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Old 01-22-2013, 07:01 PM   #106
bom_noite
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoHo View Post
This post is completely wrong.


Storytelling is the fundamental Gist of Walt's entire career.

An honest question to you:

Do you think, at times, the company suffers from the Story? Does every ride and attraction have to fit a well-scripted back-story (that few of us are let to see and understand?).

I have read about the fantastic story and detail provided by Splash Mountain! I think it is fun to watch the story as it evolves, but, even I do not understand it completely. Does the average 15 year old appreciate it - they like the plunge!

At times - I say Oh YEAH - that is what makes the place special! But, is it the Yeti which sets them apart or holds them back?

I have ridden Everest 40 times. 30 times with the Yeti, 10 without. I liked it all 40 times! But, if they don't build the Yeti - are we disappointed in the delivery and call it a half-baked Disney ride? They still built a very cool looking mountain! Is it the Yeti which sets them apart or holds them back? That damn Snowman set them back a pretty penny which could be used somewhere else!

I don't know the answer - I am asking you - and anyone / everyone who reads this!

Last edited by bom_noite; 01-22-2013 at 07:26 PM.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:50 PM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoHo View Post
This post is completely wrong.

Or rather, completely misses my point. Sorry to go back 3 pages, but life must at times intrude.

Are you suggesting that Walt would have purchased other's IP to use in his parks? I'm not positive that isn't true. He might have, but at the same time, he was filled with his own inborn ability to think up and develope such IP within his own company. His talents are such that he never would have needed to do such a thing. Which is not to say he wouldn't have if he thought it the right fit. Only that purely based on his creative output, he likely wouldn't have needed to and so it's a silly consideration.

Also, I don't believe I used the term "Grand Story" I talked about Storytelling. Pirates and the Haunted Mansion are the best at Storytelling. HANDS DOWN. None better. Some equal.

And interestingly, they both do it with different methods and types of story.

If you don't think "Storytelling" was Walt's motivation, then pray tell what other motivation do you think their was?

My guess is you've miss-identified what I'm calling Storytelling.

Storytelling is the fundamental Gist of Walt's entire career.
I was done with this rehash...But...

Someone is wrong here but it isn't me. Walt was a freakin genius. He would use any tool available to him to get his point across. He didn't write Alice or snow white .. He borrowed them and made them his own as he would have done with Spidey, given the opportunity.

Regarding "storytelling" ... No, I do not believe that was his main motivation. I believe his main motivation was QUALITY. Game, set, match.
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:02 PM   #108
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Ok Land - here is where I draw the line and disagree (semantics mostly!)
I prefer Baron or DVC, but I’ll answer to anything if there is disagreement in the air!! And you say there is some disagreement!! GREAT!! I was getting tired of this hippie like love-in and mutual admiration society!!

Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!! I just read through the whole thing and can find very little to disagree with!! HOW FRUSTRATING!!!!

Quote:
These folks care, and, care passionately! They care about title, they care about responsibility, they care about the number of direct reports under them, they care about power, they care about advancement and they are absolutely ruthless to get what they care about.
Disagree with this!!?? NO WAY!!! I’m going to print up T-shirts with this on them!!! If it weren’t so long I’d use it in my signature!! It is EXACTLY what I’ve been saying for over 14 years now!!

When I said: they don’t care, I meant about the guests themselves, not their wallets.

And when I said: They don’t “GET IT”. I meant they don’t get Walt’s business philosophy. They don’t get “Disney”!!! The “Disney” of old (that made millions and millions and increased shareholder’s value tremendously!!) It is a term I started using in 2000 or 2001 when describing the ‘sharp-pencil-guys” heading Disney at the time. It’s a kind of short hand so I don’t have to write “Understanding and following Walt’s business and creative philosophy”. I found that people either “Get it” or not. There is hardly ever an in between. Around that same time I started spelling Ei$ner with the “$”. You should try it. It’s a lot of fun!! And when Pre$$ler was here it was even better. I used to see how many times I could list their names together!!

Quote:
They are a business - they are a Publicly traded company and they are there to increase shareholder value.
The same as in Walt’s day. He increased shareholder value AND utilized his business philosophy. I really don’t see why it cannot be done today.

Quote:
I think it evolved over years of being lauded as a great company! They grew exponentially during the Disney Decade. Very talented young executives were hired on - they all want to get to the top - and they want to get their tomorrow!
There are some things in a company that come from the bottom – up! A company ‘culture’, however, ALWAYS comes from the top - down! Who was in charge when that Disney Decade began? Who hired (by extension of course) those ‘very talented executives’? What culture did he set, not by directive, which never works, but by example, which is the ONLY way a culture is set? YEP!! You guessed it Ei$ner!!! (Ah!! Fun to write that out!!)

Quote:
Long story short: My opinion is the internal focus is based off the wrong premise.
THAT’S THE T-SHIRT!!! Just insert the name Disney somewhere so everyone knows who you’re talking about! How’s this:
“The internal focus of Disney is based off the wrong premise!”

Not catchy perhaps, but very apt!!

Thanks for the input!!
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:03 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by DVC-Landbaron View Post
But wait!! There’s even less magic here! Very much less! That Disney experience doesn’t even exist here!! OH! No!! I’m wrong. It does exist!! There are GIANT, Primary Colored Icons to remind me!! Wonderful decorations!! No theme at all, but HUGE decorations!!
But I LOVE the huge decorations!

If a 30 foot tall Buzz Lightyear doesn't scream DISNEY, then what does?

I've stayed at All-Star Movies a few times and will always defend it. For a family of Toy Story fanatics, that section of the resort is just plain fun. The oversized door to Andy's room, getting to sit in RC, the big checkers. The staircases are themed like the bucket of army men, with army men silouettes lining the roof. The bright colors of the buildings.

Yes, you could argue that it's a Motel 6 with bright paint and decorations, but what decorations they are. The theme is still unique to WDW and you can't duplicate it by driving somewhere near your hometown. They're not gonna have an Andy's Room courtyard.

(I will concede that the size of the room itself is laughably tiny--even for a Value. A family of four could go nuts on an extended stay. Thankfully at WDW, you're not in your room very long at all.)
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:27 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by ChrisFL View Post
The Disney decade was great, but the big change IMO was the untimely passing of Frank Wells. He was to me more of a creative type.

The same way Walt needed Roy, Eisner needed Wells, and the decline in quality between 1994 and the early 2000's was obvious.
Agreed. Wells was the man behind the tangible experience. Eisner was behind the intangible. Awesome team. Forever grateful for both. Unfortunately today i spend more time remembering how great the 90's were in the parks than enjoying today.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:16 AM   #111
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Akadada:

WOW!!! I sometime ask myself why I bother. I have to ask. Did you trouble yourself to read all the posts within this thread? Did you, for instance, read the several eloquent posts by Walt’s Frozen Head? Or the direct, to the point posts by YoHo? Or how about my new best friend bom_noite? Did you read his? I’m sure you glossed over mine if you looked at them at all (I really don’t blame you, they are kind of wordy). But you certainly couldn’t have read them.

If you did, did they make any impression on you at all? Did any of the many words, sentences and paragraphs make you think? Did you maybe get the impression that Saint Michael is not so saintly after all? Do you understand why I spell his name with a “$” in the middle? Did any of Walt’s philosophical business concepts sink in, especially regarding how diametrically opposed they are from Ei$nerthink? I’m just curious, because it seems that you read a couple of early posts, grabbed a sentence to quote (and a wrong one at that) and posted away.

If that’s the case, I welcome your input into the conversation, but strongly suggest that you read the entire thread. I think you may be surprised at the level of Disney acumen that is within. And if I’m wrong, and you did indeed read the entire thread, then…

Have a good day! Thanks for stopping by…
We really have nothing else to talk about!


Now here’s hoping you went back and read the entire eight pages. Let’s continue…
Quote:
Wells was the man behind the tangible experience. Eisner was behind the intangible.
What do you mean by “Tangible” and “Intangible”? I know how Webster defines the words, what I’m asking is what you meant when you attached one to Wells and one to Ei$ner? I’m think you mean that you consider Ei$ner the idea, creative one. Right?

Quote:
Unfortunately today i spend more time remembering how great the 90's were in the parks than enjoying today.
I joined the DIS in either 98 or 99, anyway it was WAY before the crash and change in format that made most of us re-sign up. And for years, and years, and years – post after long post after long post I kept lamenting the current Disney saying that for the last ten years Disney has been sinking. Remember this was ’99 or so. I kept boldly, loudly, and obnoxiously SCREAMING that I wish Disney was like it was in the seventies!!!

My point with that convoluted paragraph above was to illustrate just how lousy Disney really was in the ‘90’s compared to the ‘70’s. And I agree, it was better in the nineties than today!! See how far we’ve fallen?

Last thing.
Quote:
Forever grateful for both.
Funny. I forever blame them!! Well not “them”, I guess, but I definitely blame HIM!!!!
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:45 AM   #112
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dwaters:

Quote:
But I LOVE the huge decorations!
I’m glad. I am happy that you enjoy those ah… well… let’s call them… Places to stay while at Disney!! I really am.

But that is not the point of this discussion.

If you wish to discuss the “Values” then you need to define theme vs. decorations in context with the Disney philosophy. Your personal opinion is totally irrelevant. Some like the giant Buzz some hate the giant Buzz. That isn’t the point. The real question is:

Is a giant Buzz a theme or merely a decoration?

And we can further ask:

Are the ‘values’ within the definition of the Disney philosophy?

According to most, and I am definitely in that camp, it is NOT a theme. And it is nowhere within the Disney philosophy!!

I’d be more than happy to discuss the finer points of what makes a theme and why decorations fall way short of the mark when it comes to Disney if you’d like.

Let me know.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:57 AM   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoHo View Post
Are you suggesting that Walt would have purchased other's IP to use in his parks? I'm not positive that isn't true. He might have, but at the same time, he was filled with his own inborn ability to think up and develope such IP within his own company. His talents are such that he never would have needed to do such a thing. Which is not to say he wouldn't have if he thought it the right fit. Only that purely based on his creative output, he likely wouldn't have needed to and so it's a silly consideration.
OK....there is one thing that needs to be pointed out, here:

Many of Walt's movies were based on Fairy Tales/myths. Sure, there were some modifcations done to change things up slightly...but at their core, they WERE someone else's work.

I think that's evidence enough that Walt would have used other people's ideas or purchased other IP's and incorporated them into his parks. Because, largely...he did just that. Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White.

And then you have Winnie the Pooh, Alice in Wonderland, Mary Poppins, Jungle Book...other literary figures/works that were licensed/used by Walt.

I won't disagree with the point that Walt was largely about story (and, really, finding new and interesting ways to tell it). I think his larger impetus was delivering a quality product (which meant focusing on story, which, to his mind, enhanced quality more than most/any other facet of the show). But lets not "wonder" too much if Walt would have used other people's ideas in his parks...because he did just that.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:15 AM   #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVC-Landbaron View Post
There are some things in a company that come from the bottom up! A company culture, however, ALWAYS comes from the top - down! Who was in charge when that Disney Decade began? Who hired (by extension of course) those very talented executives? What culture did he set, not by directive, which never works, but by example, which is the ONLY way a culture is set? YEP!! You guessed it Ei$ner!!! (Ah!! Fun to write that out!!)
One thing I want to jump in on:

In the above, there is a certain amount of argument about inside/outside, too. Because Disney has adopted the corporate culture, largely, of the rest of the souless corporate megoliths. And that is a function of catering to institutional investors (who are their largest shareholders, really).

Now, you can argue (and win) that whoever was at the top of Disney could/should have insulated the corporate culture from those outside influences. And that, if you were looking to do that, Eisner would be the very very very wrong choice to run your company circa the time that decision was made (he was so popular in his sector, with investors, BECAUSE he was seen as someone who would pull Disney corporate culture more in line with the "souless megolith" model). And you could argue (and maybe win) that doing so would have been better for the company's product AND maintained their healthy bottom lines.

But...and here's the rub...Disney isn't operating any different than, say, BP is. Or Comcast. Or Microsoft. The real difference is that Disney has a reputation that they've been "living off" for at least 20....and arguably longer than that...years. People want to THINK they're not BP. Or Comcast. Or Microsoft. And Disney does what it can (so long as the costs aren't too great) to foster that impression.

Only Apple really has been able to stand out, become huge, and maintain a more creative and "loose" corporate culture. And they do that because their leader insulated them from the institutional investors and Wall Street mentality. He basically told them: You create amazing stuff that everyone wants and worry about how to market it. I'll worry about the bean counters (and shoot rude gestures in their general direction). Oh, and by the way, I'm the largest shareholder of the company so, really, I'm the guy that needs to be made happy.

Now it remains to be seen if they can stay that way now that Jobs is gone. I think, for a bit, they will. We'll see how long. There is a tremendous amount of pressure to capitulate. You essentially need a visionary leading your company to resist it. Walt (with Roy providing insulation) could do it (and during a time when the corporate climate was VERY different). Jobs did it. Lasseter did it, for a time, when running Pixar (and Jobs was a factor, there, too). Not many others have been able (or willing) to.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:45 AM   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVC-Landbaron View Post
Akadada:

WOW!!! I sometime ask myself why I bother. I have to ask. Did you trouble yourself to read all the posts within this thread? Did you, for instance, read the several eloquent posts by Walt’s Frozen Head? Or the direct, to the point posts by YoHo? Or how about my new best friend bom_noite? Did you read his? I’m sure you glossed over mine if you looked at them at all (I really don’t blame you, they are kind of wordy). But you certainly couldn’t have read them.

If you did, did they make any impression on you at all? Did any of the many words, sentences and paragraphs make you think? Did you maybe get the impression that Saint Michael is not so saintly after all? Do you understand why I spell his name with a “$” in the middle? Did any of Walt’s philosophical business concepts sink in, especially regarding how diametrically opposed they are from Ei$nerthink? I’m just curious, because it seems that you read a couple of early posts, grabbed a sentence to quote (and a wrong one at that) and posted away.

If that’s the case, I welcome your input into the conversation, but strongly suggest that you read the entire thread. I think you may be surprised at the level of Disney acumen that is within. And if I’m wrong, and you did indeed read the entire thread, then…

Have a good day! Thanks for stopping by…
We really have nothing else to talk about!


Now here’s hoping you went back and read the entire eight pages. Let’s continue…

What do you mean by “Tangible” and “Intangible”? I know how Webster defines the words, what I’m asking is what you meant when you attached one to Wells and one to Ei$ner? I’m think you mean that you consider Ei$ner the idea, creative one. Right?


I joined the DIS in either 98 or 99, anyway it was WAY before the crash and change in format that made most of us re-sign up. And for years, and years, and years – post after long post after long post I kept lamenting the current Disney saying that for the last ten years Disney has been sinking. Remember this was ’99 or so. I kept boldly, loudly, and obnoxiously SCREAMING that I wish Disney was like it was in the seventies!!!

My point with that convoluted paragraph above was to illustrate just how lousy Disney really was in the ‘90’s compared to the ‘70’s. And I agree, it was better in the nineties than today!! See how far we’ve fallen?

Last thing.

Funny. I forever blame them!! Well not “them”, I guess, but I definitely blame HIM!!!!


RELAX BARON!

Yikes. I like most of us have a life outside this board. Yes I did read everything and I disagree on some points. I simply don't have the time to write five chapters of War and Peace about why on this board like you do.

I feel bad for you that you could get so upset about my post that you'd write that. You know nothing about me. Perhaps had you opened the conversation up you could have found another friend to talk about these things with. I had a lot of respect or your knowledge on the topic. Still do.

But guys like you obviously have more friends than you need and since you clearly know what's best for everyone, I accept my place in your world. thank you for setting me straight.

I'm off to add value to the "real" world now.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:54 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by pilferk View Post
OK....there is one thing that needs to be pointed out, here:

Many of Walt's movies were based on Fairy Tales/myths. Sure, there were some modifcations done to change things up slightly...but at their core, they WERE someone else's work.

I think that's evidence enough that Walt would have used other people's ideas or purchased other IP's and incorporated them into his parks. Because, largely...he did just that. Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White.

And then you have Winnie the Pooh, Alice in Wonderland, Mary Poppins, Jungle Book...other literary figures/works that were licensed/used by Walt.

I won't disagree with the point that Walt was largely about story (and, really, finding new and interesting ways to tell it). I think his larger impetus was delivering a quality product (which meant focusing on story, which, to his mind, enhanced quality more than most/any other facet of the show). But lets not "wonder" too much if Walt would have used other people's ideas in his parks...because he did just that.
Isn't that what I said? LOL. Regardless, I agree to a tee and am happy to have concurring support!

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Old 01-23-2013, 07:45 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by Peter Pirate 2 View Post
Isn't that what I said? LOL. Regardless, I agree to a tee and am happy to have concurring support!
Yup....but I hadn't gotten to your reply when I responded.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:51 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by Walt's Frozen Head View Post
"How could you overlook the fact that Disney was in serious jeopardy of being seized and sold off for parts by corporate vultures? My feeling is that Eisner did what was necessary to save Disney, maybe he became complacent after success, but I believe his intentions were noble. I think we agree for the most part, but the efforts to transform Disney into a profitable machine was indeed -- a necessary evil, to survive and weather the hostile corporate climate."

I shall now fail to address anything you said specifically. I hope it comes together, anyway.
Quote:
I simply disagree with the notion the Eisner "saved Disney." He saved the name, sure, but I believe the product was diluted and corrupted. He destroyed the story-telling machine and built the trans-continental ATM, and just used the same name for it.
~What's a product without a name? Eisner saved the name, which is arguably the most significant aspect of a corporate entity. The Disney "name" is one the most powerful and recognizable brands in the world. An otherwise overwhelmed media and theme park company, known for its beloved trademark mouse, was just ripe for the picking by corporate raider Saul Steinberg or worse -- Coca-Cola! Disney would have become Coca Cola World!

~Instead, Eisner helped to transform Disney into a formidable global media conglomerate, as in -- a force to be reckoned with. Even, the transition into the cruise industry was seamless, in part, because of the recognizable and trusted Disney brand. Eisner executed precision in achieving the right formula by combining scientific and psychological aspects that enable a good brand to become a great brand -- one that is synonymous with quality and imparts a nice dose consumer confidence with any product that bares its name. Products and trends may come and go, but a good brand can last forever! Eisner also demonstrated tenacity in diversifying the Disney brand by continuing to expand into various streams of revenue.

Quote:
Are you old enough to remember the Commodore/Atari holy wars in the early eighties? The Commodore 64 was the most successful computer of its day, but there were a number of people (yes, of course I was one of them, why wouldn't I be?) who thought the Atari computers were better designed and built, easier to program for, more capable. There was a point where Atari collapsed financially, and a man named Jack Tramiel bought the company. Some would say Tramiel "saved" Atari, because he kept them in the black for a few-to-several more years, but the ST line of computers he introduced were not designed and built with the same care and sophistication as the earlier machines, they were designed and built to be sold cheaply. The man who developed much of the custom internals of the Atari 800 went on to design another computer, a computer that was much more of a real "big brother" to the early Ataris than the STs ever were.

Now, there's so much irony in this story you'll think I made it all up, because Jack Tramiel had previously been the founder of Commodore, and the computer Jay Miner developed after his Atari days was the Commodore Amiga. Both Atari and Commodore survived (at least for a while), but in a very real way, to people who cared more about the product itself than the name stamped on the side, Atari had turned into Commodore and Commodore had turned into Atari.

In the same way, I suggest that Eisner did not save the Disney that made those wonderful things that brought them early success, indeed, he destroyed that Disney so he could put the name on other products, products designed to be created cheaply, marketed heavily, and sold profitably.
***sigh*** ~Frozen, I'm not at all familiar with the Commodore vs Atari war. I had no idea Atari made computers! But, the story is very interesting! I do find it ironic that Atari, while not all that relevant, is still around, and efforts are currently underway to redefine the brand! The current ~Atari Flashback 4~ system, appears to have found some success in gaming the retro gamer craze -- based on the reviews, they still have the same issues with quality control! In any case, this is yet another example where the brand outlasts the product(s).

~Anyway, what you have described in your post is globalization. If you can name one corporate brand that hasn't taken this plunge in the name of profit. Please. Do. Tell. The American auto industry was forced to "restructure" and seek help from the government to become viable again. Would Disney have qualified for a buyout? Eisner, possessed the wherewithal and foresight to determine exactly where American manufacturing was headed. It's called evolution and the industrial age as knew it, is all but a memory, as we are now firmly planted in the Information age.

~The amazing American brands that have succumbed to greed, poor management, bureaucracy and globalization -- is nothing short of a tragedy. With that said, "it is what it is." I'm not sure of what could have been done differently? There are no words to describe, how difficult it is for an American based entity to survive. Creative and artistic efforts are even further stifled or drowned in the sea of government and corporate bureaucratic red tape. This is what prompted Walt to create WED Enterprises aka Walt Disney Imagineering, today.

~Take a look a Disney's pin trading. Disney makes good pins, but "scrappers" find there way into the pile, this black market slowly siphons away at Disney's potential revenue. What is the point of paying top dollar to manufacture pins here at a premium, when the scrappers can manufacture the similar pins, at a fraction of the cost. It makes sense for Disney to manufacture overseas for a fraction of the cost to remain profitable and minimize damage from the fake pins. I definitely don't like it, but it's our reality and we are each responsible in some way. This is nothing compared to piracy.

~Simply put, Disney is still here. It's far from perfect, but still remains the gold standard by which all other theme parks, media and entertainment outlets are measured.

Quote:
Would Disney have been broken up and sold piecemeal, if not for Eisner? I don't know. Maybe. But what if someone like Pixar had been the ones to get hold of the animation division? What if someone like Oriental Land Company ended up with the parks?
~I ***shudder*** just at the mere thought of that happening. If Disney had been sold off for parts, the brand would have suffered. I like Pixar, but as of recent, I'm a little concerned.

[/tangent] ~I thought "Brave" was a disaster, well maybe not. But, with amount of terrified children that had to be ushered out the theater because of "the bear," it's hard to suggest otherwise. While I love Merida's look <especially that hair> -- I can't stand her personality! She was unjustifiably cruel to her mother. I so wanted to love Merida, but I get can't past that character. Toy Story 3 was awesome, but the trilogy is done. Cars 2 - I just cant. I am looking forward to Monster's U. I loved Disney's Wreck It Ralph and Tangled. [/end of rant]

~Disney continues to feast upon the quasi-monopolistic power it yields in defining American & Western youth culture. The Oriental Trading Company, would have never invested 4 Billion to create Tokyo Sea, if Disney's brand was uncertain or lacked stability, in any way. I'm pretty sure, Eisner was part of the brainchild and vision behind Tokyo DisneySea.

Quote:
(What if Frank Wells had lived, is a fascinating, if unanswerable question, viewed in the light of this discussion. Would the marriage of creativity and commerce have worked on a wider scale as it had in ToT? Would I be agreeing that the Disney Decade was a time filled with Magic?)
~I don't know. But, it's worth repeating, that to this day, ToT remains unmatched in creativity & magic! I couldn't believe my eyes -- I have never experienced anything like ToT. It goes without saying, that I would *love* to have more of *that* on a wider scale!

Quote:
History is written by the winners, and the imagined terrors are always worse than those of reality. The way things played out, Eisner and his supporters get to say "he saved Disney," and I fully realize how Quixotic I look trying to tell a different story. But the Disney Eisner "saved" is not the Disney I grew up with, and I'm not as willing as some to say that this Disney, simply by still existing as a single business entity, is clearly better than that which "could have been."
~This is the point, I am trying to make. Disney is still here and thriving! The answer to your question is right in front of you. All you have to do, is look at the competition! And, as it stands, Disney is still number one, there is no other entity on this planet that has done "Disney" better. Disney is still number one!

Quote:
I would be a bad American if I said Eisner was wrong for creating a profit center, so I hope that's not what this appears to boil down to. But I still think the creation he destroyed in the process was much rarer and more valuable to, literally, the culture of the entire world, than even his bloated bottom line was to a relative handful of executives and shareholders.
~Frozen, you are very fortunate to have experienced an era at the peak of greatness -- but like everything else -- nothing is guaranteed to last. Our culture has rapidly evolved and if Disney refused to evolve with the culture, the company would have dissolved a long time ago, like many other American gems. I understand that you are not pleased with Disney. But, I'm not sure that there is anything of relevance today, that can match or replace what Disney means to you? I know there is life outside of Disney, as I only visit once a year. But, I feel there is nothing that compares to WDW. Is it in the back of my mind that Disney could be better, far better? Yes, it is. But I don't feel confident in saying Eisner is entirely at fault for Disney's shortcomings or "lack of magic."

~Likewise, there are moments in fashion, music, sports, cinema, business, industry(s) that we all want to last forever, but things change, many times for the better. I thought I would never see the end of heroin chic! Eisner may have "destroyed" an aspect of Disney that you identified with and valued. But, it's not impossible, nor is it too late to form a new appreciation for "what's left" of Disney. It's time to get out of "Car 4," and find something new about Disney to get excited about. Eisner didn't "destroy" everything, there has to be something, or else you wouldn't be here!
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:00 AM   #119
pilferk
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Originally Posted by DRDISNEYMD View Post
The Oriental Trading Company, would have never invested 4 Billion to create Tokyo Sea, if Disney's brand was uncertain or lacked stability, in any way.
Just a small correction:

Oriental LAND company (and now called OLC).

NOT Oriental Trading Company (the company that sells cheap party/crafting supplies).

BIG difference.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:08 AM   #120
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Originally Posted by DRDISNEYMD View Post
~What's a product without a name? Eisner saved the name, which is arguably the most significant aspect of a corporate entity. The Disney "name" is one the most powerful and recognizable brands in the world. An otherwise overwhelmed media and theme park company, known for its beloved trademark mouse, was just ripe for the picking by corporate raider Saul Steinberg or worse -- Coca-Cola! Disney would have become Coca Cola World!

~Instead, Eisner helped to transform Disney into a formidable global media conglomerate, as in -- a force to be reckoned with. Even, the transition into the cruise industry was seamless, in part, because of the recognizable and trusted Disney brand. Eisner executed precision in achieving the right formula by combining scientific and psychological aspects that enable a good brand to become a great brand -- one that is synonymous with quality and imparts a nice dose consumer confidence with any product that bares its name. Products and trends may come and go, but a good brand can last forever! Eisner also demonstrated tenacity in diversifying the Disney brand by continuing to expand into various streams of revenue.



***sigh*** ~Frozen, I'm not at all familiar with the Commodore vs Atari war. I had no idea Atari made computers! But, the story is very interesting! I do find it ironic that Atari, while not all that relevant, is still around, and efforts are currently underway to redefine the brand! The current ~Atari Flashback 4~ system, appears to have found some success in gaming the retro gamer craze -- based on the reviews, they still have the same issues with quality control! In any case, this is yet another example where the brand outlasts the product(s).

~Anyway, what you have described in your post is globalization. If you can name one corporate brand that hasn't taken this plunge in the name of profit. Please. Do. Tell. The American auto industry was forced to "restructure" and seek help from the government to become viable again. Would Disney have qualified for a buyout? Eisner, possessed the wherewithal and foresight to determine exactly where American manufacturing was headed. It's called evolution and the industrial age as knew it, is all but a memory, as we are now firmly planted in the Information age.
Not to speak for The Baron, but:

Apple.

Quote:
~The amazing American brands that have succumbed to greed, poor management, bureaucracy and globalization -- is nothing short of a tragedy. With that said, "it is what it is." I'm not sure of what could have been done differently? There are no words to describe, how difficult it is for an American based entity to survive. Creative and artistic efforts are even further stifled or drowned in the sea of government and corporate bureaucratic red tape. This is what prompted Walt to create WED Enterprises aka Walt Disney Imagineering, today.

~Take a look a Disney's pin trading. Disney makes good pins, but "scrappers" find there way into the pile, this black market slowly siphons away at Disney's potential revenue. What is the point of paying top dollar to manufacture pins here at a premium, when the scrappers can manufacture the similar pins, at a fraction of the cost. It makes sense for Disney to manufacture overseas for a fraction of the cost to remain profitable and minimize damage from the fake pins. I definitely don't like it, but it's our reality and we are each responsible in some way. This is nothing compared to piracy.

~Simply put, Disney is still here. It's far from perfect, but still remains the gold standard by which all other theme parks, media and entertainment outlets are measured.



~I ***shudder*** just at the mere thought of that happening. If Disney had been sold off for parts, the brand would have suffered. I like Pixar, but as of recent, I'm a little concerned.

[/tangent] ~I thought "Brave" was a disaster, well maybe not. But, with amount of terrified children that had to be ushered out the theater because of "the bear," it's hard to suggest otherwise. While I love Merida's look <especially that hair> -- I can't stand her personality! She was unjustifiably cruel to her mother. I so wanted to love Merida, but I get can't past that character. Toy Story 3 was awesome, but the trilogy is done. Cars 2 - I just cant. I am looking forward to Monster's U. I loved Disney's Wreck It Ralph and Tangled. [/end of rant]

~Disney continues to feast upon the quasi-monopolistic power it yields in defining American & Western youth culture. The Oriental Trading Company, would have never invested 4 Billion to create Tokyo Sea, if Disney's brand was uncertain or lacked stability, in any way. I'm pretty sure, Eisner was part of the brainchild and vision behind Tokyo DisneySea.


~I don't know. But, it's worth repeating, that to this day, ToT remains unmatched in creativity & magic! I couldn't believe my eyes -- I have never experienced anything like ToT. It goes without saying, that I would *love* to have more of *that* on a wider scale!


~This is the point, I am trying to make. Disney is still here and thriving! The answer to your question is right in front of you. All you have to do, is look at the competition! And, as it stands, Disney is still number one, there is no other entity on this planet that has done "Disney" better. Disney is still number one!


~Frozen, you are very fortunate to have experienced an era at the peak of greatness -- but like everything else -- nothing is guaranteed to last. Our culture has rapidly evolved and if Disney refused to evolve with the culture, the company would have dissolved a long time ago, like many other American gems. I understand that you are not pleased with Disney. But, I'm not sure that there is anything of relevance today, that can match or replace what Disney means to you? I know there is life outside of Disney, as I only visit once a year. But, I feel there is nothing that compares to WDW. Is it in the back of my mind that Disney could be better, far better? Yes, it is. But I don't feel confident in saying Eisner is entirely at fault for Disney's shortcomings or "lack of magic."
In addition, I actually think you've hit the nail on the head, here. Maybe not quite in the way you thought/intended, though.

Many people object to Eisner's concentration on BRAND over SUBSTANCE, as it were.

In other words, rather than building the brand by virtue of quality product, Disney (and Eisner) set out to build the Disney brand based on PAST quality of product and overall reputation. The argument has been (and, to be clear, I'm not trying to support either side of it) that Disney is essentially creating a house of cards (one blow from cavin' in). They're more interested in expanding their brand, and their profit margins, than they are in actually maintaining the levels of quality that the reputation is based on.

Your description, IMHO, actually illuminates exactly that. And I agree with you...there was a business advantage to doing just that.

The point of discussion, though, is was it the best business practice or just the easiest/path of least resistance?

You mention that there are a ton of American brands that have failed...and almost every single one took that path of least resistance and corparatization of it's culture. They were, usually, most successful, when being headed by a single visionary/luminary OR a CEO who "got it".

Look at Kodak, for example. Their failing? Refusing to adapt to the digital platform. Why? Because they realized that doing so would require a radical redevelopment of their business model, including massive capital expenditures which would have "robbed" shareholders of a relatively small % of their annual return over 2 to 3 years. The CEO/CFO and Board were took spooked to pull the trigger, because they couldn't manage to firmly convince their institutional investors of the need for investment. And they lacked any sort of vision (one of their CEO's referred to digital, at a conference I was at, as a "fad"..no lie) to pitch it to the shareholders, too. Instead, they decided to build their brand (and slap it on everything they could...even when not controlling the quality of the product being made) and hope it would allow them to continue to exist. This even AFTER the writing was on the wall.

And, once enough crud had flooded the market, once they'd ticked off consumers with their APS format (which was never going to compete with digital), allowed Fuji to come in and steal their market share for photo printers and photo paper (because their products were of better quality AND cost less) and once they had no more film processing to bolster their bottom lines...they folded.

Now, is Disney to that point? No, definitely not. Things are not nearly so dire. But they've been set on a similar path, in terms of corporate management style. That path may or may not lead to a similar destination. But that's the risk of that type of corporate culture shift.

There are tons of American Brands that have gone the same route. Scared to adapt or change because of the investment required and how it would spook institutional investors....so try to simply "brand". Some have been successful, IMHO far more have failed.

It's risky, for sure.
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