Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Francis Ford Coppola's Advice to Programmers and Entrepeneurs

I found this interview with Francis Ford Coppola to be surprisingly riveting. It's filled with all sorts of insights that seem to apply to both being a programmer as well as an entrepreneur.

Take his view on how young the world of movies is:

I just finished a film a few days ago, and I came home and said I learned so much today. So if I can come home from working on a little film after doing it for 45 years and say, “I learned so much today,” that shows something about the cinema. Because the cinema is very young. It’s only 100 years old.

Even in the early days of the movies, they didn’t know how to make movies. They had an image and it moved and the audience loved it. You saw a train coming into the station, and just to see motion was beautiful.

The same thing can be said about programming. In so many ways, I think we're still very much inventing our field. And it really is true that not too long ago getting the computer to do anything was just remarkable in and of itself.

He goes on to talk about the importance of risk (something every entrepreneur needs to learn to love), the concept of borrowing a style from another person (something a programmer should embrace) and some really unexpected views on making money. Such as:

You have to remember that it’s only a few hundred years, if that much, that artists are working with money. Artists never got money. Artists had a patron, either the leader of the state or the duke of Weimar or somewhere, or the church, the pope. Or they had another job. I have another job. I make films. No one tells me what to do. But I make the money in the wine industry. You work another job and get up at five in the morning and write your script.

Like I said, really interesting stuff. Definitely worth a read.

Found via:

I suppose I can chalk this up as yet another movie maker giving solid geek advice.

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