An Entrepreneurial lesson from Ghostbusters


We’ve all watched Ghostbusters and remember it for the classic Sigourney Weaver’s scene of the Key Master, the lovable Slimer, the wacky threesome and the awesome ECTO-1!

But the early part has an entrepreneurial lesson, especially for the academics. The threesome were initially university researchers who worked on wacky science and projects. Then one day, the dean of their university decided to cut the funding and kick them out of the university.

So now, leaving the comforts and safety of the ivory towers of a university, the three embark on an entrepreneurial venture – providing a service, based on a fictional (maybe real) market need that requires high technology and deep science which the market needs to be educated about.


In the movie, we also get to see the interesting team dynamics between the three – Peter Vankman, Ray Stanz and Egon Spengler (all PhD scientists). Each with their own unique idiosyncrancies, stereotypes and skills.

We also see the founders’ dilemma of funding in funding and setting up office in a dilapitated fire station. One of them had to mortgage his house with high interest rate and they got a really crappy place to start their operations from. No pitching to investors, venture capitalists or angels.

From this, the entire movie takes off on a tangent about ghosts and the supernatural. After their first customer… customers increase exponentially! Then when they get really popular… the government (EPA) comes in and interferes with their operations.

Well, for all you academics, PhDs out there… there are alternative careers for scientists and find complementing skilled people if you want to start a business. And remember to have fun and love every moment of it.

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