//

How to be like Walt–join a startup

How I went from Disney spokesperson to an unknown tech company

How often do you get to create something new, that has the potential to shake up an industry?

When Walt Disney premiered the first full-length feature animation, it was something that had never been done before. His animators scoffed. Doctors fretted it would cause patrons to go blind. But, when Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs debuted at the Carthay Circle theater, it would go on to be one of the most successful films of all time.

Walt Disney was the pinnacle entrepreneur. Because of his vision and constant risk-taking, The Walt Disney Company (TWDC) is still one of the most recognized brands in the world almost 100 years later.

Back in 2010, I followed my own dream down to Florida and joined TWDC as a front-line Cast Member. During my seven-year tenure, I collected Guest feedback, managed costuming operations during Star Wars Weekends, welcomed new Cast Members as a facilitator, lived abroad in China, and served as a Walt Disney World Ambassador, an official representative and spokesperson of the company. I felt confident about how to do my job, I knew how to meet (or exceed) expectations, and I loved the culture. Plus, it wasn’t too shabby to be a part of the greatest entertainment company in the world (IMHO).

So, it may surprise you that I left my beloved Mouse.

To join a tech startup.

Yep, that’s right. I went from a huge, well known, established company (with awesome perks and benefits, btw) to a company nobody has ever heard of.

When Eric and Kenny, Bacarai Co-Founders, first called me, I was living in China. Their passion and excitement for this project was catching. It was the same zeal I had whenever I spoke about Disney. The difference was that they spoke of something that had not yet been created. A dream yet to be realized. It would take a lot of work, but we would create it ourselves, from scratch.

It wasn’t an easy decision to leave a stable job that I loved. When you work for an established company, you have the benefit of a blueprint. Roles and functions are clearly defined. Processes are meticulously documented.

But when you join a startup—there is no blueprint. Your business constantly evolves and pivots. Everyone is pitching in, figuring things out, supporting each other. Creativity and teamwork are imperative. (And possibly some after-work cocktails.)

And that is what makes the chance to join a startup so alluring. I imagine a startup is what the Walt Disney Company looked like way back in the day, when Walt and his first animators holed up in the studio late into the evening, all figuring out how to make a movie. Sculptors became animators, animators eventually became theme park designers, everybody was squashed and stretched and challenged together.

They were creating something new.

And that is what finally pushed me to take the leap and join Bacarai: Walt’s enduring spirit of discovery and innovation combined with the chance to create something the world has never seen before.

Bacarai may grow to have its own blueprint one day—but for now, I am excited to be a part of something in its infancy. Our initial team of developers will create the bones of a company that could still be around a century from now. Like those early founders of The Walt Disney Company, we will contribute to a new platform that will make our industry better. And that, to me, is pure magic.

    The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Thrive Global
    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

    - MARCUS AURELIUS

    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.