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Haim Savan – an entrepreneur that I admire

I listened to a great podcast today with Haim Savan 
https://www.npr.org/podcasts/510313/how-i-built-this

The Narrative

As a refugee growing up in Tel Aviv, Haim Saban remembers not having enough money to eat. As an adult, he hustled his way into the entertainment business, writing theme songs for classic cartoons like Inspector Gadget and Heathcliff. But producing the mega-hit Mighty Morphin Power Rangers put him on track to becoming a billionaire media titan. 

First Major Break 

Haim  recognised opportunity in providing music for cartoons. 

A Sitcom –   needs  3 minutes of music . 
A Cartoon – needs wall to wall music . 
Why not focus on music for cartoons (Seichel- sense

Ended up with 12 studios making music for cartoons !!

The power rangers 

In 1984 stretching on bed in Japan – he was watching a cartoon with the  power rangers in Japan and secured the rights for The USA (chutzpah) . 

How can you use the action sequences and americanise for a little money – he knew it could work 

He “shlepped” this for 8 years – no luck 
It was successful for 20 years in Japan – why not in USA? 

People said it was cheesy. Haim saw this as a fun show  – he was convinced people would love this  – why can’t people see this?

He kept at it! (Zietsvleis – Passion and Persistence

A fox representative, Margaret Nash, gave him a break and did a deal for a series – the programme went off the charts (a metzia or a maichal – a miracle or a lucky break

Haim Parlayed this programme and his business into doing a 50/50 JV with Murdoch . (Chutzpah) . They bought the family channel for a little – turned it into a 24/7 kids channel – grew it and sold to Disney for 5.5b .

A few takeouts 

You need Seichel – common sense – that is what is sense to you 

“What is luck – (mazal) recognising when you are lucky and taking action to max that potential “

“Go with your kishkas (gut in Yiddish – more expressive) . If you believe something is right – give it a go – if people say it won’t work – or are cynical – you are probably on the right track” 

“You gotta have zietsvleis  – Passion and persistence- Chaim saw power rangers – knew it was good – stayed with it 

“You gotta have chutzpah” – Chaim parlayed  the rights of a cartoon programme to a $5b sale netting him $2.5b 

When u look in the mirror who do u see – Mogul or displaced refugee 

“I see me – A guy hurrying up to his next meeting “

So who is Haim Savan ? 

  • He is a great deal maker 
  • He goes with his gut – kishkas 
  • He finds a win win
  • He is authentic – real and down to Earth 
  • He Negotiated a 50/50 JV with Rupert Mordoch – and built a business that sold to Disney for $5b – boom 
  • He is a philanthropist – he gives back to countries and people that looked after him – Israel and USA

“You gotta have Tsedeka – giving back to community – life is more than making money and you.”

Some interesting  answers 


Question :- If you sell something for 500m or 2b why do you care? 

“It’s not about the money – it’s about what’s fair ! Money is used as a marker”

Question :- why do you still work? 

“I don’t collect stamps and I don’t play golf . This is my hobby “

He recently Sold rights to power rangers 500m 



Posted on September 29, 2018

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