Steve Jobs is the closest thing to Walt Disney since Walt Disney

By Mark Sigal
November 24, 2009 | Comments: 5

I have written in the past about the the vision that drove Steve Jobs in pursuing his ambition for Apple. Recently, I wrote about a visit to the Walt Disney Family Museum, and how it connected me to the spirit of Walt Disney, his sensibilities, and his personal journey.

If you live by SF, the museum is worth seeing, if for no other reason than the company that Disney created is so larger than life that one could forget that behind it was a living, breathing person; a true visionary who realized his mammoth vision.

Disney-Innovation-Extension-Reinvention.png

That got me thinking. A cursory glance at the significant milestones in the careers of Disney and Jobs suggests an otherworldly ability to invent, re-invent and extend 'unfair advantages' across seemingly orthogonal domains.

In racking my brain, I struggled to find anyone so boundary-less as these two guys. Can you think of anyone?

Apple-Invention-Extension-Reinvention.png

Thus, my assertion is that Steve Jobs is the closest thing to Walt Disney since Walt Disney (I am certain this is an unoriginal thought) -- now forever bound by Pixar.

If you believe in karma, how can you not think that it's pretty cool that Jobs ended up as the largest individual shareholder in Disney, an active board member who now is helping Disney re-boot its retail efforts!

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5 Comments

Is it me or (as like dogs and their masters) do the pics of Walt and Mickey Mouse look similar in the same way that the pic of Steve Jobs and the Apple computer

Easier for me to see the similarity between Walt and Mickey than Jobs and the Mac, but maybe I need to squint more. ;-)

That's freaky, but I can see the similarity too...

There are significant differences -

Walt Disney built a tangible entertainment empire - watch the DVD "Walt - The Man Behind the Myth"

Disney moved from films into entertainment parks - creations that he knew would outlast him - for generations.

Steve Jobs builds gadgets - after he is gone, it is an open question as to how well Apple will survive. New gadgets and technology will soon replace his.

Doubtful that Apple will survive as long as Disney has after Walt.

what is really unfortunate is the slave labor that both seem to have employed in their early years. I wonder is it necessary to use this tactic to gain the status and ability to grow the way they both have? It would be nice to see the true creators (Ub Iwerks and Steve Wozniak) have the kind of success that walt and steve have achieved. Maybe you just have to be cutthroat about it when it comes to business success...

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