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These Films Inspired an 8-Figure E-commerce Empire

$90,000,000 in revenue may be partially due to the inspiration from various films, says Will Basta, co-founder of Ascend CapVentures, an e-commerce logistics and investment management firm.

From a humble beginning with just 10 clients, Ascend CapVentures now boasts over 700+ clients and has generated more than $900 million in revenue for them.

But where does Basta draw his inspiration from? The answer might surprise you. As a big fan of the silver screen, Basta credits much of his business acumen and strategic thinking to a unique source – cinema.

In an exclusive conversation with Film Daily, Basta shared how four particular films – Moneyball, Wall Street, Jerry McGuire, and Boiler Room – have informed his approach to building Ascend CapVentures.

Will Basta wearing a white shirt

Will Basta 2023 (Ascend Ecom Photography)

Moneyball: Playing the Numbers Game

moneyball scene showing brad pitt and Jonah hill


Brad Pitt may have inspired many with this film, but the underlying message was clear to the Ascend CapVentures co-founder.

Will Basta: “I feel like Moneyball taught me the importance of leveraging data to make informed decisions.” “It’s about finding value where no one else is looking. At Ascend, we do the same. We analyze data to find products and markets that are undervalued and ripe for investment.”

Indeed, Basta’s company mirrors the innovative approach to baseball team management depicted in the movie. Through data-driven e-commerce investment, Ascend CapVentures has been able to deliver remarkable results for its clients, much like the Oakland A’s team in the film.

Wall Street: Ethics and Ambition

Wall Street (Film)

Next on Basta’s list is the critically acclaimed and iconic Wall Street.

“I think this film served as a stark reminder of the pitfalls of unchecked ambition,” Basta shared. “While we strive for success at Ascend, we do it ethically, never compromising on our values.”

As evidenced by Ascend’s successful yet ethical business model, Basta has taken the film’s cautionary tale to heart, ensuring his company stays on the right side of the ledger. “When we first started it was very slow and small, we knew where we wanted to go, but we didn’t want to run before we could jog.”

Wall Street portrays the cutthroat nature of the financial industry and delves into themes of greed, corruption, and the moral compromises often made in the pursuit of wealth and success. The film serves as a cautionary tale, highlighting the negative consequences that can arise when individuals prioritize personal gain over ethical considerations.

Jerry McGuire: The Importance of Personal Relations

Tom Cruz (Jerry Maguire - Film)

Tom Cruise talks on a phone in a scene from the film ‘Jerry Maguire’, 1996. (Photo by TriStar/Getty Images)






Jerry Maguire, directed by Cameron Crowe and released in 1996, is a beloved film that explores the intersection of personal and professional relationships in the world of sports management. The movie follows the journey of the titular character, Jerry Maguire, played by Tom Cruise, as he experiences a crisis of conscience and strives to redefine his career and personal values.

“To me, Jerry McGuire demonstrates the power of personal relationships in business,” says Basta. “At Ascend, we invest in our clients, not just their businesses. We’re with them every step of the way, our success is dependent on theirs.”

Much like Tom Cruise’s character in the movie, Basta prioritizes personal relationships with his clients, ensuring they are more than just numbers on a balance sheet.

Jerry Maguire reminds audiences that business is not just about bottom lines and profit margins but also about the human connections that drive meaningful and sustainable success.

Boiler Room: Overcoming Challenges

boiler room (film)

Vin Diesel (left), Giovanni Ribisi (center), and Nia Long (right) in Boiler Room (2000)

Lastly, the high-stakes drama Boiler Room inspired Basta’s tenacity in the face of adversity. “This film taught me that challenges are inevitable in business,” Basta said. “What matters is how you overcome them.”

Boiler Room, directed by Ben Younger and released in 2000, is a gripping drama that delves into the world of high-stakes finance, specifically focusing on the unethical practices of a brokerage firm engaged in illegal activities. The film follows the journey of Seth Davis, played by Giovanni Ribisi, as he becomes embroiled in the cutthroat world of stockbroking and must confront his own moral compass.

Will Basta has applied this principle to his work at Ascend CapVentures, navigating the complex world of e-commerce logistics and investment management with the same determination shown by the movie’s protagonists. Boiler Room has also been considered to be one of the top 5 must watch films to learn about the stock market.

Will Basta Beyond The Screen: Real Life

man (will-bast) with black shirt

Will Basta 2023 (Maxim Photo)

In addition to drawing inspiration from these films, Will Basta extends his commitment to service through volunteering as the Director of Development at OncoTelligent. The non-profit, focused on spreading cancer awareness and providing free personalized comprehensive cancer care reports, mirrors Basta’s dedication to making a people-first positive impact.

“Much like in the world of business, in the fight against cancer, every decision matters,” Basta says. “Both roles require resilience, strategic thinking, and a deep commitment to those we serve.”

Basta’s unique approach to e-commerce is, indeed, a product of his varied inspirations. Whether it’s leveraging data from Moneyball, maintaining ethics from Wall Street, building relationships like Jerry McGuire, or overcoming adversity as seen in Boiler Room, Basta has woven these lessons into the fabric of Ascend CapVentures.

Film has a unique way of teaching us valuable life lessons,” Basta reflects. “It has been a tremendous source of inspiration for me in building Ascend CapVentures. Every movie tells a story, and if you’re open to it, there’s a lot to learn.”

Indeed, it’s not often you find a business leader drawing inspiration from the world of cinema. Basta’s unique approach has proven successful, as evidenced by the rapid growth and success of Ascend CapVentures. His clients, too, benefit from this innovative approach to e-commerce investment, mirroring the game-changing strategies found within his favorite films.

In Basta’s own words, “The beauty of film is that it transcends the mundane, offering a fresh perspective on life and its many complexities. It’s this fresh perspective that I bring to my work every day. The world of e-commerce is our playing field, and we’re here to change the game.

In the end, it’s clear that Basta’s unique blend of cinematic inspiration and real-world application has made Ascend CapVentures what it is today – a full-service e-commerce logistics and investment management powerhouse. As his story continues to unfold, we eagerly await the next chapter. One thing’s for certain – with the lessons of Moneyball, Wall Street, Jerry McGuire, and Boiler Room guiding him, Will Basta is set to keep Ascend CapVentures soaring high.

All in all, films can have powerful real world impact. While we explored one successful entrepreneurs cinema based inspirations, one thing remains clear: Movies have the power to teach us lessons and inspire us, whether they are fictional stories that provide archetypal truths and lessons, or carefully cinematic adaptions of real life stories. Films have the power to teach us lessons about greed, ethics, financial responsibility, and even life itself. So next time you find yourself enjoying a movie, ask yourself what it means to you, and what you can learn from it!

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  • hey I know this guy!!!

    May 11, 2023

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