Week 1 Dilemmas Discussion

Ghostbusters (1984)

Movie Summary

In the movie, Ghostbusters (1984), the main three characters, Drs. Peter Venkman (Bill Muray), Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), and Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) were paranormal researchers before losing their grant from New York’s Columbia University. After being let go from the university, Dr. Venkman convinces Dr. Stantz and Dr. Spengler to start their venture of investigating and capturing ghosts. The trio launches a business named Ghostbusters with the limited experience of only seeing one ghost, and without ever catching one.  After a series of fortunate events, the business becomes famous and can save the city by the end of the movie.

Concept from Entrepreneurship

The book, The Founder’s Dilemma, (Wasserman, 2012) addresses the dilemma of Building Human Capital (Wasserman, 2012). This dilemma covers life experiences outside of academia that will give a founder/s insight on the steps to launching a successful venture.  Wasserman also covers Managerial Experience (Wasserman, 2012) as another dilemma. The managerial Experience dilemma is interesting because Wasserman describes how having a business degree or experience in a management position can be helpful, but he goes on to state that only 18% of the database founders used for case studies had any managerial experience. The dilemma of Clouding Judgement: Passion and Optimism (Wasserman, 2012) is also covered. This dilemma is described as the founder’s overconfidence and optimism, which can lead them down paths that do not follow a solid business plan.

The Link

In the film Ghostbusters, the three university professors turned paranormal exterminators, has the appearance of an induvial that lacks the experience of launching a successful business. Only Dr. Stantz has ever worked in the “private sector”, while Dr. Venkman has never held a job outside of academia. There are two major references to lack of managerial skills such as running out of petty cash before landing their first paying client, and not hiring enough staff to distribute the workload once the business takes off. Dr. Stantz’s optimism gets the trio in trouble twice by revealing how much he wants the business location while Dr. Venkman and Dr. Spengler are trying to talk the real estate agent down, and then again when he purchases a company vehicle that is overpriced and needs a lot of maintenance because he likes it. The passion for the paranormal is the one saving fact for the protagonists. While eating the last meal that they could afford, they received the phone call for a job that would help them not only launch the first of many successful ghost captures, but they were able to make their first sale. 

Reference list (APA style)

Reitman, I. (1984). Ghostbusters. Columbia Pictures.

Wasserman, N. (2012). “Chapter 2 Career Dilemmas “, The Founder’s Dilemmas, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey

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