On July 24th, SnagFilms released The Entrepreneur, a documentary film about a driven auto industry entrepreneur named Malcolm Bricklin. Bricklin is a fiery, temperamental entrepreneur with a flair for brinkmanship. He has a storied past, having introduced the Subaru and Yugo automotive brands into the United States, and having developed the Bricklin SV-1 gull-wing sports car in the mid-1970s.
This film follows Bricklin for five years as he strives to build a new car company, Visionary Vehicles. He scours the planet for an unknown manufacturer whose vehicles he can import into America. After a long search, he discovers Chery International, a small but growing Chinese carmaker. He negotiates exclusive North American distribution rights to the Chery. His next task: to raise the financing and support from dealerships to make it happen.
Bricklin exhibits attributes shared by many successful entrepreneurs: industry expertise, unstoppable tenacity, unyielding hubris, and a willingness to risk it all (he has made and lost several fortunes and has developed a knack for emerging from bankruptcy on his feet). He also has anger management issues, zero empathy, and is inflexible.
In the end, the business falls apart when Chery backs out of the deal. But it won’t be long before a man who has started 30 companies will take another shot at it.
This isn’t the story of a “typical” entrepreneur – but every entrepreneur will appreciate many of the challenges Bricklin must surmount. Enjoy.