Grind Productivity

If You Want to Be An Entrepreneur, Watch These 3 Films

Entrepreneurs are constantly learning on the go: From their peers to their idols, and, most definitely, from their own mistakes—the course of starting (and running) your own business is full of lessons learned.

However, when you can learn some of these lessons before embarking on your own journey—it only makes the process that much easier. Aspiring entrepreneurs should try to learn as much as they can about the field they’re trying to break into before taking the leap. This means doing market research, talking to people with experience, and perhaps reading novels from those who have blazed the trails before them.

For me, though, I feel that there are a number of valuable lessons for the aspiring entrepreneur in films—which is an incredibly important medium for transferring information. And while, in many cases, some of the information expressed through film may be veiled or hidden under an extravagant plot—if you keep your eyes (and ears) open to them, you can take away a lot of valuable advice from good movies.

Below are a few pictures that I feel aspiring entrepreneurs should see—and learn from. And with the release of the Criterion Channel last month, they’re easier to watch than ever. 

Andrei Rublev

Andrei Tarkovsky’s arthouse masterpiece “Andrei Rublev” is more than just a brilliantly shot portrait of 15th century Russia—and one of its most iconic painters, Andrei Rublev. It is a film that bears countless virtues for viewers today, despite being filmed in 1965.

However, the scene I feel is most poignant for any aspiring entrepreneur is the final one: Focusing on Boriska, a young man determined to follow in his late father’s footsteps as a bellmaker. Boriska claims to know the secret of bellmaking and uses this as leverage to gain support from the Prince in recasting a bell for the village church tower. 

As the film progresses, we learn that Boriska never actually learned his father’s secret, and instead relies on his own instincts and a fair amount of trial and error to succeed in his endeavor. And this is similar, in nature, to the type of obstacle many young entrepreneurs will face in the early stages of whatever they’re trying to build. 

You may not have the all of the answers—or in Boriska’s case, the secret—that outline exactly how to succeed in the field you’re trying to break into, at least not early on. But the most important thing is self-belief. When push came to shove, Boriska had to trust in his training and the fire inside him to come up with his own answers, his own secret.

When trying to start a business, far more progress is halted from doubt than a lack of experience or expertise. If you’ve put the work in, have organized your plan and have the desire to succeed burning in your gut—what’s really stopping you? 

Bicycle Thieves

There seem to be countless lessons inside Vittorio di Sica’s 1948 neorealist film “Bicycle Thieves” that would resonate with the aspiring entrepreneur, but, for me, there’s one that stands out in particular.

And that is to focus on the things that truly matter.

In di Sica’s film, a man hocks his own family’s bedsheets in order to afford a bicycle—to take up a job gluing posters to walls and, ultimately, support his family. But on his first day on the job, the bike gets stolen, and he spends the rest of the film searching for it—with the help of his son. Crumbling under the pressure of not being able to provide for his wife and son, the man inadvertently puts his son in danger.

While, on the surface, the bike appeared to be the most important thing to the protagonist but it caused him to lose sight of his true goal. He only purchased the bicycle so that he would have a means of putting food on the table for his family. But, then, once the bicycle was stolen, his focus changed from family to solely the bicycle, and his tunnel vision began to impact his overall decision making. 

This is an important lesson for people looking to start their own business. When things get stressful, it’s easy to lose sight of your true goals and get caught up worrying about smaller obstacles along the way. Obstacles are inevitable, and much about what makes a person successful deals with how they handle the obstacles—not avoid them.

The American Friend

The American Friend is a film by Wim Wenders, (somewhat loosely) adapted from Patricia Highsmith’s novel “Ripley’s Game.” 

The plot of the film—full of subplots, murder attempts, and mayhem—is seemingly set into motion when the film’s protagonist (the late, great Bruno Ganz) inadvertently insults Tom Ripley (played by the late, and equally great, Dennis Hopper) when meeting him for the first time. 

And this goes to show you the importance of first impressions, especially in business. In the film, Jonathan’s (Ganz) refusal to shake Ripley’s hand, makes him the subject to a long-winded revenge trip throughout the film. And while many aspiring entrepreneurs won’t endure those types of consequences for poor first impressions, it is important to maintain good business relations—and you can never take for granted how others in the industry will perceive you.

Grooming Style

How to Ace Business Class: 5 Tips for Traveling Like a CEO

On a long-haul flight, etiquette can be seemingly tossed out the window from 40,000 feet. Are you the guy who takes off his socks and plants his toes on a neighbor’s seat? Don’t be that guy. These five tips will make sure you arrive in style—and avoid annoying your fellow passengers in the process. This is especially important if your seatmates include your boss or coworkers. You don’t want your mid-flight sleeping-pill-and-a-sheet-mask habit getting in the way of your next promotion, do you?

1. Dine Like a Gentleman
Cameris/Getty Images

We know the terminal in your home airport has killer fajitas, but avoid bringing fragrant meals on the plane with you—for your own comfort as well as your fellow passengers’ sake. Plan to eat before or after your flight or enjoy the in-flight meal, which, in business class, should be more than just wrapped sandwiches. As for drinks, by all means take full advantage of the premium bar cart, but don’t use a long flight as an excuse to party. No one wants to sit next to the tipsy guy—even the folks he’s going away with.

2. Dress Up in Fabrics That Fly Well;dc_trk_aid=441901562;dc_trk_cid=115197551;dc_lat=;dc_rdid=;tag_for_child_directed_treatment=;tfua=
Calvin Klein

Whether you’re going straight from the flight into a meeting or just want to flex your airport style like a celebrity en route to the Cannes Film Festival, there’s nothing dated about wearing a suit on a flight in 2019—especially when you choose a tailored style that was built for a busy, modern life. Calvin Klein’s X-fit suits are wrinkle resistant and cut slim for an up-to-date look. We especially love a dark navy suit with a crisp white shirt and dress shoes for a look that’ll take you from your breakfast meeting to your flight to dinner at your destination.

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3. Bring Your Own Necessities

The free headphones, blankets and pillows available on flights are OK in a pinch, but it’s best to bring your own personal items when you fly. Your over-ear headphones sound better, your merino blanket is softer and your neck pillow is definitely more comfortable than the little square thing they usually give you. Plus, these items add style to your in-flight look—even if you happen to be passed out underneath them.  

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4. Adjust Your Outfit (Without Getting Undressed);dc_trk_aid=441913006;dc_trk_cid=115197551;dc_lat=;dc_rdid=;tag_for_child_directed_treatment=;tfua=
Calvin Klein

It’s important to get comfortable as you settle into your seat before a long flight, but that shouldn’t involve bare feet or pulling your hoodie over your face and sprawling out on the tray table in front of you. Instead, slip your jacket off and hang it in the coat closet, then pull on a cashmere crewneck for a bit of warmth and added comfort. Loafers or slip-on sneakers are a great choice for a long flight because you can pop them off discreetly once the lights go dim—just make sure you’re wearing socks.

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5. Bring an In-Flight Grooming Kit
Oars + Alps

Celebrities will have you believe that it’s perfectly normal to put on a sheet mask and give yourself a mini facial during a flight, but that’s crazy talk. What is reasonable is packing a wash bag with a few grooming essentials to keep your skin hydrated and your breath fresh during and after your flight. What you pack is a personal choice, but we’re fans of floss, mouthwash, hand lotion and facial wipes. If you already struggle with dryness, a facial oil or moisturizer isn’t out of the question either. And Don Draper types may even want to shave before getting off the plane.

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Style What To Buy

A History of the Timeless Harrington Jacket

Baracuta’s classic Harrington jacket is one of those clothing items you’ve seen so many times before and you’re surely familiar with the silhouette, but you never knew the technical name for it. Known in the early days as a “blouson jacket,” Americans, Englishmen, rockers and rebels have all worn the casual jacket for decades, imbuing it with a vibe that’s both prep and punk.

Founded in 1937 in Manchester, England, by brothers John and Isaac Miller, Baracuta has long led the charge toward cool, masculine designs. Their signature G9 Harrington jacket was originally meant to be appropriate for golf, hence the “G.”

One year later, in 1938, a chief of the Clan Fraser of Lovat, a Highland Scottish group, granted the brand access to its memorable red tartan fabric, letting Baracuta line all of its garments with the plaid. This collaboration raised the standards for what a casual jacket could mean at a time when blazers and sports coats were the crux of dressing down.

Then, in the 1960s, actor Ryan O’Neal played a character named Rodney Harrington on television’s prime-time soap opera Peyton Place. He regularly wore the G9 jacket, and the nickname Harrington forever stuck with the style.

The iconic jacket appears throughout vintage pop culture—on Steve McQueen when he graced the cover of Time magazine, on Elvis Presley in many of his films and on James Dean in many on-set photos.

Presidents also adopted the style: John F. Kennedy reportedly wore his whenever he went sailing, and Bill Clinton donned his while golfing. The repetition of men in positions of power wearing the style cemented its longevity in the history of men’s fashion.

Today, Baracuta and its G9 jacket are still going strong. It’s available at Baracuta’s brick-and-mortar locations, on their website and through top retailers. Keep scrolling to see history’s golden style leaders rocking the G9 Harrington jacket from Baracuta.

Steve McQueen

James Dean

Frank Sinatra

Christopher Reeve as Superman

Elvis Presley

Daniel Craig

Jon Hamm

Jason Statham

Leonardo DiCaprio

Sports Strength

NBA 2019 Offseason Calendar

This offseason is going to be a doozie. Kevin Durant—among other elite players like Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving—is set to become a free agent, and wherever he goes will tilt the balance of the NBA. Zion Williamson, the most anticipated NBA rookie since LeBron, will enter the league. Two big markets, Los Angeles and New York/Brooklyn, have roster space to absorb stars in media markets thirsting for them. The Western Conference has dominated for so long. Is the power about to shift?

The NBA offseason has arguably become more entertaining than the regular season. The transactions, the takes and the tweets are all coming in high volume and career arcs are remade. 

May 14: NBA Lottery

Zion Williamson’s NBA destination will be decided. The first domino of the offseason falls.

May 30: NBA Finals

While every year’s NBA Finals is an event in its own right, this year’s championship has more significance. The result will ripple through the league, and new narratives could emerge. Which stars will stay with the Sixers? Will the Bucks bring back Khris Middleton on a max deal? 

June 10: EYBL Peach Jam Finals

The nation’s premiere AAU tournament culminates with this week in Atlanta.

June 20: NBA Draft

While this year’s class hasn’t attracted as much attention as those in years past—outside of Zion, that is—getting good talent on rookie contracts is still the most financially efficient path to success.

July 1: Free Agency Starts

This is the first date when NBA free agents can sign with new teams. In the past, the most coveted players have decided their fate before the day, but they always make the announcement early in the window.

July 5 to July 15: NBA Summer League

The NBA Summer League has become the league’s marquee offseason social event. The Las Vegas location attracts front office personnel, journalists, fans and personalities who have built the league’s profile. 

August 3: NBA2K League Finals

Much of the NBA 2K League calendar wisely happens during the NBA offseason, when attention won’t be divided between its nightly events and the playoffs. 

August 20: Jordan Brand Classic

The last big high school all-star game of the summer season collects the biggest prospects in the country in New York for a weekend of hoops and hype.

For more of our offseason coveragehead to our predictions columns about the future of the Knicks, the future of the Lakers, and the future of Zion

Sports Strength

These 5 NBA Tunnel Fits Are the Hottest of the Month

While the playoffs bring postseason-level fits to the table, it’s also a war of attrition. After each round, half of the competing teams are dispatched, along with their players’ designs on future arena tunnel runways. Fit gods like Kelly Oubre Jr. and Kyle Kuzma are at home—maybe even getting a head start on next year’s fits—and the competition is only dwindling, especially as playoff routines harden and superstitions kick in.

But fear not! Plenty of our guys are still out there, doing their thing and flexing while also helping their teams toward a championship. This will be a smaller space next month. Let’s enjoy the present together. 

Klay Fashion’s Anti-Fashion *is* Fashion, Get Over Yourself

A lot was made of this look, and for good reason: It’s iconic. If your ideology about fashion bends toward more of an extension of personal style, nothing could be more perfect for Klay. It’s a vest, but he’s not being all “I have a new CBD startup” about it. Sunglasses on, slightly crooked, but perfect in a specific, post-modernist way. It’s the look Harmony Korine would never think to shamelessly utilize—it exists on some kind of higher spectral plane, free from the constraints of expectation. The Beach Bum looks bad. —Corban Goble


We’re fully supporting the yee-haw movement over here. And even more than that, we support those on lottery teams that are still liable to get a fit off. After Bron dipped and the cameras followed, it would have been easy to show up in team track suits or tech fleece every day.

But instead, Kev took it as a chance to reinvent his swag. Traded in the Thom Browne for some Nike selvedge and went to work. —Jacob Forchheimer

Dennis Schroder, Your Drip Watch Has Ended

Pray for April. In one month, Dennis Schroeder went full bright orange spring-jawn on us, early.

But what makes this fit hit so hard is that it made you bite. And then later in the same month—when it was supposed to get warmer—Dennis stepped back and drilled a 35-footerwith this Nike tech fleece ensemble. Schröder stays wavy no matter the weather. The weather has nothing on Dennis Schröder. That’s a rare level—that “premium subscription to Dark Sky” swag. All-wheel-drive type of drip. —Jacob Forchheimer

Trae Young, Being Literal is OK

I’m all sorts of ways about this one. I like that it’s literal, and I’ve always thought more needed to happen with the ICEE typeface, especially in a window of time where some dude named the Night King holds a massive space in the cultural imagination. I’m flirting with a frame of mind that this iced-out rook look is too literal, too on the nose, too repetitive, the lowest-hanging fruit made real. 

But then I come around to be more honest with myself. I like literal. I like repetitive. This works. —Corban Goble

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Icy As Always

There are so few humans in the world who can dress like NBA players. The combination of BMI, long limbs and seven- to nine-figure salaries really trims the pool. And as a result of this circumstance, it’s become sort of obvious that only a couple of stylists service the majority of the NBA. It’s also very clear when a few players—like Shai—are not part of that ring.

This chic and statement-making shirt is exactly the style of garment that the big ballers in the league drool over—and Shai is only a rookie on a fixed-salary rookie deal, meaning the only way he got his hands on this is by finding it himself. But not even in a trying-hard way, which is a perfect expression of Shai’s energy. It just sort of… fell onto his shoulders.

A cartoon drawing shirt would look a little juvenile by itself. So he hype-ified it with Olivier pants and Off-White Converse. He doesn’t even need the second contract to flex (this shirt is $20). Shai’s got the juice. —Jacob Forchheimer