Page 5 - Business Facts

Getting fired from Disney was the best thing that ever happened to John Lasseter!


In retrospect, John Lasseter can't feel too sad for having been fired from Disney. Besides owning 358 Hawaiian shirts, his personal wealth stands at $100 million because of it!

Since he was a little boy, he dreamed of being an animator for Disney. He could not believe his incredible luck when he landed his dream job directly after leaving college. His enthusiasm was bursting at the seams, but his creative ideas were just too creative for Disney.

For people who have been drawing Mickey Mouse for ages and for many generations, his talk of computer animation and 3D characters was just crazy. He got too many people thinking, and was asked to go and play somewhere else. "It was creatively not the place I thought it was," Lasseter said.

He was scooped up by a company run by George Lucas. It was later bought by Steve Jobs and became Pixar. Lasseter orchestrated all the Pixar projects and directed Toy Story 1 and 2, A bugs Life and Cars 1 and 2.

Suddenly Disney took note! They bought Pixar for $7.4 billion in 2006 and made Lasseter the chief creative officer for both Disney and Pixar animation.

Because of the way life turns out, Lasseter can now toast his success with vintages from his own winery.

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The Human Genome Project showed excellent return on investment. It generated $141 for the economy for every $1 spent!


The Human Genome Project is an international public project led by the United States. The sequencing of the human genome was considered the single largest undertaking in the history of biological science, but it only took 13 years to sequence human DNA under the Human Genome Project, which is an enormous achievement.

Of course, determining the complete sequence of the 3 billion DNA base pairs and identifying each human gene was going to require immense resources. New technology had to be developed and an interdisciplinary team of biologists had to be assembled. There was also a need for physicists, chemists, computer scientists, engineers and mathematicians.

The knowledge gained from the HGP is now invaluable in developing medicines that can prevent and treat human disease, but it also made it possible to diagnose these diseased at a very early stage. Since the first sequences were published, a lot has been said about the scientific consequences of mapping the human genome, but not so much about the economic consequences. What effect did it have on the economy?

Between 1998 and 2010 the HGP directly and indirectly generated $796 billion in US economic output! It has generated $244 billion in personal income for Americans and has created an astonishing 3.8 million job years of employment.

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Ikea stores are designed like a maze for this sinister purpose.


IKEA stores are designed like a maze in order to prevent customers from leaving.

The theory behind the design is: The longer a customer is inside the store and the more furniture they see, the more items they are inclined to buy.

This layout is so confusing that oftentimes shoppers make purchases simply because they are afraid they may never find their way back to the item!

A study at a store location in Kent, England showed that patrons spent an average of 3 hours inside the store, with a significant number remaining for as long a 8 hours!

IKEA is quick to deny any intention to purposely bewilder it's customers, citing shortcuts within the facility (built primarily due to fire code), but the store's exits still are not very easy to find.
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Some awesome lists!

'The Hobbit' is one book, but the movie cost twice as much to produce as 'Lord of the Rings.' Why?


'The Hobbit' trilogy has cost twice as much to produce than the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy, which is astonishing if one considers all the elaborate armor, special effects, and prosthetics that went into the first trilogy!

By the end of March 2013, the price tag on 'The Hobbit' had already reached the $561 million mark, and that did not yet include the two months of filming which still continued after that date, or the pick-ups that were still to follow!

Some of the extra expenses could be blamed on inflation, but it is more likely that the decision to shoot all three films at 48 frames per seconds using 3D cameras was the major reason for the extreme cost of production.

Being made into a trilogy rather than a standalone film undoubtedly added to the costs. Tolkien fans were surprised to learn that the film would be stretched over three movies, considering the book is a rather slim volume and the adventures of Bilbo Baggins are not quite as epic as Frodo having to face great adversity in his journey through Middle Earrth to throw the One Ring into Mount Doom.

The film 'Return of the King' was the most successful Tolkien movie so far and grossed more than 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,' making back more than ten times its budget. Whether the film about Bilbo Baggins and his adventures will ever come close to the box office success of 'Lord of the Rings' remains to be seen.

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This popular company was founded over 400 years ago in the Ottoman Empire, and it's still going strong!


The Avedis Zildjian Company is now known by the much simpler name Zildjian. Today, it's an American company, but it got its start in the Ottoman Empire almost four centuries ago. Zildjian was founded in Istanbul, Turkey, by an Armenian named Avedis Zildjian.

Zildjian was an alchemist by profession. As with all alchemists, he labored away in vain trying to turn base metals into gold. Along the way, though, he did manage to come up with something of value. Zildjian was responsible for creating an alloy of tin, copper, and silver. He found that the alloy was capable of making musical sounds without breaking.

And so his legacy was launched in 1623 with the beginnings of an industry. It became a family tradition that only the company's heirs knew the exact process behind the manufacture of Zildjian cymbals.

Later, in the 19th century, Zildjian manufactured cymbals as musical instruments for the Ottoman Empire. Then, around 1928, Avedis III, his brother Puzant, and their uncle opened for business in Quincy, MA. They made many innovations and actually competed with their counterpart Zildjian company in Turkey.

Any company that's been around for over 400 years must be doing something right.

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