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Why is Marvel So Awesome?

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Forbes looks at the success Marvel has had in recent years , Disney did just purchase them for $4.3 billion.  That’s a pretty turn around since it wasn’t too long ago that Marvel was bankrupt.

A lot of that turn around was due to Peter Cuneo who became the chief executive officer in 1999.  Cuneo was brought in by Isaac Perlmutter whose company had just guided Marvel out of bankruptcy.

Cuneo is a turnaround king, having done it six previous times.

It’s a fascinating interview that delves into the business aspect of the comic book industry and a time when we didn’t know if the company that brought us so many iconic characters would survive.

Some highlights:

  • The board of directors knew that we needed to conserve cash and cut back our required capital to grow the business. We adopted a licensing model for all forms of media, such as movies and television shows, and for consumer products such as clothing and school supplies.
  • Motion pictures and videogames are perhaps the two best vehicles for reaching the masses.
  • It’s also noteworthy that we focused on print publishing and intentionally avoided investing in the Internet….Thus we were protected from the subsequent Internet economy meltdown.
  • I believe Disney recognized the value of Marvel’s intellectual property and how it could be integrated into its other businesses.