Innovate the Pixar Way

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INNOVATE THE PIXAR WAY
by Bill Capodagli and Lynn Jackson

Company Profile
Founded: 1979 as Graphics Group, but 1986 as Pixar Founders: Ed Catmull and Alvy Ray Smith Headquarter: Emeryville, California, U.S.A. Products: feature films, short-films, animations, commercials, softwares Key people: • Ed Catmull, President,Walt Disney Animation Studios & Pixar Animation Studios • John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer, Walt Disney Animation Studios & Pixar Animation Studios • Steve Jobs, former CEO of Pixar Animation Studios and member of the Board of Directors at The Walt Disney Company

Owner: The Walt Disney Company (since 2006)

About the book
INNOVATE THE PIXAR WAY
(2010) by Bill Capodagli and Lynn Jackson
• Authors of The DisneyWay

Pixar will inspire you to: Dream like a child. Believe in your playmates. Dare to jump in the water and make waves. Do unleash your childlike potential.

Researched to find answers to Pixar's sustainable culture of innovation The book is full with lists of ideas based on Pixar's culture. For example, 10 ideas to encourage risk taking, 7 ways to create an inspirational environment, 41 ways to improve innovation, and 16 ways to get started.

The book is like a sequel to The DisneyWay with the authors quoting and drawing leadership points from their previous book. In many ways, Pixar is a sequel to Disney. The founders of Pixar has Walt Disney and Disney Animation as their models.

History
1984 Pixar cofounders Ed Catmull and Alvy Ray Smith lead the computer graphics division at Lucasfilm. 1986 Steve Jobs (cofounder of Apple) purchased Lucasfilm and renamed as Pixar. 2006 The Walt Disney Company bought Pixar from Steve Jobs for 7.4 billion in stock.

How to be innovative and profitable?
Naturally innovation increases costs and variation Ray Kroc - MC Donalds Henry Ford Sam Walton –Wal-Mart Apple, Nike, Google... Successful organizations are which delivers innovation, high-quality and profitable products. Caution for organizations: „Innovate, don´t imitate!“

Why organizations can´t be like Disney, Wal-Mart, and Apple? Short-term mentality Manipulate costs, eliminate jobs and training, ignore new markets and compromise quality to have a better earning report Pursuing long-term results takes time, focus, and commitment. Pixar is an example for long-term commitments.

How Pixar operates?
Combine technology and art Manages a creative climate – through leadership and a management style Do people development - instead of investing in idea, they invest in people Thrive on team work – Teams shares unfinished work No organization chart when it comes to problem solving – freedom to communicate with anyone Long term goals - never about cheaper and faster

Learning opportunities
Discussing unfinished work with directors and the president of the company Challenging employees to dedicate up to 4 hours of every single week to their education. Developed Pixar University - every employee in Pixar – administrative, technical, management, janitorial and security – is encouraged to pursue educational endeavors Why teach drawing to accountants? Because drawing class does not just teach people to draw. It teaches them to be more observant. It is a concept of Walt Disney: each person in his company should „plus“ another´s ideas.

Need to learn how to deal with failures
Many failures from the history:
The copy machine was rejected by GE and IBM in 1937, finally being produced in 1947. John Grisham´s first novel was rejected by twelve publishers. Henry Ford went bankrupt five times. Vincent Van Gogh sold only one painting during his lifetime.

Because of that, there is an instinct to copy successful things rather than creating something new. Pixar has an „try, learn, and try again“ culture.

Measurements
After Toy Story success in 1995, Steve Jobs decided to take Pixar public. But Ed Catmull and Jonh Lasseter were concerned that Wall Street´s short-term mentality would...
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