Taking a lesson from Pixar.

Jacky and I had a chance to sit down and watch a great documentary over the weekend.

It’s called The Pixar Story, and it tells the story of how Pixar created, and essentially re-imagined, the animated film industry we know and love today.

While a great documentary overall, there’s one part that stood out to me from the rest.

Pixar found early success, producing films such as Toy Story, Monster’s Inc. and Finding Nemo.

The company was riding high, but they also began to fear complacency.

Any other company who had just had 5 hits in a row would not be open to changing anything. 

Pixar was the exact opposite.

They said, “We are in danger of repeating ourselves and getting too satisfied and comfortable.”

So what’d they do? They looked outside the company, and hired a gentleman named Brad Bird to shake things up. 

He would become the first director outside of Pixar to join the company and direct a feature.

Bird joined Pixar in 2000, later winning Academy Awards (best animated feature) for two groundbreaking movies, The Incredibles and Ratatouille.

What’s the take home message?

1. If there’s one thing successful innovators have shown over the years, it’s that great ideas come from unexpected places. Always be looking for potential opportunities and areas for growth.

2. Being comfortable is the enemy of progress. This applies to everything from sports performance, business, relationships, career and life, in general.

3. Ego is the enemy. Brad Bird was hired after Pixar released Finding Nemo. Have you SEEN Finding Nemo? Come on. If that’s not the most perfect illustration of “we’re not that great, we can be better” then I don’t know what is.

You can check out the full documentary on Netflix.

Have a great rest of your week!

-Ryan

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