Read: March 2022

Inspiration: Watched an interview with Bob Iger on TV and wanted to learn more about his background


Written with the help of ChatGPT, below is a brief summary to understand what is covered in the book.

“The Ride of a Lifetime”, published in 2019 by CEO of The Walt Disney Company Robert Iger, reflects on Iger’s initial tenure at the company, including the challenges he faced and the decisions he made that helped to shape its success. He discusses his approach to leadership, which included a focus on innovation, collaboration, and inclusion. Iger also shares insights from his experiences working with some of the most influential figures in the entertainment industry, including Steve Jobs and Oprah Winfrey. The book offers a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of one of the most iconic companies in the world and provides valuable lessons for anyone looking to succeed in business. Overall, The Ride of a Lifetime is an inspiring account of Iger’s career and the lessons he learned along the way.

Unedited Notes

Direct from my original book log, below are my unedited notes (abbreviations and misspellings included) to show how I take notes as I read.

ABC Sports bought by Cap Cities 1985 for $3.5bn (Buffett backed smaller company), Roone Arledge run ABC sports 70s/80s Iger’s first boss—revolutionize sports, focus on drama and human narritive of sports and embrace tech, Disney acquire ABC for 19.5bn—Disney led by Eisner, Eisner bring on #2 from CAA Ovitz between him and Iger—Ovitz not fit culturally, Disney brought new culture which was less decentalized and more rigid, Iger emphasize import of taking risks with shows—cop musical show flopped terrible, NYPD Blue near rated R but huge hit, Iger value giving credit to not just leader—whole team contribute, late 90s disney animations struggling and partner with Pixar run by Steve Jobs—Jobs and Eisner clash but Pixar produce toy story 95, bugs life, monsters inc and change animation—gross 1bn, disney partner with pixar as startup but had leverage—pixar gave away all sequel rights, toy story 2 cause fight as eisner say sequel vs jobs want credit—also originally to skip theaters and go to video, ABC struggling at turn of century then 9/11 make it worse for parks and tourism, once eisner ousted Iger’s pillars became great content, embrace tech, become global, disney commence search and Iger need to frame self as distinct from eisner past (not a shoe in for ceo job), under Eisner strat planning make all decisiom with data but onerous and Iger remove this so less friction, shrink strat planning from 65 to 15 people and huge morale boost, long shots not always as long as they seem—Iger approach Jobs to buy Pixar and Jobs open to it 2005, Pixar approved to revitalize disney animation then onto Marvel and Lucasfilm, Marvel in 08 controlled by ceo Ike Perlmutter who was tough and low profile, Aug 2009 disney buy marvel for 4bn, marvel a bit of a risk as not quite a “disney” feel, purse lucasfilm next in 2011/12 and lucas want pixar deal but unique b/c was just lucas—not a immense a team, offer 4.05bn for lucas close end 2012 and jj abrams brought to direct first non-lucas star wars, lucas not like jj abrams film—nothing new, common thread for iger is pixar marvel and lucas was authenticity and keeping promises, disney nearly buy twitter 2016 but iger cold feet last minute after approved, deal with rupert and 21C fox done at 52bn (despite comcast higher bid) then pixar boss leave with allegations and espn head drug issues, comcast bid higher up to 35 per share (dis at 28) then dis up to 38 and get deal done, don’t start negatively and don’t start small, grant permission to fail, don’t fixate on future job (be present), demand integrity, optimism is essential, articulate priorities clearly and often, be decent and kind, be direct, power for too long not good—be humble and aware

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Welcome to JeffReads, where I share summaries of the best books I’ve read on business, politics, science, technology and more.




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