Six Entrepreneurship Lessons from The Dark Knight’s Joker [Knows competition inside-out]

Apart from being the best of the Batman trilogy by Christopher Nolan—and the timeless Joker performance by Heath Ledger—The Dark Knight has also has some serious lessons for entrepreneurs. The case in point is none other than the Joker, who is easily the most effective villain Batman encounters. Criminal or eccentric, the Joker is a model entrepreneur that takes his gang from negligence to omnipotence within a very short time. Can entrepreneurs learn some lessons from him?

Sure, but before we begin, let’s put a smile on our faces . . . *Why so serious?*

  1. The Joker knows the competition inside-out: He knows Batman not the way the other criminals know him; the Joker knows the mind of the Batman. He knows what rules Batman will never break, and uses this “secret knowledge” to cause him much agony. This secret knowledge also saves him in the scene where the Batman is riding his bike straight at the Joker and he’s mumbling, “C’mon. Hit me. I want you to do it, I want you to do it”. Well, he knows Batman will never kill, and uses it to unsettle the Dark Knight.
  2. The Joker is persuasive: There comes a moment in every entrepreneurs life when only persuasion can save the deal, or the company. The Joker is persuasion personified, which he uses to full effect to brainwash Harvey Dent into adopting the character of Two Face. This proves to be the critical moment of the movie, and presents long-term problems for Batman and the police.
  3. The Joker is outrageous in his risk-taking: The Joker takes reckless risks. He’s not the mouse that squeaks and runs from one corner to the other. Consider what he does when Gamble (at the start of the movie) HeathJokerputs a bounty on his head. He stages his own death, gets right into the heart of the mafia’s den, and slices Gamble to death. Later in the movie when he’s talking to Harvey Dent in the hospital, the Joker raises the stakes by handing Dent a revolver. He could have got himself killed—considering that Harvey Dent blamed him for what happened—but he knew in order to score big he’d have to shatter Dent’s good side . . . and he’s willing to bet his life on it!
  4. The Joker has large goals: What does the Joker want, really? He’s not the ordinary petty criminal (which he proves by burning the money). He wants to “upset the established order” and thinks that the Batman would be a lot of “fun” in accomplishing these aims. He thinks big and plans big – hence his big successes.
  5. The Joker is an intelligent employer: When the Joker finishes off gamble, he doesn’t hire his men right off the cuff. He wants to try them out first, and only the fittest (the land man standing in a broken-billiards-cue-stabbing match) would make it to his team.
  6. The Joker never stops having fun: The best way to approach life, no matter what your aims, is to have fun at it. So we see the Joker always laughing and cracking jokes, and trying to make others smile. That they don’t get the humor is not his problem; he’s too busy having fun!

Having problems with your venture? Think that inspiration is drying up? It’s time to borrow a trick or two from our beloved Joker.

*Why so serious?*

[About the author: Ankush Thakur is a freelance writer who likes to wear different hats. He can be reached at]

Image source: Wikipedia

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