BOOK REVIEW: Entrepreneurship the Disney Way by Michael Goldsby & Rob Mathews

One cannot help but appreciate the selection of the Walt Disney Corporation as being a prime example for creative and even visionary entrepreneurship in action. The company’s long history of artistic and brand marketing success is unparalleled in 20th century media and beyond and extends far beyond the life of its original guiding force and company namesake Walt Disney.


The two authors explore the history of Disney and how his seminal presence embodied four distinct archetypes of a sort among entrepreneurs rarely found in one person like they were in the company’s founder. I have no idea how Goldsby and Mathews divided the responsibility for the work’s composition, but a consistent voice comes from this text that lends additional weight to its story about how the Disney story remains a model illustration of visionary entrepreneurship in action and why.

Leading the book off with introductions from each of the co-authors about what prodded them to compose this humanizing touch for something with the chance of coming off a little stuffy. There’s an exercise included with the text, as well, readers may choose to do, but the book starts right after that and readers get a quick lay of the literary land.

It’s an early sign about how thorough Goldsby and Mathews intend to be that readers are led through a detailed, yet succinct, recitation of Disney’s upbringing, but the aim is clear. The writers want us to glean some understanding of the familial and social forces that shape entrepreneurial visionaries like Disney and chart the course they travel in realizing their ambitions.

The vision of Disney that I get from the biographical side of this work is of an unique man driven by an inner voice nothing could quell, intensely human, yet intensely individual. The authors do a fantastic job detailing Disney’s rise in our culture and the force driving it behind the scenes.

The ideas underpinning their ideas about entrepreneurship are fascinating and strengthen the central themes of this book. Anyone with historical knowledge can recall iconic and transformative cultural figures whose journey through public life personified the qualities of an artist, a scientist, a builder, and even an evangelist. The aforementioned ideas take shape in many different ways. For generations of consumers and fans, you can say the Disney vision of entertainment and customer service is akin to a vision of life as it should be. This is a singular achievement for any business entity and the writers examine that as well.

Many books take on the topic of how to realize your entrepreneurial goals, utilize creative thinking and artistic imagination in shaping your business model, and so on, but few frame it in the way we encounter with Entrepreneurship the Disney Way. The understanding and in-depth account of how the company and its creative minds leading the way evolved with a changing world and met its challenges with a mixture of curiosity, boldness, and confident leadership that established an unequaled signature style and example for others to follow.




by Joshua Corbin

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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