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Startup.com (2001)

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Traces the birth and failure of new media company govWorks.com.
10 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kenneth Austin ...
Tricia Burke ...
Roy Burston ...
David Camp ...
Dora Glottman ...
Julian Herbstein ...
Christina Ortez ...
Jonathan Agus ...
Himself (as Jonathan Agus)
Chieh Cheung ...
Sean Coar ...
Ambika Conroy ...
Patrick Cromer ...
Jerry Greenberg ...


Kaleil Isaza Tuzman and Tom Herman have had a dream since they became friends at age fifteen: get rich by developing their own dot com company, in some aspect of computer technology interface. Now in their late twenties, they have now come up with the idea they believe will make their riches, namely as Tom refers to it, "parking tickets": the company will be the on-line revenue collection interface for municipal governments. GovWorks.com came into existence in May 1999 with only an idea. The process of building the business focuses on obtaining venture capital based solely on the idea, with the actual mechanics of the website seemingly almost an afterthought, or at least one left primarily to the hired help. Regardless of the strength of the idea itself in raising this capital, another initial problem they face is what they see as non-commitment by a third partner, Kaleil's friend Chieh Cheung. In early 2000, they do manage to go live with their product to what seems to be a promising... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The rise and fall of the American dream.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

1 June 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Business sto diadyktio  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$16,118 (USA) (11 May 2001)


$1,280,975 (USA) (31 August 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jehane Noujaim, the videographer and producer, began the project when she was the roommate of the documentary's principal character, Kaleil Tuzman. She was previously a producer at MTV. See more »


Spoofed in ESoda.com (2005) See more »


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User Reviews

Great movie, but you either love it or are confused by it
13 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I myself worked in one of the ubiquitous .com's in the late 90's and this movie is frightening realistic, from the long hours and technical glitches right down to the embarrassingly lame cheers.

I read on the web the filmmakers set out to document their friends impending wealth and business fortune with this documentary, but what they got was the complete opposite. I think that speaks volumes for expectations during this era.

I feel like some of the other IMDb reviews are off the mark. Yes, the movie is sometimes hard to follow. But it was shot in the Cinéma-vérité genre and that is to be expected. It is an uncompromising real life look, and it is up to the viewer to decipher; sometimes this works sometimes not. Some previous reviews wondered how the company folded. Honestly its a movie about an internet company, why do you think it failed? Having said this, I think more could have been shown of why Tom got the axe and the love relationships of Kaliel could have been better developed.

According to the DVD the producers cut some realistic (and boringly technical) scenes to focus more on the relationship between Tom and Kaleil. This is where they succeeded. They are trying to tell the story of the company downfall through the interplay of these two characters. It is fascinating because it is real. The most compelling part is the coorelation between their relationship eroding as does the company. Viewed from that point of view this movie is really not a documentary. Nevertheless it is entertaining and gripping. What amazed me was the unfettered greed and their enormous hubris which prevented them from acknowledge their role in this sinking ship.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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