Talking with friends and subscribers, I often find myself referencing books that I read and how that's influenced my thinking. In an attempt to consolidate and drive more value specifically for startup investors, I'll be test driving cheatsheets to help me remember what I read. Authors like Ryan Holiday have very high profiles of these cheatsheets, and some entrepreneurs have even monetized their cheatsheets. This type of content is very popular, as you'll see at the bottom, and I will outsource much of my work to those sites. The specific value add here is to deliver a recommendation as well as specific takeaways for the startup investor. I will only write these posts for books I've actually read/listened to completion. As always, feedback welcome, feel free to comment on this post or write me at—thanks!



This was a super fun ride (heh) and incredible crescendo to understanding the CEO who came after Michael Eisner, and turned Disney into the media tech company it is today (as opposed to the resorts/animation rent-seeking/faded glory it was becoming in the late 90's early 00's.) Relatively little application to being an angel investor, besides understanding executive thinking and how startups play with corporations (Pixar vs. Disney.) Very fun to read about the Pixar acquisition from the other side, Marvel, Iger's insistence at producing (and profiting off of) non-white narratives, Star Wars. Truly a media mafia out west in Hollywood.  

My Notes By Chapter

  • Iger's two bosses at Capital Cities post acquisition were "best two managers ever" who demonstrated that excellence and fairness are not mutually exclusive
  • "Don't sell trombone oil" e.g. don't waste time achieving meaningless goals
  • Michael Ovitz and Michael Eisner no bueno, need to read Ovitz' biography, but also whoa a $100m severance package is fat money
  • Ovitz as an agent instead of an operator aka really good at being big ideas guy, bad at running a business guy
  • Iger thinking of his bid to become CEO as a political campaign, winning hearts and minds
  • Disney almost bought Twitter
  • Appendix: Iger has notes at the end of the book that his trying to summarize his learnings from running Disney.
  • Iger at one point thought about running for President, and confirmed that he wouldn't run until the completion of his tenure as President of Disney.

Bonus Resources

The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger book summary review and key ideas.
Chapter by chapter notes, with good insights.
The culture and management of Disney have fascinated me for years. The Ride of a Lifetime is part autobiography with an inside look at the highlights of Bob Iger's tenure as CEO of Disney. I really like the details covering the negotiations and purchases of Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars.
In depth summary chapter by chapter. Chapter 8: The Power of Respect (Bury the hatchet with Roy Disney.) Also has the appendix there which is super helpful.
A business book I’d actually recommend
Unlike most books on leadership, this one is worth your time.
Amusing to reference because Bill Gates doesn't rec many business books. That said, less that Gates' had any mindblowing insight, more that he stepped down from Mt. Olympus to deign us mortals with an approval of a business book.
The Ride of a Lifetime by Disney CEO Bob Iger — Book Notes — Dickie Bush
A captivating autobiography from legendary Disney CEO Bob Iger. Bob takes the reader through the ups and downs of his career, exploring the lessons he has learned along the way. Iger’s path from a stage assistant at Capital Cities to the CEO of Disney is one of persistence, excellence, and creativit
Chapter 12 had good notes on Iger's contemplation of running for business.
The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger [Book Summary] | Good Book Summaries [Daily Updated]
Disney is an undeniable entertainment heavyweight. Disney movies make billions of dollars and get the imaginations of millions of viewers. Include sales of worldwide products…
Really value add summaries and analysis of Iger's book, including how his family influenced him, certain key decisions.