Eye For Film >> Movies >> Startup.com (2001) Film Review
It seems incredible that when the internet really started to take off back in 2000 people all over the world were starting dotcoms from their backyards, finding unfeasibly large sums of backing cash and becoming millionnaires overnight. That was only half the story and this documentary captures both the agonies and ecstasies of one such company.
Kaleil Isaza Tuzman and Tom Herman are childhood best pals, who founded a New York based website - govWorks.com - and saw it grow from business plan to national recognition, only to find themselves in a battle to keep the company afloat - and their friendship, too - as the economy takes a downturn.
This is a very well crafted fly-on-the-wall style documentary. Kaleil is an ego on legs, but he is also a motivator. Tom, on the other hand, is a techno-nerd, with a magical beard, which seems to appear and disappear almost at will from shot to shot. In fact, by the end, you may become more concerned with the state of Tom's face furniture than the company - but everyone has to have a hobby! Between the two of them, they tell an amazing tale of ambition, hard labour and the importance of friendship.
Much of the movie feels alien to a British viewer - there are scenes of the employees chanting their mantra for success: "What are we going to do? Rock 'em. When are we going to do it? Every day. How are we going to do it? Every way." - but that doesn't make it any less interesting. In fact, it adds to the fascination.
An insightful account, which brings a whole new meaning to the phrase, "What a tangled web we weave".Reviewed on: 28 Apr 2002