The House of Mouse and the social media titan do not appear to have much in common at first glance. They seemingly offer customers entirely different products and services. While Disney churns our “family-friendly” entertainment like it’s going out of style, Facebook offers businesses big and small millions of people’s information, as well as a place to advertise their own services and drum up more business. Not to mention the service Facebook was created to provide in the first place: a realm that facilitates digital communication between its users (anyone seen Summer Wars? Great movie).. But these two powerhouse companies are more alike than we might fathom: both are practicing some sensible habits that will not only ensure years of success and growth, but an edge on the two industries they aim to continually conquer.
On April 4th, the newest superhero blockbuster was released, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. As of this article , that film has earned over $650 million worldwide. The film is a creation of Marvel, right? Oh, that’s right, Marvel is owned by Disney. A new installment of the Star Wars franchise is in the works that will supposedly bring together some of the sci-fi epic’s original cast together, including Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford. It’s getting produced by Lucasfilm, the company created by George Lucas, the ambitious filmmaker himself. Oh wait, he sold Lucasfilm to Disney…
Earlier this year, Facebook purchased Oculus VR, a virtual reality company pioneering the future of “social VR.” It also acquired the successful messenger app WhatsApp for a cool $19 billion. Yes, with a “B.” Are you starting to see a pattern here?
A company is only as successful as its brand. And if the brand has limits, either in terms of consumer base or services offered, you either rebrand or somehow envelop the competition. Both Facebook and Disney are magnificent companies not just because they are brands that can evolve and pivot at a moment’s notice, but because they are also candid enough to discuss their own inadequacies and do something very bold about it.
It’s not easy for a social media company to discuss it’s finite quality as the final word on connecting with friends and family online, but they have clearly had that discussion. Not only are they proposing drones and various new services, they are buying up valuable ideas left and right to instill faith in investors and provide a stable future. Similarly Disney has made itself the final word on our imaginations. They not only own Lucasfilm and Marvel, they have also had a serious hand in Pixar and the Muppets Studios’ success. If you can’t beat’em, buy’em. This is an impressive and incredibly successful credo for businesses on a macro scale.
As much as it pains me to say it, it seems we could all learn a thing or two from the likes of Zuckerburg.