It had never, honest to God, occurred to me before but after reading Jason Schwarz's think-piece on the subject, I'm sorta, kinda partway convinced:
... Steve Jobs has carried around the blueprint for Apple’s success since he took back the permanent CEO spot back in 2000. During his latest tenure at Apple he has completely transformed the company from a one trick pony into a four-tiered empire. Has anything this dramatic happened before?
Welll, says Mr. S., it certainly has.
... [O]n June 3rd, 1984, Disney stock closed at an adjusted price of .78 cents. The widespread disgust over this valuation led to hostile takeover threats and even the near distinction of the company. Disney was out of sync with the times, their animation division was near dead, and their growth was non existent - until October of 1984, when Michael Eisner came in as CEO and began the turnaround. He took them into new markets where they flourished. He created a brand called Touchstone films and television that allowed them to produce box office hits for the masses ...
Schwarz belives that it's not a coincidence that Apple has revived in much the same way that Disney revived:
In May of 1985, Steve Jobs was relieved of his duties as head of the Mac division in the very company he had founded in 1976. Isn’t it interesting that the Disney renovation of the 1980s happened just as Mr. Jobs left Apple? It is no coincidence that he used the Disney growth strategy as the blueprint for Apple’s success, as he had plenty of free time to observe what they were doing. While he was away from the company, Apple suffered through a period of mismanagement and outdated product lines. When he returned in 1997, he began the process of implementing a Disney-like strategy. Just as Disney did with Touchstone, Apple did with the iPod. They opened up their brand to a new generation of users. This led to the development of iTunes music, movies, television shows, podcasts and games.
Apple also opened up their own international chain of retail stores - just like Disney did ...
Here in 2008, Steve Jobs is Disney's largest share-holder, and Jason Schwarz figures that the Apple/Disney revival and later marriage is more than just a happy accident. And he's betting that the similar rises in stock price for the two companies will continue in the years ahead.
Okay, maybe it's not far-fetched to think that Steve Jobs was taking notes at Michael Eisner's knee, even though Jobs is reputed to be less than a starry-eyed Mike Eisner fan. I think I'll wait for Jobs' memoirs to come out before I make any final decisions on the subject.