Ride of a Lifetime

The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company by Robert Iger

Fast, enjoyable read that mixes auto-biography with a high-level history of ESPN, Disney, ABC, Capital Cities and the chain of acquisitions that took Iger through each. The book also has a self-improvement aspect; there’s plenty of Dale Carnegie in here, as well as some Warren Buffet folksy wisdom and a lot of suggestions for how to be a great manager, thinker, and person. Iger seems like a very humble guy who willed himself through dedication, hard work, and open-mindedness to the top of successive multinational corporations in different areas (sports, entertainment, technology).

The pace gets pretty rapid in the modern era once Iger becomes CEO of Disney; acquisitions of Pixar, Lucasfilm, Marvel, BAMTech, and 20th Century Fox go off in a flurry as Iger tries to navigate Disney into the digital distribution era with Disney+ and ESPN+. Very interesting to hear the inside baseball from a guy who just closed over $70 billion worth of acquisitions, though naturally you get the feeling most of the details are left out. We’ve yet to see how this strategy plays out, but Iger clearly subscribes to the “innovate or die” maxim and I bought some shares when I was finished.

Overall a fine but maybe unmemorable read; I’d probably give a 3.5 if I could. I recommend starting with the Acquired episode that turned me on to this book first and opening Ride of a Lifetime if you’re looking for more.

View all my reviews

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s