from Forbes.com, enhanced by Peter/CXO, Wiz4.biz 10/12
Rough Beginning. Walt Disney was born in 1901. After High School, he was fired by his Newspaper from his first Cartoon job, because he had “No Talent”. He went out on his own and this Cartoon was stolen from him. On his next Cartoon series, his distributor went bankrupt and Walt’s company ran out of money. But Walt didn’t give up easily. Next, he created Mickey Mouse and he built his empire on this.
Why Mickey Mouse? So with $40 in his pocket, Walt caught a train to LA to “make Movies in Hollywood”. He couldn’t find a job, so again he created his own Company. Since he lived in a run-down apartment, the mice sorta became his pets and he created the Mickey Mouse character after them.
Success at last. It wasn’t till he added the newly available sound, and had good promotion that his 3rd short Cartoon film on Mickey became a hit. Now he was an Overnight Success. His work was in such high demand, he had to produce 1 new “short” a month. When Mickey became popular round the world, he figured out how to promote merchandise based on the cartoon characters – the most popular of which was the Mickey Mouse watches.
Getting Help/ Expanding. 1 Cartoon “Short” a month was more than Walt could handle, so he started a School for Animation. He definitely needed “animators” to create the 1st full length Animation Film – Snow White. It was a huge success at the Box Office & thru Merchandise – and continues to be.
Making & Keeping the Money? Walt’s cartoons, films & merchandise – altho’ very popular – didn’t bring in enough money to meet his need for expension, so he started Wild Animal Films. After 30 years, his company started to do their own distribution to make & keep more of the profit. Next, he expanded into TV with the Walt Disney Show. The Mickey Mouse Club helped sell even more merchandise.
More Family Entertainment. In the early 50s, Walt wanted a special Park “where a family could play” and Disneyland in LA was created from his fertile imagination. When it opened, it only cost $1 for adults & 50¢ for kids. Parking was free. Despite all the skeptics that thought it would be a failure, it was an instant success with 2500 Visitors/ day for first few months. In 2 years, there were 10,000 Visitors/ day. The average family of four spent $2.70 for admission & rides + 18¢ on food & souvenirs. In 4 years, 15,000 visitors or > 5M per year. This topped the top 3 National Parks combined.
Never ending Expansion. In the early 60s, Walt produced full length Feature Films like Mary Poppin – which were huge successes. In 70s. he created Disney World & Epcot Center to showcase technology & ecology. Epcot also has little villages of cultures from around the world to foster understanding & harmony. Walt died in 1966 – at age 65 – 5 years before Disney World was completed.
Comments: Do you wish you could make a “contribution” like Walt Disney? We’ll never achieve that, but we could make a significant contribution by our new Product or Service. Tell us how it does this.