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 mail@muhanzhang.com—thanks!

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Why

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

  • CHAPTER 2: BETTING ON TALENT
  • Iger's two bosses at Capital Cities post acquisition were "best two managers ever" who demonstrated that excellence and fairness are not mutually exclusive
  • CHAPTER 4: ENTER DISNEY
  • "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
  • CHAPTER 7: IT’S ABOUT THE FUTURE
  • Iger thinking of


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