Business Advice From History: Walt Disney On Remembering Your History

Thanks for checking in for this week’s installment of Business Advice From History. For the uninitiated, every Tuesday, we will be sharing a quote from a notable historical figure, and then discuss how this may apply to modern day business. Today’s quote comes from the most famous cartoonist of all time:

“I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing - that it all started by a mouse.” — Walt Disney 

Normally, this would be the part where we provide an overview of the author of this weeks quote, but what’s left to say about Disney? Walt Disney and his creations are some of the most recognized figures of the 20th century and beyond, getting into the specifics would only be redundant!

Disney’s quote comes from one of his early television programs titled What is Disneyland (aired October 27th, 1954). During this program, Disney announced his most ambitious project yet, an amusement park styled in the likeness of his films and cartoons, aka: Disneyland. As we all know, the Walt Disney Corporation is now a global power in the entertainment industry, but it wasn’t always that way.

Before Frozen, before acquiring the rights to Star Wars and Marvel, before Pixar, before owning ESPN, before the Disney Renaissance of the 1990s, before Walt Disney World, before Disneyland, before Goofy and Pluto and Donald, before all the success that has transformed the Walt Disney Corporation into the company it is today there was Mickey Mouse. None of Walt Disney’s successes would have been possible without his first major animated character, and he recognized that fact!

What separates the Walt Disney Corporation from other companies is they remain true to their original identity. Since their inception, the goal has been nothing more than to entertain people. By never straying from their roots and remembering their humble beginnings, the Walt Disney Corporation has earned the trust and admiration of the public. Very few other businesses can say they’ve experienced as much long term success as Disney. Perhaps if they recalled their roots more often it wouldn’t hurt?

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