Why The Social Network Will Give Me Nightmares

I finally got around to watching The Social Network. It was not on the agenda of things I ever wanted to see. In fact I was secretly hoping after the On Demand commercials ended, and the Jesse Eisenberg (sp) guest hosting on SNL talk dissipated, that I could go along my merry way without ever having to hear about that movie again.

Why?

Because it’s already been done. Only with real people. And sans Justin Timberlake. By the way – I bought Eisenberg as Zuckerberg, the actors who played the twins, Eduardo etc. All fit their roles to a T. Except for Timberlake who I felt interpreted, verses acted his role as Sean Parker. Danny Masterson should have owned this role. Just my opinion but I didn’t think he was convincing in the least bit.

Anyway this reinterpretation of Startup cliche, it’s been done. A decade ago I sat in a movie theatre with the cofounders of Simplewire, watching solemnly as the opening scene of Startup.com introduced us to Kaleil Isaza Tuzman leaving his job at Goldman Sachs for the opportunity to lead a company called govWorks. I remember saying out loud to myself an expletive as I watched accelerated investment rounds edited within the confines of a 2 hour movie. govWorks raised millions upon millions of dollars. When Tuzman fired his cofounder and childhood best friend Tom Herman I cringed and thought “Let this never happen to us.”

But it did.

As well as it happening to hundreds of thousands of people who were a part of startup culture. You know what startup culture taught me? That incorporating great ideas can lead to greed. The Social Network embodied that – a movie without a single protagonist. A movie where one man sat alone after a deposition by himself feeling as though the world was against him and his intellectual capital.

I hated The Social Network for what it represents. I hate myself for relating to it even more.

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One comment

  1. Charlie Jones · February 6, 2011

    First the movie, over all an enjoyable couple of hours. For some reason I enjoyed the Timberlake character. Was it over the top? Of course it was, but it effectively served the role of centralizing all the “bad” influences that can latch onto a successful startup. I also enjoyed seeing “London Tipton” (yay me!) as the coked up domineering girlfriend of Eduardo.

    Having experienced two startups meet their final conclusion, one good and one bad, I felt I had a difference viewing experience from the rest of the audience. You are all too familiar with my bad experience since we collectively shared in it. My good experience was the complete opposite. Four partners raised an modest initial round of funding through family and friends. After five years of hard work, shrewd business planning and a little luck they flipped the company for 78 times the initial funding. I think the difference was that the partners had more business experience (40-somethings not 20-somethings) and a clear focus on what they wanted to achieve.

    In the end it all comes down to decision making and a little moral fiber.

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