Hollywood, or Silicon Valley: Where's the Money? - NYTimes.com
This comparison between Hollywood and Silicon Valley is fascinating - two industries that rely almost exclusively on big hits to finance all their other projects.
An interesting thing to note is that in the same way that Hollywood producers try to de-risk their films, leading to the same bland retreads of past successes, so do VC’s try to de-risk their startups, leading to so many startups doing the same tired routines. Hollywood relies on “bankable stars” as a way to boost their chances of success in the same way that VC’s are willing to give ridiculous amounts of funding to entrepreneurs with past successes prior to any traction in their current company (see: Color, Airtime, etc).
The romantic notion is that of the indie film with little to no insider funding that defied all odds and became a huge success - which has its parallels in bootstrapped startups and other companies overlooked by VC’s, who are only too happy to provide funding once it is a known quantity. While those stories are inspiring, it’s due to their improbability - most indie films receive little to no recognition, and while they might be a great form of artistic expression, they aren’t going to be the right type of venture for a Hollywood producer to back.
But that’s ok. For the filmmaker, it’s about a passion for telling a story. Startup founders should feel the same way.