Sunday, January 03, 2010
I visited the Walt Disney Family Museum in the Presidio yesterday. The museum recounts Walt Disney's life and how he built the Disney empire.
One thing that really stood out is just how many failures he had to endure. Before the Disney Company, Walt had started another business, Laugh-O-Gram. It went bankrupt. In the late 1920s, Disney's hit character was Oswald the Rabbit. But the rights to the character were owned by Universal, not Disney, and they lost the rights to their money maker. After losing Oswald, Disney had to come up with something new and ended up creating a character called Mickey Mouse. Similarly, Disneyland's opening day was a huge disaster. Disney's story is a story of how persistence pays off.