“Rather than look for opportunities to compare yourself to others, look for opportunities to learn the best qualities of every person you meet.”
For those of you with kids or those who will have kids, a trip to Disneyland or Disneyworld will be in your future. It’s a rite of passage for parents and enthusiasts alike. Growing up in San Diego, we went to Disneyland at least once or twice a year. Later in life, my wife worked for Disney and helped start the Disney Stores business. She worked in product development and was responsible for all the adult apparel in the Stores and the Parks. Many of her designs are still being sold today. I have a strong working knowledge of how the company operates, its values, and its overall philosophy. It would be hard for me to even estimate the numbers of times I’ve visited the parks.
As many of us have heard from Don Low, a huge Disney enthusiast, Disney seeks to create “Magic Moments” for their customers. Disney is all about the experience, so much so that they call the employees “cast members”. It’s everyone’s job to ensure that Magic Moments are happening and that it’s the happiest place on earth. Lofty and noble goals for any organization. Tahzoo exists to make millions of people a little bit happier every day. Not comparing Tahzoo to Disney, other than to say that just like at Disney, everyone needs to be committed to the company and its aspirations. Something for each of you to think about as you contemplate your career at Tahzoo.
I noticed a few changes post-COVID that I wanted to share with you that I think are directly consistent with my vision for how Tahzoo should be servicing our clients. A couple of years ago, Gabi, Don and I pitched our facial recognition software, Looking Glass, to Disney and how we could use SDL Tridion to power all the content experiences regardless of form factor. We showed them our work at Starbucks and how we were using SDL Tridion to power the web, the mobile app, and multimedia in-store experience at the Starbucks Roasteries. It was a good meeting, and they liked our ideas. They mentioned the Imagineering team had worked on facial recognition but decided to put the project on hold as it was too complicated. We were never able to put a deal together; unfortunately for Tahzoo, Disney is a do-it-yourself shop.
What I experienced during my two days at Disney was the full realization and implementation of the ideas that we had shared. I have no ill will or hurt feelings that they chose to do the work in-house, but it certainly confirmed to me that our vision of combining creativity with content and leading-edge technology architecture and solutions is EXACTLY what we need to be focused on as a company.
A couple of observations to share. Most of the changes to how the parks worked were focused on efficiency and ensuring that the experiences that visitors to the park were seeking just worked. The reservation system for rides has been completely streamlined. We had no trouble going on every single ride that we selected and riding multiple times on our favorites. We were able to link our tickets and reservations so that a group of 8 operated in unison. The facial recognition was deployed to quickly search for lost children or reentrance to the park in the evening; no need for a stamp on your hand. I could go on and on, but Disney clearly made the choice to streamline the experience to eliminate waiting in line for hours. The new Star Wars area of the park had rides but it was also an immersive, visually pleasant area to walk and shop while you were waiting for your turn for a ride. I’ve said this many times; our solutions need to “just work”. Simplifying the customer or employee experience by eliminating friction, complication, and creating more intuitive experiences is where the world is headed. It was the right strategy for Starbucks, Deloitte, and also Disney. Fortunately for Tahzoo, we’ve done work for two out of three of these leading brands. We have the know-how and the experience to do this for the best brands in the world, so let’s get after it.
Let’s go be great…