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  1. #1

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    Gekko-nomics: Is Greed Good for DL?

    "Teldar Paper, Mr. Cromwell, Teldar Paper has 33 different vice presidents, each earning over 200 thousand dollars a year. Now, I have spent the last two months analyzing what all these guys do, and I still can't figure it out. One thing I do know is that our paper company lost 110 million dollars last year, and I'll bet that half of that was spent in all the paperwork going back and forth between all these vice presidents.
    The new law of evolution in corporate America seems to be survival of the unfittest. Well, in my book you either do it right or you get eliminated.

    In the last seven deals that I've been involved with, there were 2.5 million stockholders who have made a pretax profit of 12 billion dollars. Thank you.

    I am not a destroyer of companies. I am a liberator of them!

    The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed -- for lack of a better word -- is good.


    Greed is right.


    Greed works.


    Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.


    Greed, in all of its forms -- greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge -- has marked the upward surge of mankind.


    And greed -- you mark my words -- will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA." --Gordon Gekko



    Financial Darwinism. In the motion picture "Wall Street", Gordon Gekko made this now famous speech (paraphrased above) extolling the virtues of greed as a motivator.

    Many criticize DL and the Disney Corporation for its greedy nature, the constant accumulation of 'more'. But, can greed build a successful theme park? We can all see how, when competition is present, that greed can indeed lift a civilization up financially and socially. But what about the positive contributions of greed when there is no competition to strive against/with?

    We have all seen many corporations (some that have been the targets of Federal anti-trust investigations) grow corpulent, corrupt, and lazy in the absence of competition. Being 'top dog' in the manner in which Disney has become accustomed certainly has its privileges and advantages; it also has severe liabilities. The temptation to 'rest on one's laurels' is, IMO, a constant battle. Add to that the lack of urgency to address real problems (whether those issues be operational, procedural, or structural), and we can see the dangers associated with greed sans the presence of competition.

    Of course, Disney is experiencing no shortage of revenue at present, which is good for the bottom line, but is that synonymous with being good for DL? What are some examples that you see in the DLR where Disney is using their revenue wisely? Where are they wasting time and resources, in your opinion?

    While Walt Disney was, at core, a businessman, was greed a prime motivator in buliding the Park, in your opinion? If you think it wasn't, and we are all looking at a Park that was not built by greed, I ask you, "Can greed successfully maintain this Park when there is, currently, no serious competition to motivate?". Does then the mere accumulation of 'more' become a motivator? And is that a poor substitute?

  2. #2

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    Re: Gekko-nomics: Is Greed Good for DL?

    Greed is evil. Disneyland wasn't built out of greed. Walt wanted to actually build "The Happiest Place on Earth" and this is obvious as he held it very close to his heart. Greed leads to increased budgets cuts, because one of the principles of greed is "why do more than you have to?" Greed gave us DCA, a soulless product. What has ever happened to the belief of doing something great, not for money, but to have something to take pride in and have something that makes the world a better place? When greed is the only motivating factor to build something, you will have a soulless product. A theme park cannot be soulless, it should be a living, breathing, piece of art.

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    Re: Gekko-nomics: Is Greed Good for DL?

    Wow Swab! Hell of a post. Enjoyed the Wall Street analogy.
    At the current time, the Disney Company has become somewhat of a money gobbling machine, and it doesnt really matter what stands in their way.
    I see them using resources to fix DCA and i applaude. On the flipside of course, if they would have loosened the purse strings a little bit the first time, they might not be in this spot.
    I'm ok with Disney being greedy to a point. When they price the park way out of what middle class and lower people can afford, then they have crossed the line. Another example is if they continue to dilute "the magic" to just make an extra buck or two..ie...Hey, screw themeing, slap a ride together, tie it in with whatever big movie there doing now, and go forth and prosper!
    Hope i added a little here...

    "The moose say's you're closed, i say you're open" Clark W. Griswold

  4. #4

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    Re: Gekko-nomics: Is Greed Good for DL?

    Quote Originally Posted by GhostHost2 View Post
    Greed is evil. Disneyland wasn't built out of greed. Walt wanted to actually build "The Happiest Place on Earth" and this is obvious as he held it very close to his heart. Greed leads to increased budgets cuts, because one of the principles of greed is "why do more than you have to?" Greed gave us DCA, a soulless product. What has ever happened to the belief of doing something great, not for money, but to have something to take pride in and have something that makes the world a better place? When greed is the only motivating factor to build something, you will have a soulless product. A theme park cannot be soulless, it should be a living, breathing, piece of art.
    So greed has no redeeming features in your opinion, and is universally and wholly 'evil'? Or are your comments limited to the scope of DL only?
    Quote Originally Posted by BroncoBob View Post
    Wow Swab! Hell of a post. Enjoyed the Wall Street analogy.
    At the current time, the Disney Company has become somewhat of a money gobbling machine, and it doesnt really matter what stands in their way.
    I see them using resources to fix DCA and i applaude. On the flipside of course, if they would have loosened the purse strings a little bit the first time, they might not be in this spot.
    I'm ok with Disney being greedy to a point. When they price the park way out of what middle class and lower people can afford, then they have crossed the line. Another example is if they continue to dilute "the magic" to just make an extra buck or two..ie...Hey, screw themeing, slap a ride together, tie it in with whatever big movie there doing now, and go forth and prosper!
    Hope i added a little here...
    'Cutting Corners' is another by-product of greed without the directional assistance of serious competition, IMO. If a worthy challenger could be found to truly 'spar' with Disney, would we see greater effort to capture our entertainment dollars in the form of more quality enhancements and attractions, in your opinion? Or is Disney doing a pretty good job right now, in your eyes?

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    Re: Gekko-nomics: Is Greed Good for DL?

    Greed turns into profit.
    Profit turns into fruit.
    And in this case, the fruit is expansion.

  6. #6

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    Re: Gekko-nomics: Is Greed Good for DL?

    Great thread Swabbie.

    I hate to say, with the size Disney has grown greed isn't optional, it's a necessity. Disneyland is just a smal facet of the company's empire. The major stockholder who have invested multimillions of dollars could care less if Nemo fits in tomorrowland. They look at revenues spent and revenues brought in.

    Fortunatly for us as DisneyLAND fans, the park is rather profitable. This allows the company to extend extra funding for growth. So to dance around your question, greed isn't good for Disneyland, but that's where it is at now and for as far as we all can see, so we'll have to frown and bear it.

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    Re: Gekko-nomics: Is Greed Good for DL?

    Quote Originally Posted by fo'c's'le swab View Post
    'Cutting Corners' is another by-product of greed without the directional assistance of serious competition, IMO. If a worthy challenger could be found to truly 'spar' with Disney', would we see greater effort to capture our entertainment dollars in the form of more quality enhancements and attractions, in your opinion? Or is Disney doing a pretty good job right now, in your eyes?
    I'm thinking with proper competition, Disney would be forced to spend a little and elevate their game a little higher. I have hopes that one day Magic Mountain can do that. Get rid of some of the carnival atmosphere and bring some real themeing to some of the coaster.
    I've liked what Disney has done as far as keeping the park spruced up. But cutting corners can still be scene. Monsters Inc to me could have been better, granted i'm not a fan of movie. And of course, you could say that DCA V.1 was the biggest show of Disney cost cutting ever!

    "The moose say's you're closed, i say you're open" Clark W. Griswold

  8. #8

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    Re: Gekko-nomics: Is Greed Good for DL?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheManator View Post
    Greed turns into profit.
    Profit turns into fruit.
    And in this case, the fruit is expansion.
    But is the fruit edible? Knott's is expanding too, but it doesn't necessarily mean the additions will be positive. Some would love to see improvement instead of expansion; which would you prefer, if a choice was necessary?

  9. #9

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    Re: Gekko-nomics: Is Greed Good for DL?

    Quote Originally Posted by aashee View Post
    Great thread Swabbie.
    Gracious as always. Thanks.

    I hate to say, with the size Disney has grown greed isn't optional, it's a necessity. Disneyland is just a smal facet of the company's empire. The major stockholder who have invested multimillions of dollars could care less if Nemo fits in tomorrowland. They look at revenues spent and revenues brought in.
    In agreement here that greed is oftentimes a necessary component for publicly traded companies, but do you see Disney's lack of serious competition (and the focusing influence it can have over greed) having a negative affect in the Park?
    Fortunatly for us as DisneyLAND fans, the park is rather profitable. This allows the company to extend extra funding for growth. So to dance around your question, greed isn't good for Disneyland, but that's where it is at now and for as far as we all can see, so we'll have to frown and bear it
    I will pose the same question to you as I did the Manator: if given a choice, would you prefer expansion to improvement?

  10. #10

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    Re: Gekko-nomics: Is Greed Good for DL?

    Quote Originally Posted by fo'c's'le swab View Post
    Gracious as always. Thanks.


    In agreement here that greed is oftentimes a necessary component for publicly traded companies, but do you see Disney's lack of serious competition (and the focusing influence it can have over greed) having a negative affect in the Park?

    Sadly, Disney's competition is mainly Knotts and Universal. Knotts sems to only come out with thrill rides so competing with that isn't needed because Disneyland has always been a place to come for the whole family, not just the testosteroned Teens.

    Universal has interesting things occasionally, but they are always tied to movies. Has Disney gone the way of the universal with pixar? Hmmm.

    I really think Disney has just enough competition to keep it honest. And that'll do for now. With all the money alloted for DCA we know they are resting on their money sacks.

    I will pose the same question to you as I did the Manator: if given a choice, would you prefer expansion to improvement?

    There has to be a balance for it to work. If it were 100% expansion, your core regulars would get bored and stop renewing thier passes. If you go 100% improvement they is nothing new to promote, thus creating less of a desire for the occasional crowd.
    I guess anything but staying pat is OK with me.

    Chad

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    Re: Gekko-nomics: Is Greed Good for DL?

    I doubt what is missing at DL is a lack of greed. Greed and the desire to increase revenue hopefully leads to increased spending on the park,lack of profit surely leads to little spending on the park.. Apologizes to those who think Walt wasn't in it for the profits is just naive and an historical tableau that cannot even be found in the 'official' Disneyland history. Walt sold a business plan that included revenue and profit projections, Walt had no problem making a buck.

    What I think missing is not greed, but a solid ability, even an imagination on how to make the park better. I don't think there are many people in the corporation that can tell by looking at plans, concept art, and models what is going to work. Look at Pooh or Monsters Inc. In my opinion both rides could have been improved by using single car vehicles, thus allowing the rider to be closer to the 'action'. And it should have been caught and fixed in pre-production.
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  12. #12

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    Re: Gekko-nomics: Is Greed Good for DL?

    Quote Originally Posted by mousechild View Post
    Look at Pooh or Monsters Inc. In my opinion both rides could have been improved by using single car vehicles, thus allowing the rider to be closer to the 'action'. And it should have been caught and fixed in pre-production.
    Interesing point that I've never thought about. That's why the new Little Mermaid ride has me the most excited. Omnimovers have proven to be the most effecient method of getting guests in and out of a ride. If the LM is a hit, it could change how new dark rides will be implemented.

  13. #13

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    Re: Gekko-nomics: Is Greed Good for DL?

    Quote Originally Posted by mousechild View Post
    I doubt what is missing at DL is a lack of greed. Greed and the desire to increase revenue hopefully leads to increased spending on the park,lack of profit surely leads to little spending on the park..
    But not always. Greed (of which there is no shortage of in the Parks, or anywhere else for that matter) sans competition can lead to decreased spending even when revenue is increasing (we have seen this at the Parks before--and not too far in the past, I might add). Reinvesting in attractions, maintenance and infrastructure are necessary in the presence of competition; but voluntary (but advisable) when there is none, IMO.
    Apologizes to those who think Walt wasn't in it for the profits is just naive and an historical tableau that cannot even be found in the 'official' Disneyland history. Walt sold a business plan that included revenue and profit projections, Walt had no problem making a buck.
    Walt Disney also seemed committed to giving the public quality entertainment even in the absence of profit, however. He used personal savings to complete Frontierland. He, of course, ultimately profitted from this investment, but there were no guarantees.
    What I think missing is not greed, but a solid ability, even an imagination on how to make the park better. I don't think there are many people in the corporation that can tell by looking at plans, concept art, and models what is going to work. Look at Pooh or Monsters Inc. In my opinion both rides could have been improved by using single car vehicles, thus allowing the rider to be closer to the 'action'. And it should have been caught and fixed in pre-production.
    True, even Walt disney's judgment was often unreliable in those matters involving public acceptance and support. When deprived of an authoritative, driving force, there is room for indecision and thinking 'by committee' to take over. This is not always so bad, but is rarely as productive.

  14. #14

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    Re: Gekko-nomics: Is Greed Good for DL?

    Disneyland was not built out of greed by any means. Walt was really pushing his luck initially and had to borrow money from all sorts of places in order to get the thing built in the first place. Everyone thought he was nuts and the general assumption was that Disney was going to go bankrupt.

    Walt didn't build Disneyland because of money. If he had, he wouldn't have taken the risk. Walt may have been a businessman, but the concept went to a deeper level within him-Walt wanted to provide quality entertainment, show the world things it had never seen before. He was all about taking risks for the sake of quality. The company as a result would sometimes suffer in the short-term for it, but Walt knew that his extravagance would eventually pay off.

    Look at all the films that Disney made during the war. They didn't do well at the box office at all! But those are films like Bambi, and what are they now? Classics. People still love them to this day, and those films bring in more revenue in all sorts of ways.

    But with Walt gone, the company has not been so willing to take risks. It's good enough, and it has the name Disney on it, so we'll get the dough no matter what. It is true...Disney is still successful in that sense.

    But the brand has lost long-term value as a result. While Disney was initially considered a family name, it's now considered to be a "kiddie" name more or less. The brand is mostly out of touch with the general audience. Most of the films Disney has recently turned out (without Pixar's help) have not done well. They made a lucky shot with Pirates of the Caribbean, and no one expected that to be the hit that it was.

    What this all gets down to is that Disney now focuses on the short-term, not the long-term benefits of quality, so they cut corners, only to save money. Where is this extra money going? With all of the time Disneyland has sold out for the day recently with all of the price hikes, the CMs that work at the park don't seem to see a drop of that extra revenue. In that sense, the park suffers from quality in terms of guest service because of a high turnover rate. In the old days when the park paid their CMs more and gave them nice benefits, the CMs stuck around and were happy, and in turn ensured guest happiness.

    With all of these extra people in higher-up positions that are completely out of touch with the goings-on of the parks, one really does have to wonder why they exist. All that extra money that Disneyland has generated over the past few years is probably being utilized for executive company cars or useless bonuses given to undeserving people...and no one is there to stop them. There's no control, because as stated, there's no other competitor quite like Disney.

    The most recent attractions the parks have received do not show any sort of long-term lasting qualities, all based on contemporary films that in reality do not support the theme of the land they reside in.

    Again, where the heck is the money going? There's very little doubt in my mind that these higher-up suits who don't know or appreciate the parks or the public at all are wasting the money they have on their own selfish impulses or for total redundancies.

    Greed sucks for Disneyland.

  15. #15

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    Re: Gekko-nomics: Is Greed Good for DL?

    Good post. It is way too deep for me to follow while at work. After all my employer is way too greedy and hates to see me on micechat all day long.

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