56] We’re very pleased to have that out and we just released it to some folks last week and we’re releasing it to more today. Then kind of trying to space out that release because it is a complex app.

Mike:  [5:06] For when things go wrong and your support staff breaks down.

Rob:  [5:09] Exactly. [laughter]

Rob:  [5:11] Exactly. So we really want to be able to handle all the issues in case they come up. Anyways, yeah, that’s kind of been a big milestone that we’ve been shooting for quite some time. It feels good to have it out the door and be ready to move onto the next features; because man, you’ve been doing something for a year, 15 months, and it just… [5:28] You get bogged down in it and you forget the bigger picture of this is supposed to be fun.


Rob:  [5:36] Speaking of fun. I talked Mike into doing this episode and he said, “No, we’re not doing this episode.” Basically the disclaimer he forced me to say is that if you want to get anything productive or actionable out of this episode, then turn it off now because the title of this episode is Movies for Nerds. [5:54] I had just gone through several of kind of the techy, nerdy movies, some startup documentaries and such, because I was pulling scenes out for some of the talks I was doing. And I realized, a lot of people don’t know about these movies.

[6:08] I was surprised, because to me… I enjoy films and I like startup and entrepreneur stuff. So anything in that genre, those two things crossing, I’ve always followed them. I did a couple of my talks and I would say, “This clip is from the movie Startup.com, have you ever heard of it?” And like one person out of twenty would have heard of it.

[6:25] So I just kind of wanted to share the love. And if people out there are interested in seeing some .com booms and busts on film then we’re going to talk about it. Then Mike hasn’t seen any of these, which is funny. So he as all the sci‑fi stuff. I haven’t watched sci‑fi in several years.

[6:41] So hopefully we get a good smattering of both sides to keep everyone happy.

Mike:  [6:46] Thanks for the disclaimer, because this is totally Rob’s fault if you hate the episode.

Rob:  [6:49] Yeah. But if you love it, post a comment that you love it. Basically the idea here is that these are movies that we think our audience would be interested in watching. That’s really it. Some of them are about startups, some are not, and some are about technology, and some are sci‑fi. And so it’s just kind of like things that we think you guys would like if you have similar tastes to us, which is kind of that geek taste. [7:11] The first movie that I watched and I was impressed with this movie even though many factual inaccuracies were in it was The Social Network, the story of Facebook. Did you see it, Mike?

Mike:  [7:20] I did not, but it’s actually one that I want to see.

Rob:  [7:23] Yeah.

Mike:  [7:24] I’ve talked to a few different people who have seen it, and they said that it was really good, and I’d like to see it. I just haven’t had a chance to yet.

Rob:  [7:30] It is. So it’s really well made. Aaron Sorkin wrote it. He had written The West Wing and The American President and a bunch of other stuff. He’s just a fantastic writer. So the script is engaging. The budget was there. It’s just super well constructed. Tremendous, from what I understand, tremendous factual inaccuracies and just kind of, it’s a dramatization of a bunch of stuff. It’s based on a book that was really half made up, or at least half of the scenes are kind of made up based on the guy. [7:54] Ben Mezrich is the author if this book and he said in the book, like there’s a lot of dialogue in here that I kind of, I’m insinuating because no one else was there. It was like two people in a room and so I’m just guessing what they said. And so it’s like you can’t really take everything as fact. With that said, it was super entertaining.

Mike:  [8:09] Why didn’t they just ask Noah what they said?

Rob:  [8:11] Yeah, seriously.

Mike:  [8:14] You were right there.

Rob:  [8:14] He wasn’t there, but he was employee number 30. Noah Kagan is who Mike is talking about. He was like employee number 30, I think he said. Anyways, yeah, this was a… it was a good film.

Mike:  [8:23] Cool.

Rob:  [8:24] Yeah.

Mike:  [8:25] As Rob said, every single one of mine, you’re not going to learn anything. Most of the ones that he’s going to talk about are that I just haven’t seen before. You know, and it’s not that I haven’t been interested in them. I just really haven’t had time to dig into them. And they’re certainly not things that my wife would be interested in at all. [8:45] But the one that I’ve got on my list was the Battlestar Galactica series. And I actually did not watch this until about a year and a half, probably two years ago, something like that. And I started watching it on Netflix, then I got traveling quite a bit, so I bought the, I think the second, third and fourth seasons off of iTunes. I really liked it. I thought it was pretty well done and the story was interesting. It kind of went back and forth a little bit where you weren’t really sure where it was going or whether you were going to stay interested in it or not. But I thought that the plot was very well done. There were a lot of decent twists in it.

[9:16] I think you said that you haven’t seen it yet, have you?

Rob:  [9:18] No, but the entire run, all episodes of all seasons, is on Netflix streaming, and so…

Mike:  [9:25] Oh, it’s on streaming?

Rob:  [9:26] Yeah, it is on streaming. So I’ve watched the first episode only. See, the problem is ‑ since my wife probably won’t like it, I’m never going to have time to watch this much…

Mike:  [9:37] Got it.

Rob:  [9:37] …TV, you know? So I got through one like a month ago, and then I just haven’t had another night where she’s not here. It’s like, but I’ve heard really good things about it. And I actually heard from some folks who aren’t sci‑fi fans, and they said the story itself was good enough to maintain it. But would you think, having watched a bunch of it, would you think like your wife would watch it or not? Is it purely a sci‑fi thing?

Mike:  [10:00] I think it would be a toss‑up. I think that my wife might be interested in it. She actually did watch a few episodes with me, but I just happened to be on the road. And she wasn’t necessarily so involved in it that she said, I absolutely have to watch this. She was kind of….. She was like ….. I can take it or leave it. But she also watches General Hospital, so…..

Rob:  [10:19] Right. Well, cool. From my second pick, I actually have two movies that are very similar. One is called E‑dreams, and the other is called Startup.com, and both of them are documentaries of dot com booms and busts. So E‑dreams follows kozmo.dot. It was K‑O‑Z‑M‑O.com. They were trying to do like a local delivery service. It was like Amazon within 30 minutes, is the idea.

Mike:  [10:46] It sounds like Webvan.

Rob:  [10:47] Online… No, but it was an online convenience store. It was snacks, videotapes, books, a bunch of stuff, and it was 30 minute delivery. Like Webvan was groceries and it was like next day or you’d schedule delivery. But the idea behind this, it was like bicycle messengers in cities. And so they raised like a gazillion dollars. It was like $10 million or something, $20 million? I mean a lot of money. And they went from 10 employees to 3,000 employees in 11 cities.

Mike:  [11:11] Oh, my God.

Rob:  [11:12] It’s insane, dude. So the cool part is ‑ it’s kind of a low budget documentary. It was a dude with a HD cam that followed them around for two or three years. It’s a crazy story. It’s totally worth 90 minutes. It’s not like when you watch a social network; it’s a really entertaining drama that appeals to a lot of people. [11:30] When you watch E‑dreams, like my wife can’t stand it because she’s… It’s all about like riding this wave of the company and just seeing the crazy stuff they’re doing. And if you don’t kind of get like the VC and how that works and the IPO and what they’re trying to do, then it doesn’t make sense to you.

[11:47] So it’s just a fascinating tale. I’m a self‑funded bootstrapper. I have never gone for VC and I don’t know that I ever will. But still, watching this happen and then watching the bust is fascinating. So that’s it. So, yeah, it like follows them from, I think it’s like ’98 or ’99 until like late 2000 or early 2001. So, it kind of follows the rise and fall.

[12:06] And then the other one that does the same story basically is called Startup.com, and it follows a company called Govworks who did the same thing. Boy, I think they raised $30 or $40 million, and they were going to try to build like a….. try to get like local and city governments online. They were trying to give them portals to have people pay parking tickets and do stuff.

[12:25] And it seemed almost the same story. You just kind of watch it and cringe the whole time at kind of the ridiculousness of that time. That is what it is! They say stuff that’s ridiculous, but it’s like that’s what everyone was saying, just about like, it’s never going to end. The Internet is the biggest thing ever. We’ll make this money back in a week, the $50 million or whatever. So, yeah, it’s a trip.

Mike:  [12:45] Interesting.

Rob:  [12:46] Now, as an interesting thing, Amazon is now, like I just heard yesterday that they are going to test market and it’s called Amazon Fresh, which is basically groceries and like fresh groceries and produce and sandwiches and stuff like that, that you can order. And I think it’s delivered same day from them, and they’re going to test market it in Seattle. But with them, it’s like they’ll either make it work on scale or they’ll shut it down. They’re not going to go to 3,000 employees and then go bankrupt.

Mike:  [13:15] Right, yeah.

Rob:  [13:17] Yeah.

Mike:  [13:17] That’s funny, because I used to work at Wegmans Food Markets in upstate New York. And they, about the same time that Webvan was doing their thing or shortly, around that time or shortly after, they started doing online grocery shopping as well. And believe it or… I was involved in that project, and believe it or not, it actually worked out pretty well for them. And the funny part is that they shut it down! And the reason they shut it down was that, the feedback they got from their customers was, we like shopping at you store.

Rob:  [13:49] Huh.

Mike:  [13:50] Which I just found bizarre, you know.

Rob:  [13:54] Yeah.

Mike:  [13:54] Because everything was going well. All the numbers were there. They shared them with us. Average store orders were up and everything else. It was a great success story, and they said ‑ you have to shut it down because our customers say that they like shopping at the store better. And it wasn’t because they didn’t like the service. There were certainly people who really liked the service. Obviously, it was kind of mixed.

Rob:  [14:17] Sure.

Mike:  [14:17] There were some people who said ‑ we really want the service or need it because you could order your groceries online, and then you just drive to the store and you pick them up. You didn’t actually have to walk through the store, and people liked walking through the store.

Rob:  [14:36] That’s interesting, yeah. Grocery delivery is not actually that revolutionary.

Mike:  [14:38] No.

Rob:  [14:39] I mean in Boston, even when I lived there two years ago, I think Peapod was still around? Yeah, we used to get some groceries delivered now and again. It is different than going to the store and picking your own stuff.

Mike:  [14:46] The nice thing about the way Wegmans was doing it was because they’re kind of an upscale grocery store to be perfectly honest. Anyone who’s ever been to a Wegmans knows exactly what I’m talking about, and anyone who hasn’t has not a clue. They did really well. [15:02] The employees who work there, if you go over to the seafood section or the deli or the butcher area, those guys know what they’re doing and they know what they’re talking about. They do an extensive amount of training with their employees to make sure that they’re going to be good at their jobs, and they’re going to be helpful for the people who are there.

[15:18] Honestly, I would trust them to pick out a cut of steak or a particular cut of salmon or whatever than to do it myself.

Rob:  [15:24] Sure. So they have the service down, yeah. And that makes sense that people would want to come there. Cool!

Mike:  [15:31] Anyone who has an HBO subscription can probably know this one, but Game of Thrones. It just ended. The season finale was actually yesterday in fact. I was just reading up on it in the past couple of days, and I found out that HBO had signed up for the second season, I think, within a couple of days either before or after the very first episode had launched. I think it was a couple days after…

Rob:  [15:54] Wow!

Mike:  [15:55] …which is crazy. But I think that the executives were watching it, and it was so incredibly compelling that they wanted more. They knew immediately before they even got results back that they knew that they wanted…

Rob:  [16:08] They were going to do it? Well, I have to admit I am jealous, man, because I don’t have HBO. And without HBO…like I tried to go watch it online and you need an HBO subscription to watch their stuff online. [16:22] So unless I get cable, which I haven’t had for like seven years, and then add HBO to it. [laughs] So I’ve got to pay like what? 80 bucks a month to get cable and HBO? And then go online to watch it for free. So I guess I’ll be waiting for it to be on DVD or Netflix or something. I’m jealous. It looks awesome.

Mike:  [16:36] It’s really well done. There are a lot of twists and turns. Not a lot of things that I would expect. You know how you’d asked me if my wife was into Battlestar Galactica? She could take it or leave it. Game of Thrones, she was hooked from the very first episode.

Rob:  [16:48] It’s fantasy. Is it like Dungeons and Dragons? It’s medieval times, right?

Mike:  [16:52] It’s sort of medieval times. It’s more about people than it is about…like if you think about the Dungeons and Dragons genre, that’s more of like swords and fantasy and dragons and magic, OK? There are a lot of those magical overtones in most of those genres and settings. In this one they’re there, but they really, really take a back seat to the story itself.

Rob:  [17:18] Yeah, that’s typical HBO stuff. They have great period pieces. They were set in a great time, but it’s all about the characters, right? All about the story….

Mike:  [17:28] It was 10 episodes long, and each of them was about an hour long. I would say I didn’t see even like an inkling of real what I would call “magic” until the very last episode. There was a very, very tiny bit in the very first episode and then maybe just 30 seconds or something like that in a couple of others. But that was it. I mean the vast majority of it was on the characters, and it was more about the medieval type setting versus the mystical or magical setting that would be associated with it.

Rob:  [18:04] Sure. No, that makes sense.

Mike:  [18:06] There’re, I think five books; and they’re all written by the same author. They’re all monstrous books. I’ve seen them in the bookstore. They’re just huge. So it makes sense that it’s 10 hours for each of these books, but the story was really, really good.

Rob:  [18:20] Cool. Well, my number three is “Pirates of the Silicon Valley.” [laughs] It was a made‑for‑TV movie. I think it was TBS made this. It’s basically the story of how Steve Jobs founded Apple and Bill Gates founded Microsoft and how they went back and forth in their relationship and how the two companies grew. [18:43] So it was made in…now of course, I have the DVD which was released in 2005. Oh, it says it was made in ’99 is what it says. But it really didn’t make mention of the Internet. Anyway, Noah Wyle plays Steve Jobs. The thing itself, the script is a bit trite. It’s semi‑low budget, but it’s a very interesting look at this time. It takes a lot of stories out of other material.

[19:07] So if you read “iWoz,” which is Steve Wozniak’s biography or if you listen to Paul Allen’s biography just released ‑ it was in the last couple months ‑ called “Idea Man,” there’s a ton of stuff from those two that are in this film. Even though the film predates them though, obviously these stories have been floating around for years.

[19:26] It’s like 90 minutes. It’s 16 bucks for the DVD on Amazon, or you can get it on Netflix. Not streaming, but get the DVDs. It’s a cool, entertaining, kind of cheesy look at that time. For me watching it, it’s all about riding the startup rollercoaster with them and just seeing it as they go from the garage to the small building to the IPO where they become multimillionaires at the age of 25. It’s a cool tale of how they do it.

Mike:  [19:54] I’ve often wondered about that sort of thing. What drives them after they’ve done that IPO and they’re worth millions or billions, and what somebody like that would set for their future goals?.

Rob:  [20:06] They’re definitely not in it for the money because if that was [laughs] it…I think most entrepreneurs are not in it for the money. So it’s all about, at least the way it’s portrayed in this film, like beating the other guy. It’s like being the most dominant and building this company that stomps all the others. [20:21] There are some good lines from this movie that you’ll remember. Things like, what is it? “Good artists copy. Great artists steal.” Something like that.

Mike:  [laughs] [20:29]

Rob:  [20:30] That’s a famous Steve Jobs line that they made it in the movie because they both ripped off the gooey from Xerox Park and the Palo Alto Research Center. Then Steve Jobs implemented it first with the Macintosh, and then Bill Gates takes it with Windows 95 and they get in this big argument. I don’t know. Obviously, these scenes are all dramatized, too, but it’s an interesting romp through the history of these companies. [20:51] Now what I’d like to see is some more recent tales because we know the history really well, the internals of Apple and Microsoft. I feel like I know how it all worked up until maybe the late nineties, and then it goes dark, right? We don’t really know what went on inside those companies after that. No one’s really come out and done a tell‑all.

[21:08] There’s an awesome book about Google that came out called “In the Plex,” and Steven Levy was in there. He’s been inside Google for years. He’s kind of a reporter and he spends a lot of time with them. I’m listening to it right now. It’s fantastic. So it really tells the story behind a lot of things, not just the public versions. I’d love to see that for both Apple and Microsoft for the last 10 years, I’d be interested in seeing it.

Mike:  [21:32] Now, did you say, is that a book or a movie?

Rob:  [21:34] “In the Plex” is a book but it’s on Audible as well, so I’m listening to it.

Mike:  [21:39] Got it.

Rob:  [21:40] I’d highly recommend “In the Plex”

Mike:  [21:42] I’d heard of it, but I hadn’t seen it. I wasn’t sure if it was a book or a movie. [21:46] So, the next one that I have is not a movie that I would recommend to anyone.

Rob:  [21:51] Wait, what?!

Mike:  [21:52] So, I saw this on iTunes for $5.

Mike:  [21:54] I’m like “Aw, what the heck.” I hadn’t seen it and I’d heard it was very…I can’t even think of the word to describe it. Campy, maybe! I downloaded “Starship Troopers”. This has got to be one of the. [22:09] Worst movies I’ve seen.

Rob:  [22:11] Oh, even at five bucks, you way overpaid.

Mike:  [22:14] Even $5… Totally, totally! I understand that movies, especially the ones I talked about before ‑I guess those were more T.V. series than anything else. Movies are about a certain amount of suspension of disbelief. This movie just goes over the top. [22:30] I mean, you’ve got a movie where you’ve got the humans that are presumably set in the future, and in order to get citizenship you have to serve in the army. And these people have mastered things like psychic ability, and laser guns and space travel; but they haven’t figured out how to build a tank.

[22:48] There’s not one tank in the entire movie and they’re sending hoards and hoards of humans after these giant bug creatures. I swear to God, it reminded me of “Starcraft”, it really did. Like the Terrans and the Zergs. That’s exactly what this movie was, and it was just ridiculous. There’s not one tank in the entire movie.

Rob:  [23:04] So, the moral of the story: If something’s $5 on iTunes, it probably should be. Skip it. Well, cool. My fourth and last is actually another two movies that are related. These are also documentaries. One is called “Triumph of the Nerds” and the other is “Nerds 2.0.1: [23:11] A Brief History of the Internet.” These were produced by Robert X.

[23:27] Cringely who was a columnist for “PC World”, I think, for years and then he was blogging at pbs.org has produced these through PBS. So, they were PBS documentaries. And, they’re really good. They’re early computing history. I say early; it’s more like Silicon Valley computing history.

[23:46] Triumph of the Nerds is about Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and Novell and Adobe. He based a book on it called “Accidental Empires” that is fantastic. I’ve read “Accidental Empires” three or four times and it’s just awesome to see all these companies that we know today that are massive kind of all came up around that time.

[24:04] He talks about how they all inter‑played, and had founders and co‑founders and people would leave one and start the next. It’s really interesting. So, that’s a neat series.

[24:15] “Nerds 2.0.1 ‑ A Brief History of the Internet” is obviously about the Internet getting started, but it ends in ’98, so it has Excite and AltaVista, and those guys are the premier things they’re looking at because those are the big search engines then. These are a little dated.

[24:32] And, again, I wish someone would do this again in 2011, do another series like this, because I’m always fascinated to see how these startups come about and see the more inside picture. Maybe we get that everyday now; so no one can make a movie anymore. Maybe blogs tell too much of the story, and back then it was a little more opaque. In any case, if you’re into this part of technology and startup culture, I definitely recommend both of these.

Mike:  [24:58] Cool. So, my last one…I actually thought of another one while we were talking. My next to last one is the “Family Guy Starwars Trilogy”. If you’re a fan of “Starwars” at all and you like “Family Guy”, you have to see this. It’s just hilarious. [25:14] It tracks the entire “Starwars”, the real series, not the new one that came out that’s supposed to be good. It tracks Episodes IV, V and VI. And they’re obviously a little bit shorter, but they basically follow the characters the entire story, but they basically put different words in their mouths the entire time.

[25:33] To give you an example ‑ the very beginning of the first one, if you’ll remember when C3PO and R2 are being jettisoned off of that Corellian Cruiser, or something like that, and the gunner starts to shoot at them, or is about to, and the guy says “Oh, hold your fire”. Well, they go through that scene in “Family Guy” and the guy looks at him and says “What, are we like conserving battery power now? What the heck?”

Rob:  [25:59] Nice, so it’s like a comical look at that stuff.

Mike:  [26:02] It’s a very comical look on everything.

Rob:  [26:04] Mocking the script, and stuff.

Mike:  [26:07] Yeah, mocks the script the entire way. It’s very well done, though.

Rob:  [26:10] Cool. I haven’t seen it, so that’s good. So, is that available on Netflix or anything?

Mike:  [26:16] I don’t know if it’s on Netflix. I got it through iTunes.

Rob:  [26:18] OK. For our last one, what do you have?

Mike:  [26:21] “Office Space”.

Rob:  [26:22] Nice.

Mike:  [26:23] Cult classic. This one is the one that kind of inspired me to start my own business.

Rob:  [26:28] Yeah.

Mike:  [26:28] In sort of a way. It wasn’t the only factor, but it certainly was one of the contributing factors. I simply didn’t want to end up like those guys.

Rob:  [26:38] I agree. I remember feeling that way as well, seeing it when they’re all in the cubes and everything. I enjoy the PC Load Letter scene where the printer malfunctions. “PC Load Letter. What does that mean?” Because you’ve seen that message on printers and it’s like, “What does that mean?” Then they beat it up with the bat later. [26:58] Well, very cool. Just as promised, we offered no actionable advice and nothing to help build your business, today. But…

Mike:  [27:05] The actionable advice is to not watch “Starship Troopers”.

Rob:  [27:09] Yeah, exactly. Mike just saved you two hours of your life.

Mike:  [27:11] Although, I hear the book is good, but I’m not sure of that. I hear that the book is actually decent.

Rob:  [27:18] Interesting!

Mike:  [27:19] But that was told to me by a friend, who, I think is a Sergeant in the Marines. He actually does a lot of recruiting for them, but he said that, that’s one of the books on their list of reading material that they tell people that ‑ Oh, these are some books that you might want to consider reading before you come in and actually join the Marines. [27:39] What I was told was that the book actually concentrates a lot on leadership and how to react under pressure and under uncertain circumstances. From that perspective, maybe I could see it; but the movie, just plain awful.

Rob:  [27:52] Well. You’re doing the outline for the next show, so I think we got to give people really high‑end stuff to make up for this one. What do you think?

Mike:  [27:59] Yeah, definitely.

Rob:  [28:01] Really actionable stuff! Step‑by‑step.

Mike:  [28:02] I’ll think of something.

Rob:  [28:03] We’ll make it up to you, we promise.

Mike:  [28:06] So, I think that about wraps it up. If you have a question or comment, you cannot call it…are we calling into the voicemail number yet, or no?

Rob:  [28:13] You know, I haven’t cancelled the voicemail number, and since it’s two bucks a month, I think I lost the login to it.

Mike:  [28:22] Well, the voicemail number is 888‑801‑9690, or you can email it to us at questions@startupsfortherestofus.com. Our theme music is an excerpt… Look what you did to me. You made me stupid from this episode.

Rob:  [28:35] It’s true. We lowered everyone’s IQ who listened to this.

Mike:  [28:39] Our theme music is an excerpt from “We’re Out of Control” by Moot, used under Creative Commons. A full transcript of this podcast will be available at our website startupsfortherestofus.com.

Rob:  [28:48] Hey, we got another review on iTunes.

Mike:  [28:50] Oh, did we? Awesome! Thank you very much.

Rob:  [28:52] From Jay Ray Ray Ray on June 16th. So, that was about five days ago. “Thanks, guys. You do a great job with this podcast.” Awesome!

Mike:  [29:01] So, that’s about it, and if you feel inclined, please, writes anymore reviews that you can. We really do appreciate it. Thanks for listening and we will see next time.


Transcription by CastingWords

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17 Responses to “Episode 47 | Movies For Nerds”

  1. About Starship Troopers it’s based on a book of the same name. The book it’s way better. And Starcraft got a lot of ideas from that book.

  2. Sandy says:

    Movies for Nerds? Really? What happened to giving out tips for micropreneurs? I don’t really care about your favorite movies, sorry. Get me some really useful stuff and you can stay on my “Morning Readings” bookmark folder.

    • Rob says:

      After 40-something episodes of hopefully “really useful stuff” we decided to have fun for an episode. Don’t worry; we’re back to hard-core content in the next one.

      Besides, being a micropreneur isn’t all about work – you also have to relax sometimes 🙂

  3. Sandy says:

    I still think you guys are awesome, but who’s got the time?

  4. Andrew says:

    Another great documentary to watch is “Riot On!”. Entertaining story about a Finnish mobile startup with incompetent founders that squandered millions of dollars of investor funds. But they had fun doing it!


    • Rob says:

      Thanks for the recommendation. That one’s so indie I can’t even find it on Netflix or Amazon 🙂 Appreciate the YouTube link.

  5. Jacob says:

    I think the episode gave me something useful since you suggested Startup movies I now will watch and hopefully learn something from! At least it will be fun, thx for sharing 🙂

  6. Mark says:

    Great episode guys, it was a nice changeup from the normal flavor. I plan on watching a couple of the documentaries mentioned, since I unfortunately have already seen Starship Troopers.

  7. Thanks guys, I actually needed those IQ points. Nice offbeat show, good to have once in a while to break up the serious stuff.

    Anyway, definitely been meaning to read that Paul Allen bio, I saw it in a book shop and forgot what the title was, thanks for pointing me to it again!

    Will definitely check out those startup movies.

  8. Mikael says:

    Great episode. Startups.com was very inspiring!

  9. Erik says:

    Sorry. I like your show for start-ups not sure about your film critic chops.

    “Good art is borrowed, great art is stolen.” is mainly attributed to Picasso, not Steve Jobs.

    From what I hear the movie Starship Troopers was a total send-up of the book which was likely viewed by the director, Paul Verhoeven, as nationalist tripe and possibly fascist (citizenship is only earned by military sacrifice). It makes sense as a recruitment tool.

    Take a look at the style and political message of his film RoboCop. The cheese is meant to be funny.

    • Rob says:

      >>“Good art is borrowed, great art is stolen.” is mainly attributed to Picasso, not Steve Jobs.

      Indeed. That’s the irony of the discussion, I think, that Steve Jobs is quoted as stealing this quote from Picasso 🙂

  10. Randy says:

    Two comments:

    1) Movies for Nerds:

    I think you missed a major opportunity – instead of movies for nerds how about Movies for Startups (Management). As it’s pretty hard to conceive of becoming a great manager by reading management books where can I get role models other than movies/tv?

    I would like to hear you discuss what fictional managers/leaders, in whole or part, you would like to emulate or hire to help run your booming startups. Picard? Kirk? Crane, Swerengen, House, ER Guy, Scrubs guy (Dr. Kelso), etc.

    Regardless I’ll mention some films;
    Pi, 2001:A Space Odyssey, Hackers, Colossus, Forbidden Planet, Fantastic Voyage, Soylent Green, Andromeda Strain, Solaris (both of them); etc.

    2) Transcriptions
    You mentioned the value of a $50 app that can increase productivity… can’t Dragon transcribe it?

    • Rob says:

      >>You mentioned the value of a $50 app that can increase productivity… can’t Dragon transcribe it?

      It wouldn’t be able to specify who was talking, and would wind up being almost unreadable.

  11. banger says:

    what is the name of the service that you use for your toll free voice mail for only $2 a month?