Walt Disney

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Walt Disney
By Founders Podcast • Issue #2 • View online

The Autotelic Podcast
In this podcast I discuss the biography of Walt Disney. Betrayal, triumph, family, tragedy, Disneyland, and death.
Listen here: iTunes, Web, Soundcloud (1:21:39)
10 highlights from the book
1. Walt Disney defined the terms of wish fulfillment and demonstrated on a grand scale how one could be empowered by fantasy—how one could learn, in effect, to live within one’s own illusions and even to transform the world into those illusions. (page xv)
2. Walt Disney seldom dabbled. Everyone who knew him remarked on his intensity; when something intrigued him, he focused himself entirely as if it were the only thing that mattered. (page 50)
3. But Walt, who had very little executive talent or inclination, was never as interested in building an operation or running a business as he was in improving the product, not only as a way of satisfying Winkler, through obviously this was a consideration, but also a matter of personal pride and psychological need. He sincerely wanted to make good animations, sincerely wanted to be counted among the best at his craft. (page 85) 
4. Walt harbored two impulses that often warred: the go-getting impulse to succeed, which could be certified by money and recognition, and the deeper psychological impulse to control, which could be satisfied only by making his films exactly as he wanted to make them without interference. (page 97)
5. He had learned that you had to control what you had or it would be taken from you; that he had seen how duplicitous the business world could be. (page 109) 
6. But survival wasn’t what young Walt Disney had in mind. He wanted domination—domination that would make his position unassailable. (page 138)
7.  If we quit growing mentally and artistically we will begin to die. (page 300)
8. Restlessness was his congenital condition, expressing his fear that if he wasn’t moving forward, he was moving backward. (page 439)
9. “It was run from the top down, but there were no middleman,” wrote one employee at the time. “At the top, alone, like Napoleon (and at times like Attila the Hun), was our leader and captain, el Jefe, Numero Uno, the Man, the Boss—in short, Walter Elias Disney. All things started with Walt. And Walt had the final word—always!” (page 585)
 10. Walt was obsessed with the idea that in life you just continually go to school. You never reach any plateau of perfection. (page 592)
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Thanks for reading and listening,
David 
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