A Hollywood executive says, “Nobody believed his idea and he had his own ability to make the quib more existent than Jeffrey.”
Nevertheless, all of these are next to the $ 2 billion trauma of Cubby, which launched in April and will close on December 1 after less than a year of operation.
“There’s a strange phrase often said about Jeffrey – ‘Don’t bet against Jeffrey,” said an experienced executive. “Nobody works hard. Someone barely sells. Nobody recruits better. And no one believed in his idea – its obvious talent, and his own ability to do quibby in existence – more than Jeffrey … but Quibby’s hubris – arrogance, audacity – that’s what takes my breath away . ”
The conversation of Hollywood veterans last week echoed with several of Katenberg’s friends, some of whom would speak for quotes. In an industry usually fueled by Scadfreude, the end of Qwabi was regarded with massive investment, lost employment, stern regret for abortion projects. And, crucially, Katzenberg’s blinking drive focused on a big swing as it approached its seventh decade. (Katzenberg declined to be interviewed for this story.)
Wall Street drew conclusions similar to those in Hollywood – although streaming investors on the street were unaffected by the demise of Upstart. According to Appotia, Quabby raised $ 1.8 billion from private investors, but earned only $ 3.3 million in membership revenue.
“It’s a big black eye for Katzenberg and the whole team,” Wesbush analyst Dan Ives said last week. “How fast it has come and gone so far.”
Lupp Ventures analyst Doug Clinton said, “Sometimes when you have companies and entrepreneurs, they shut down and have really big ideas – and sometimes they don’t work. Nobody can do that. Immunity does not, not even Jeffrey Katzenberg. ”
Although insiders praise Katzenberg for his vision and determination, he notes that those qualities may have blinded him to the flaws of creating an independent subscription streaming service such as Hollywood to WarnerMedia from Disney to NBCUniversal Most of the people were making their debut.
The move was signed by signature Katzenberg, who may have been an unavoidable comic who suggested listening to and ignoring the character of the 64-year-old neo-sayer as he and Meg Whitman, the habits of those teens and young adults Those who were ill to predict were the target market for Quabby. In the end, Core Missfire was betting that Gen Y and Z were hungry for high-quality, short-form content, specifically for viewing on their phones – and were prepared to pay a monthly fee for it.
“What’s brilliant about him is his immense determination and energy,” said a veteran agent, who refused to use his name. “Couples who with their contacts and financial resources can achieve those things. He can get it done. (But) like anyone, the fact that you can get it doesn’t mean it should have been done … and in this one, he was messing around in an area not in his experiential wheelhouse. Was. It was an intellectual decision, not his experience. ”
The Veteran Executive said: “It was fascinating to see the development of thinking. He literally talked about everyone, endless. And I believe that… there were many others who challenged his base. There were many people who challenged his business model. There are many who challenged their timing. I believe they largely disregarded real people. And tried to bow down to the world with his will. ”
Quibby’s flaws may be obvious now, but it’s easy to see how Katzenberg won over investors and A-list content creators.
He holds a near-mythological position in contemporary Hollywood, much like an imperial Lev Wasserman, who possesses the industry. Katzenberg is known to work harder than a small army, scheduling three breakfast meetings a day, inviting staff to a repeated orgasm (that can actually be apocryphal). Have done that if they “don’t come on Saturday, don’t worry it’s coming on Sunday.”
He was also the author of a famous memoir in 1991, when he was the head of a Disney film studio, which was currently at the heart of future problems in business. (The memo inspired Cameron Crowe’s “Jerry Maguire” manifesto in that film). He advocated high-caliber talent and big ideas with which “event films could be made.” He said: “We … have the inner talent, creativity and full capacity to control our own destiny.”
And it was true. At Disney, Katzenberg had the authority to lead CEO Michael Eisner, who mentored him at Paramount Pictures, where the two men worked under media mogul Barry Diller. Katzenberg’s vision paid off for Disney, as he rebuilt the animation studio after decades of moribund projects and poor financial results. Disney found its top gem in the 1994 blockbuster “The Lion King”, with a top-selling album and with the Broadway adaptation, several other successful titles including “Beauty and the Beast” and a rise in stature for ABC television.
However, in 1994, Eisner dismissed Katzenberg, citing Katzenberg’s lack of confidence in business acumen. Injured, Katzenberg turned to undertakings that would build his legacy beyond Eisner and Disney.
This led to DreamWorks SKG, DreamWorks Animation and then Quibe.
A more pointed look at Katzenberg’s career would suggest that his gifts lie more as a content executive than as a visionary businessman, though most cite his undeniable drive that sets him apart. It is argued that Katzenberg’s record as an entertainment entrepreneur never met the high bar of his achievements as an employee at Disney, despite an ambition that never slowed down.
Less kindly, some say the drive to create quibby was “ego-driven,” as one veteran observer put it. “A Will by Two Aged Officers to Find Relevance.” The desire to invent a new modern digital act like Barry Diller. ”
To that, the veteran agent said: “If Jeff Katzenberg were a stock, I would grab it, and maybe buy some.”
Five years ago, Katzenberg was in a near-fatal car accident that left her standing for weeks. His Tesla was total. His right wrist and arm were shattered. Death was the breadth of a hair. One would have thought that this brush with mortality would have slowed him down.
It was not. Instead he redefined his efforts to sell DreamWorks animation, which he managed to land for $ 3.8 billion the following year and then threw himself into making the quib. “For me, I have to climb that horse and find the next mountain to charge,” Katzenberg told CNBC on Thursday. “It’s the only thing I know what I need to do, and I’ve got a lot to prove.”
But in recent times, Katzenberg has told friends privately that, for once, he intended to go low and “under the radar” for a minute, according to a person close to him.
It is not that this will be the last we hear of him. “He’s still a legend,” Clinton said. “If I were to put money on him, I think you would have to say he would retort.”
Sean Burch contributed to this article.