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The Business of Magic
A look at the business of Disney
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Alex Stroup, Editor

An introduction to this column

Have you ever wondered about the business behind the Disney magic? Curious about why they make the decisions they do? Confused by what all those numbers in the newspapers and the annual report mean? Interested in what Eisner and his team are *really* up to, and why?

Well, so was I. This curiosity, along with being interested in why successful businesses work and unsuccessful ones (some of which, unfortunately, Iíve worked for) donít, inspired me to go back to school and pursue an MBA degree Ė the Masters of Business Administration, the science and, yes, art of running a business. This higher education has given me new tools, theories and perspectives on how the business world works, and Iíd like to share those insights with you.

And besides, Iíve long felt that Walt Disney was not just a legendary artist and visionary but an underrated business genius as well. Now I think Iím beginning to understand how he did it.

Therefore, in this column Iím going to try to look at what goes on in the wide world of Disney - but from a backstage business standpoint. And Iíll throw in some commentary and reviews as well - just because I can. I intend to look behind some of The Walt Disney Companyís plans, analyze some of their past success and failures, examine the annual report, even take a peek at Michael Eisnerís employment contract! Along the way, Iíll expose you to some of the tools and techniques used in the practice of modern business management, all without the two years of studying and the tons of student loans.

Wonít you come along with me?


Dan Steinberg
Dan Steinberg

Dan Steinberg is a graduate student working on his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) at University of Southern Californiaís Marshall School of Business, and is spending the summer doing marketing analysis at a Fortune 25 company. 

Before returning to graduate school, Dan spent the previous 15 years as an engineer and manager at several high-tech companies in the Silicon Valley. 

Danís opinions, of course, are his own and do not reflect views of either his employer or the University of Southern California.


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