Innovation at Pixar

It goes without saying that Pixar are one of the most innovative companys around today. From the very outset they have made creative thinking an artform and have created a working-environment that encourages their employees to explore and embrace ideas on an ongoing basis, in turn ensuring that the innovation so critical to their success is both maintained and nurtured.

Brad Bird, whom Pixar hired after seeing his animated version of The Iron Giant, recently discussed in an interview the innovation process at Pixar. In this interview he stresses that for imagination-based companies to succeed in the long run, making money cannot be the focus. He then goes on to discuss 9 key lessons which give great insight into the companies culture and the approaches they use to ensure they remain at the top of their game. Those lessons on fostering innovation are an absolute must read and can be found here.

Steve Jobs hired Bird, because after three huge box-office successes, namely Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, and Toy Story 2, he was worried Pixar might struggle to stay innovative. Jobs told Bird: “The only thing we’re afraid of is complacency—feeling like we have it all figured out”.

Jobs had stated in a letter to shareholders in 1997 that

“We believe there are only two significant brands in the film industry– “Disney” and “Steven Spielberg”. We would like to establish “Pixar” as the third.”

Disney purchased Pixar earlier this year for the princely sum of $7.4 billion so it could well be argued that Jobs has seen to it that Pixar achieved its goal of becoming the third significant brand.


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On Sunday, October 4th, 2009 at 9:23 pm No Comments Yet »


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