A Clear Future or Perilous Strategy
Toy Story 3 is one of only seven movies ever to return more than US$1bn at the box office and is the first animated movie to break US$1bn, setting a momentous bench mark for Pixar’s direct competitors (BoxOfficeMojo, 2010). Every film release since 1995 (Toy Story 1,2&3, A bug’s life, Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, WALL-E and Up) has been nominated for the Academy Award for the Best Animated Feature and each one is positioned amongst the top 50 worldwide earning pictures of all time (BoxOfficeMojo, 2011), totalling US$3.5bn (The Numbers, 2011). With these details alone, Pixar’s résumé is impressive but it has also won awards for its software engineering, producing some of the leading Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI) tools on the market today. Many theorists have, and continue to ask if this been achieved through luck and good fortune or if Pixar have found the latest elixir to success? Theories concentrate on Pixar’s self proclaimed declaration that all firms should simply copy their focus on employees but there is limited discussion on the success of their technology strategy.
This paper is an overall critical analysis of Pixar, broadly evaluating the business but focusing on how technology has been integral to their strategy. It considers the strategy Pixar used to gain market advantage and how it keeps its position today. How the business and its operations are controlled and protected and how it uses the combination of talent and technology to produce apparent endless hits. It also reviews what approaches might not be considered successful and how Pixar has learnt from their mistakes. Lastly, the paper reflects on how secure its business model is and speculates what market changes or technology advances will shape it (and other firms) in the future. While reading the document the reader should refer to the overview of the Pixar... [continues]
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