Weekend Digest: There’s Much More To The Disney Star Wars Buyout

by Talk Business & Politics staff (staff2@talkbusiness.net) 6 views 

For our weekend business readers:

George Lucas has sold Lucasfilm and all his production and sound facilities to Disney for $4.05 billion reports Marketplace Business.

On the call, Jay Rasulo, Disney’s senior executive vice president, said the purchase was “almost entirely driven by the ‘Star Wars’ franchise.”

In the deal, Disney also purchases the rights to the “Indiana Jones” franchise as well as Lucasfilm’s production arm, consumer products, animation, visual effects and audio post-production divisions.

For the full story, go to this link to learn about Disney’s strategy behind this purchase.

Cyber Monday happens the Monday following Black Friday and has now become one of the biggest online shopping days of the year.

In fact according to Mashable, Cyber Monday is “surpassing” Black Friday where sales last year topped $1.25 billion.

According to a new survey of 2,346 American adults, 75% think stores shouldn’t put up Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving. That same number of people think stores should focus on Cyber Monday preparations, and dedicate a website to Cyber Monday shopping only — just in case the immense traffic causes a popular online shopping destination to crash.

And that’s not all savvy users would like to see from online sites on Cyber Monday.

Many shoppers (73%) hope stores redirect their energy into mobile apps to make shopping-on-the-go more reliable.

Read the Mashable post to learn what is driving more shoppers to make purchases online and which devices those shoppers use the most to buy them.
That’s not necessarily the case says Harvard Business Review despite the fact, “You can find plenty of people who disregard bigger enterprises, stating they are not the future.”

A look at any performance measure shows that innovation can come from either size and that both arguments are oversimplifications.

If that’s the case, then what are the keys and rules to consistently create value in a demanding, ever-changing market? That is hard no matter what size you are, no matter what industry you’re in.

To learn how to make it easier, follow this link for a lesson in innovation for either large or small business.

Michael Rubin’s story of enterprise and rise to be one of only nine American billionaires forty or under is complicated and simple. It is complicated because of the labyrinth of companies and deals he’s spun to acquire his wealth, and simple because of one thing: drive.

In an in-depth post, Forbes takes a look at how starting in junior high school this now 40-year-old entrepreneur used money to make more money “because he has an uncanny eye for undervalued assets and a lifelong talent for turning them into gold.”

“I knew no matter where I put my head we’d have good success,” says Rubin, who occasionally goes light on modesty. “I’m not sure it mattered what the assets were. If you have a love of business, you’ll make it work.”

Says Jeff Jordan, a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, an investor in Rubin: “The guy only has one gear: forward.”

Read the Forbes post to find out which major online company helped Rubin “pull off one of the greatest deals that no one has ever heard about” along the whirlwind path of his main company, GSI.

51-year-old Englishman Steve Parsons has been using scientific methods to hunt ghosts and poltergeists for 35 years.  But now Parsons, who is considered “the gold standard” in ghost hunting, is being jostled about by a new wave of hunters. Amateurs with TV cameras seeking tabloid headlines.

Investigations conducted by the media are the new normal in studying the paranormal, Mr. Parsons says. The trend has spawned hundreds of amateur “ghost clubs,” whose members head out on weekends to scare up a few spirits in the castles and manors dotting the British countryside.

Mr. Parsons estimates that there are now at least 500 such clubs in the U.K., up from fewer than 15 a decade ago.

He says on any given weekend that more than a thousand people shuffle through Britain’s most haunted sites.

The tools of their trade are typically flashlights, night-vision cameras and gadgets with blinking lights — “ghost detectors” — that are pure hocus-pocus, he says.

Go inside a Wall Street Journal story that explores Parsons’ ghost busting career and his methods. Learn why he thinks reality shows on ghost hunting “have changed the economics of ghost hunting dramatically,” and what some of his critics have to say about his methods.

The new James Bond film, Skyfall, is set for release, and of course it will have the ultimate spy car.  What’s your favorite?  PR Newswire has a survey winner of the favorite James Bond car of all time.  Click here to find out.