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What I learnt about business from watching the movie ‘Scream’!

What I learnt about business from watching the movie ‘Scream’!

March 29, 2022

I am a big fan of the movie ‘Scream’. If you don’t know what I am talking about, ‘Scream’ is a teen slasher, horror, comedy. Released in 1996, ‘Scream’ is set in a small town in California where a high school kid gets inspired by horror movies and goes on a slashing spree. The twist is that the teenagers in the ‘Scream’ world are not dumb. They have watched all the horror films that came out in 70’s and 80’s, most notably ‘Halloween’, and know all the ‘rules’ of horror movies. They know all the cliches of horror movies past and use the information to outsmart the killer.


I was watching the latest sequel - ‘Scream’ 2022, a couple of weeks back when lightning struck me. By the way, even though sequels, by definition, are inferior films, the latest installment is a fun watch. Anyhow, I was watching the movie and it suddenly dawned on me,


‘You know what, this is how progress is made. One generation defines the rules. Slowly, the rules become orthodoxy. Everyone believes in them unthinkingly. Then, a new generation comes along, looks at the same rules and calls bullshit. They change the rules and progress happens’.   


This realization made me sit up. My mind wandered to business and made me think about the unsaid rules of business which we never even think of questioning. I mean, just look at LinkedIn. There is barely a LinkedIn profile that has anything interesting to say. It is a sea of same old regurgitations of skill sets and brags about real or imagined accomplishments. I mean, would you even talk to a person you ran into a grocery store if all you knew was their LinkedIn profile? In my humble opinion, the business world takes itself too seriously. It takes 3-dimensional people, hammers them till they become 2-dimensional and then wonders where did the originality go. 


New generation, new rules. I think that it is time to call bullshit on business orthodoxy. With that in mind, I have decided to remove skill sets and humble brags from my LinkedIn profile and replace them with the following 12 statements (which, by the way, are completely true).


  1. I am not a thought leader; I just try different things. Some of them work, most don’t.
  2. I don’t know if I was born humble or had humility drilled into me. The market kicked my ass so hard so many times that all notions of greatness left me long ago.
  3. I am not very confident. I usually know what I don’t know. When I see someone super confident, I worry if they have any idea how many things can bite them in the ass.
  4. I am usually not the smartest person in the room. If, horror of horrors, I find myself in that situation, I leave the room immediately.
  5. I talk less and listen more. I mean, why remove all doubts about my stupidity?
  6. I don’t follow best practices. My job is to figure out what others may be missing.
  7. I don’t work 15-hour days. After all, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
  8. When I have a problem to solve, I cancel all meetings and go for a walk. Harder the problem, longer the walk.
  9. I am not in thrall of technology per se. I mean, technology changes every year, but human psychology barely changes over millennia.
  10. I have forgotten everything I learnt in school. These days, I just watch movies to learn the art of telling a story. Duh!
  11. Finally, I am not a serial entrepreneur. I think it takes a lifetime of work to make something valuable.
  12. Finally, Finally, I am sorry if I hurt anybody. My apologies. But, could you please get over yourself?


What do you think? Will you hire me if you read this on my LinkedIn profile? Will you talk to me if you ran into me at the grocery store? Are there any other rules of business which make you bang your head in the wall?  


I am all ears.




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