What I learned from watching GHOSTBUSTERS

“I have a radical idea. The door swings both ways. We can reverse the particle flow through the gate…”

- Egon Spengler

“How?”

- Ray Stantz

“We’ll Cross The Streams.”

- Egon Spengler

- (Ghostbusters)

Ghostbusters, the 1984 release with Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd, and Harold Ramis is without a doubt one of my favorite movies and funniest in my opinion of all time. It’s up there on my list of favorites with Batman, Back To The Future, and Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. Those will most likely all get mentioned or quoted once or twice in this book if they haven’t been already. If you haven’t seen Ghostbusters, you should probably do so. Not only is it hilarious. But it’s also a Self Help movie in many aspects. . It’s about a group of outsiders who get made fun of, discredited, and looked down upon by their employers, the media, the government and so forth. It’s about 3 dudes who get fired for thinking out side of the box. So what do they do? Do they reign in what excites them? Do they give up? Do they conform to a society that seems to have no need for them? No.

They pull a Steve Jobs. They pull a Snapchat. They pull an (Insert some other super profitable company that started off as a major risk in a garage of some sort). Ray takes out a 3rd mortgage on his family’s house at 19% without even negotiating albeit hesitantly and the 3 scientists or professors or game show hosts as they’re called decide to take the risk of opening up a business for themselves. They had the foresight to think outside of the box and create something they thought the public would want and need. Something at first that the populace scoffed at. They went into business as paranormal investigators. “Exterminators” as Venkman says to the dude by the elevators when he asks if they’re cosmonauts. They’re the Ghostbusters and yes they’re serious. Problem is, when you solve the problem too great you put yourself out of business, just look at the beginning of Ghostbusters 2. That’s why car companies make cars that break down, or why Apple makes their iPhone battery dies every time you update to a new iOS.(I cannot prove that this is real or factual, but it sure seems like it’s true.)

“Excuse me Egon… you said crossing the streams was bad…”

- Peter Venkman (Ghostbusters)

Cross The Streams. Or as I like to think of it: Thinking outside of the box. The cliché phrase that businesses use, ad agencies, and many others. Some believe, including Wikipedia at the time of me writing this, the phrase “Think out side of the box” originates from the popular 9 Box Puzzle.

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The point or objective of the puzzle is to connect the 9 dots using four straight lines or less, without lifting the pencil, and without tracing the same line more than once.

There’s a set goal. With set rules that make it seem as though it is an impossible task. You need to forget the box structure of the puzzle and look at it as just dots. You see the dots outside of the box and then you can think of a way to connect them. It’s thinking Outside of the box. It’s like when people say Jumping The Shark or Nuking The Fridge when something bad happens to something they love. I use Crossing the Streams as another concept or way of saying thinking outside of the box. Go against the grain. Being different or dangerous. Some ideas are meant to look at from different angles. Sometimes in order to solve a problem you need to step back and look at how many ways the problem can be solved. Sometimes, it’s the most unorthodox way possible.

Early in the film, during the hotel scene in Ghostbusters, the first time ever of actually using the proton packs; Egon warns the others not to cross the streams. Ray subsequently tells them not to look directly into the trap which Egon immediately does anyways. Before that though, he says Crossing the Streams would be bad. So obviously they didn’t cross the streams. That is until the end when they needed to think outside of the box again. Just like in the beginning when they decided to start their business, they were faced with a problem when Zuul arrived and there was no Dana. They were stuck. Their proton packs couldn’t defeat Zuul like they had before with all the other ghosts. They needed a solution. They needed to think outside of the box. They needed to cross the streams.

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