14 October 2009

One of my heroes is Steve Jobs. Always will be. I never want to meet him. I want him to remain larger than life and an inspiration for me. A year or so ago, Disney bought Steve’s Company Pixar Studios and set Pixar up as the center of Disney’s Animation strategy. This deal gave Steve a seat on Disney’s Board of Directors. A few days ago a story made the news that Steve had a hand in re-mapping the strategy for the Disney retail stores. As a background, Disney retail stores were created during Mike Eisner’s tenure. Mike was all about volume. Putting as much product in the field as possible equals the most sales. He was about the path of least resistance. Do it as easily and cheaply as possible. As a result, Disney stores saw some initial success, but in recent years have languished because they really didn’t represent Disney so much as SELL Disney. Today they seem the epitome of late 90’s consumerism: Stale and Tired. Whored out. Steve gave the retail branch of Disney two words: Dream Bigger. Have you ever worked for a company where your boss says your plans aren’t ambitious enough? I know I haven’t. We’re in the middle of the worst economy since the great depression. Every day another report that 300k+ jobs are lost and the message Steve gives both his staff at Disney and Apple is “Dream Bigger.” Everything about our surroundings tells someone to buckle down and hold on because it’s going to be a bumpy ride. I am challenged. What am I doing now for which I need to “Dream Bigger”?