Hus, an Old English word The English word house derives directly from the Old English hus meaning "dwelling, shelter, home, house," which in turn derives from Proto-Germanic husan reconstructed by etymological analysis which is of unknown origin. The symbol was called "bayt", "bet" or "beth" in various related languages, and became betathe Greek letter, before it was used by the Romans. Feng shuioriginally a Chinese method of moving houses according to such factors as rain and micro-climates, has recently expanded its scope to address the design of interior spaces, with a view to promoting harmonious effects on the people living inside the house, although no actual effect has ever been demonstrated. Feng shui can also mean the "aura" in or around a dwelling, making it comparable to the real-estate sales concept of "indoor-outdoor flow".
January 11, The Problem As we begin the new year, I strongly believe we are entering a period of great danger and even greater uncertainty. Events are unfolding within and without the movie industry that are extremely threatening to our studio.
Some of you might be surprised to read these words. Yes, but our number one status was far from a sign of robust health. Instead, it merely underscored the fact that our studio did the least badly in a year of steady decline for all of Hollywood… a year that was capped off by a disastrous Christmas for nearly everyone.
Although we led at the box office inour bottom line profits in the movie business were the lowest in three years. Now the good news. No one is better positioned to weather the coming storm than we are. We are the current box office champ.
But, more important, our underlying philosophy of moviemaking lends itself especially well to lean times. As a result, we are not only in the strongest position to succeed during a time of economic adversity, but we have the potential to establish a very high platform from which to launch into the next round of good times, whenever they may come.
Make no mistake about it, ours is a cyclical business and we are once again repeating the cycle. The purpose of this memo is to reaffirm our commitment to our core philosophy, because I am convinced that this is what embodies our key to success in the days ahead.
Interestingly, even if the economic outlook were rosy, I believe we at Disney would still be due for a major self-examination. Sincewe have slowly drifted away from our original vision of how to run our movie business.
Not surprisingly, our control of our own destiny has been eroded. We are far from unique in this state of affairs… something I take little comfort from. The current condition of our business is typical enough of American businesses that an entire management theory has been developed to describe it.
This theory is formally called the Product Life Cycle. It holds that businesses go through a natural development process that is comprised of four stages: InThe Walt Disney Studios had already been through the full cycle.
We arrived here fresh, energetic and ready to create an entire movie studio from the ground up. We succeeded spectacularly in growing a new business and re-starting the cycle.
Now, there are ominous signs of the stagnation of Maturity which leads inexorably to the disaster of Decline. This is why, even if there were no recession, I hope that I would be feeling as I do and would still be writing this memo.
However, because of the severe economic environment we are entering, this review of our way of doing business is now not only timely, but critically essential.
In good times, drift can be tolerable. In bad times, it can prove fatal. Back inour initial success at Disney was based on the ability to tell good stories well. Big stars, special effects and name directors were of little importance. Of course, we started this way out of necessity.
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