Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Investment at Pixar!

Pixar's area of expertise is in the production and distribution of animated motion picture films.By putting a value on a stock requires so many steps, few of which relate to the actual technology or industry. Familiarity with an industry can be helpful in this process, but that's usually a minor factor really. What's more important is how they're going to generate earnings over the long haul, at a rate greater than that of the overall market, relative to the equity or capital invested - that's what generates value and justifies buying a stock. Knowing that requires intimate knowledge of their customers, competitors, pricing, and ability to maintain advantages in all of these areas, as well as - very important - their finances. If anything, I believe that industry familiarity can be a bad thing, because it leads to investments driven by interests and product preferences rather than by analyses about "what's likely to make me the most money, at reasonable risk, over the long haul?" At the end of the day, that's the reason to buy a stock.

 You may know about growth plans that will strengthen Pixar's earnings over the long term, and be able to trade on that information because it's not "insider info." And as such you might have knowledge that not every analyst or investor has. There's a big difference between liking a company and its products, and liking its stock. "Great" companies don't always make great investments.

If you have $1000, and if you would like to invest, I will STOP you from doing that. It's simply one of those Investing 101 kinds of rules. There are thousands of companies in dozens of industries and by buying just one you really increase your risks of failure. So that raises the bigger question...even if you decide Pixar is a good long-term investment, how much of your net investable money should you put into it? I generally shoot for at least 15 if not 25 or more individual stocks, when buying individual stocks, simply to diversify away these company-specific risks. Alternatively, there's the approach of buying an individual stock alongside a portfolio of diversified mutual funds that hold the bulk of your money.

Work at Pixar: Dream for many 3D lovers!

Whenever I work on PIXAR blog I think why can't I join the family of Pixar, a place for bright individuals with fresh outlook. In Pixar, I will be working side by side with some of the most brilliant minds in their fields, interspersing my own ideas with theirs to collectively make the best fields.

Cool working culture sets Pixar apart from different companies.The other thing that is really exciting about Pixar is the fact that we're always pushing the envelope in terms of technology. I think Pixar is one of the few animation companies out there with its own R&D group.  One of the great things that inspired me in Pixar is Lunches that were organized. They have an hour or so for lunch talking to some of the top people at Pixar, including Ed Catmull. 

Pixar seems to be in the midst of their own golden age, making interesting, widely watched and visually stunning films, and that's a really exciting thing to be a part of.The single biggest attraction to working at Pixar was and still is the movies. Pixar is not a gloomy cubicle farm like so many companies  but a bright, happy place full of well adjusted people. Though this company is older than I am, I feel like it has retained a vibrant, youthful spirit."

Pixar Canada opens in Vancouver

Pixar Canada, Pixar's new satellite studio in Vancouver, British Columbia, was officially opened today. Selected members of the press were invited to visit the studio's 7,000-square-foot space inside a historic building located in Vancouver's Gastown district. B.C. premier Gordon Campbell (that like a "governor" for you Americans) came out for the unveiling.

According to Amir Nasrabadi, general manager of the Vancouver studio, Pixar hopes to expand its Canadian facilities to 20,000-25,000 sq. ft., perhaps moving to another location in the city at some point.

 The Canadian studio "will begin training new staff in late May, and start work on its first short film by early August". There are currently twenty people on the payroll; the plan is to hire several dozen employees within the next year and a half.

As previously announced, Pixar Canada will focus exclusively on the production of non-theatrical short films and other projects based on Pixar's "legacy characters", such as Cars Toons and the rumoured Toy Story Toons. Using a "pipeline system", work done in Vancouver will be seen immediately in Emeryville, where the final stages of production on the shorts will take place.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Pixars workplace Culture

Pixar's phenomenal success in its relatively short history was an eye-opener for the industry. Between 1995 and May 2006, it won 19 academy awards, and in the process reinvented the art of animation.

Analysts were of the view that Pixar with its 730 odd employees had garnered a reputation as a place where creative genius thrived, and had far outpaced the bigger and more institutionalized Disney in the years preceding the acquisition.

"For us now, the high-water mark is Pixar. I remember just a few years ago when students wanted to go to work for Disney. Now they want to go to Pixar," said Dug Ward (Ward), manager of the Animation Workshop at the University of California in Los Angeles film school. Analysts attributed Pixar's success to its distinctive approach to the workplace, which was in stark contrast to the Hollywood model...

Pixar's Culture- The Early Years

In its early years, Pixar was a tightly knit group of about 40 people, many of whom had been working together since the 1970s. Alan Deutschman, author of the book, 'The Second Coming of Steve Jobs,' describes the group as "a nomadic tribe of high-tech gypsies moving from one multimillionaire's think tank to another's".

Pixar's employees were non-conventional. Many of them would arrive at work by lunchtime and work late into the night. Some analysts described the culture at Pixar as "anti-corporate" but even they appreciated the fact that this culture made the company not only highly productive but also a laid-back fun place to work. They worked in a shabby office, with employees moving around barefoot, some even bringing their pets to work. They did not expect to make much money but stuck to their jobs due to its unconventional atmosphere and with the dream of doing something completely new. The company's philosophy was to 'hire people who are better than we are'. This was evident when Catmull and Smith brought in Lasseter, an animator at Disney, in 1984

Thursday, November 18, 2010

PIXAR: Lean and Innovation working together!

Hollywood animation company Pixar, the maker of blockbuster movies including the “Toy Story” series and “Finding Nemo,” is a good example of how innovation and lean practices can enhance outcomes. Pixar has combined lean and innovation to good effect, according to Kartik Hosanagar, Wharton professor of operations and information management. Working within the movie industry “where lack of predictability is the norm,” Pixar has created a set of processes that emphasizes team-based collaboration and continuous feedback loops to help overcome creative blocks and track deliverables, but without the stress that could go with a regime of control.

Part of what helps Pixar succeed is a model of working in which the individual is as valuable to the team as the team is to the individual. To help structure fruitful interactions, Pixar has instituted a system of daily meetings where team members talk about what they have or have not accomplished each day and others provide feedback. The point is not to track people. "In a creative world you often hit roadblocks, and team-based collaboration is critical," he explains. "People might discuss work that is clearly in an incomplete stage; they don't have to feel embarrassed." The process involves cross-company teams, too, where one team working on a project might get feedback from another team working on a totally different project.


For the venerable animation giant, the move is a significant bet on Pixar's digital approach as the successor to the pen-and-ink industry popularized by Walt Disney. The purchase is also the latest indication of a tectonic collision between technology and Hollywood.

Two Pixar veterans will head Disney's animation efforts. Ed Catmull, who had served as Pixar's president, was named president of the combined Pixar and Disney Animation Studios. John Lasseter, the Pixar executive vice president who is widely regarded as the studio's creative leader, was named chief creative officer. Pixar will remain in its San Francisco Bay Area headquarters.

Jobs said Pixar's main choices came down to selling out to Disney or working with another studio under a deal like Lucasfilm has with Twentieth Century Fox, in which the larger studio gets only a distribution fee. The latter option was somewhat attractive, Jobs said, but would still result in an arrangement with "two companies with two separate sets of shareholders and two different agendas."

Disney and Pixar Are Totally Cool, Totally With It

The folks behind some of the most groundbreaking animation of all time, Disney and Pixar, are utilizing another up-and-coming technology: “viral video”. These faux-commericals for Lots-O’-Huggin’ bear have turned up online and it turns out that they’re actually something put together by the people at Disney and Pixar to promote a new character in Toy Story 3.
The bear itself is actually pretty cute and the bunk VHS-to-digital quality of these clips adds a level of authenticity that makes me wonder what other stunts these cats are gonna pull to promote this new flick.

How To Pixar-ize Your Company

Pixar’s creative genius is remarkable. The company has produced nothing but hits (nine in 13 years), astonishing for a movie studio. It has some brilliant people working for it, but in “Collective Creativity,” an article in the September Harvard Business Review, Ed Catmull, president of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios, says it’s because he and his colleagues have spent 20 years creating a structure to support that brilliance.

Catmull says that same process has been successfully applied to the technical side of the company.

Yet while the creative decisions rest with just a few people, everyone can contribute. In fact, Catmull says Pixar has three operating principles:

Everyone must have the freedom to communicate with anyone. That means the leaders don’t sign off on every decision, and sometimes may find themselves surprised during meetings. It must be safe for everyone to offer ideas. People at all levels are encourage to use email, for instance, to send feedback, good and bad, to the creative leaders.

Stay close to innovative ideas in academia. It publishes research and goes to industry conferences, because it thinks people are more important than ideas, and engaging with its community helps it draw the best people.
Pixar has also designed its building with the cafeteria, meeting rooms, bathrooms and mailboxes in a central area, to “maximize inadvertent encounters” that can lead to more creativity.

Catmull says that watching computer companies rise and fall has shaped how he manages Pixar. He believes the firm has a way to avoid the innovator’s dilemma — missing the rise of disruptions or otherwise failing to respond to challenges.

One element of this: Pixar has developed a rigorous post-mortem process. It shifts the format of these after each major project, so they will not just come up with the same lessons learned. It also draws heavily on data — how long did something take to happen? Was work finished before it was sent to another department?

Finally, he says that Pixar works hard, when hiring people, to make sure they don’t fall into what he calls “awe-of-the-institution” syndrome. He holds orientations with new hires where he walks through the mistakes that have been made in the past and the lessons they’ve learned, “to persuade them that we haven’t gotten it all figured out and that we want everyone to question why we’re doing something that doesn’t seem to make sense to them.”

Pixar and ways of decision!

We think that organizations with good judgment have a number of typical attributes. One is that they involve a number of different people in making important decisions. Their senior executives keep in mind that they don't have a monopoly on knowledge and judgment and therefore involve multiple people in decision processes.
Pixar uses a process for "postmortems" on the major aspects of movies after they're completed. Ed Catmull described it as "like taking cod liver oil," but the company insists on it anyway. During the postmortems, the team involved in the film is asked to come up with five things they'd do again and five things they wouldn't do again. Postmortems not only surface the information but also help to prevent the problems from festering among team members. Catmull comments that because people are starting to game that postmortem process, Pixar is thinking of alternative approaches.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pixar: Vertical Integration and Outsourcing

Soon after Robert Iger took over as CEO of the Walt Disney Company in late 2005, he turned his attention toward Pixar, the animation studio with which Disney had worked since 1991 and was responsible for producing hits such as Toy Story and Finding Nemo. Disney's own animated film business had been in decline since Jeffrey Katzenberg left to establish rival studio Dreamworks and the business relied on revenue from its partnership with Pixar to maintain performance. With the Co- Production Agreement between the two studios coming to a close in 2006, Pixar was looking to negotiate better terms with another distribution partner. This is why Pixar follows a strategy of Vertical Integration.

Outsourcing: I think the outsourcing had an interesting effect on world animation.  Everyone thinks about Disney when it comes to animation, but I don’t think they’ve created anything that really captured people’s imaginations since 1994’s.I think that this is a result of the decline in American animation.  People say that the reason that America drawn animation has declined is because of Pixar and Dreamworks.  That’s probably true, but I think we also have to take into account that after most animation began to be outsourced to Korea in the 1980’s and 1990’s, fewer artists in the U.S. could find jobs as animators, leading to a general decline in talent.Apparently, Pixar can't outsource because their directors and creative staff are involved in every step of a project from the beginning to the end. But I think Pixar does outsourcing since it works closely with Walt Disney.

Pixar: Generic Strategies

There is a tough-minded business strategy behind Pixar's we're-all-in-this-together workplace. A single animated feature takes four or five years to complete, the last 18 months of which feel like a breathless sprint. In such a high-stakes environment, even the most outrageously talented individuals are bound to suffer creative setbacks. One reason Pixar has produced such a string of hits is that the organization has learned how to hang together under the pressure.

Pixar also targets the mass market with its movies, but adopts a differentiation strategy, using its unique capabilities in story-telling and animation to produce signature animated movies that are hard to copy, and for which customers are willing to pay to see and own. Apple also targets the mass market with its iPhone and iPod products, but combines this broad scope with a differentiation strategy based on design, branding and user experience that enables it to charge a price premium due to the perceived unavailability of close substitutes.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Disney to push Toy Story 3 as Best Picture

The Walt Disney Company has decided that Pixar's Toy Story 3 deserves to be promoted as a contender for this year's Best Picture Oscar, reports The New York Times.

Disney will push the film to Academy voters "with all its might" come awards season, which suggests a strong "For Your Consideration" campaign is being prepared to get 'TS3' nominated for the top Oscar prize.

If the successful campaign for Up is any indicator, we should begin to see the first ads in trade publications early next month. Nominations will be announced on January 25, 2011. The 83rd Annual Academy Awards presentation takes place on Sunday, February 27.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pixar: Random Update

Pixar was as busy as ever in the 21st century: the company was preparing to move into its new 225,000-square-foot headquarters in Emeryville, California, due for completion in mid-2000 and were hard at work on its next full-length animated film in collaboration with Disney. The new feature was scheduled for release in 2001, under the working title of 'Monsters, Inc.' The company's fifth film was tentatively slated for release in 2002, was a top-secret project to be directed by Andrew Stanton, who had worked on both Toy Story and A Bug's Life. Despite a slow, financially difficult beginning, Pixar Animation Studios had landed on the fast track and was known throughout the world. With its technological breakthroughs and brilliantly crafted animated films, the sky was the limit in the coming decade and beyond. As stated in its 1996 annual report, Pixar succeeded because it was well aware of the pitfalls of filmmaking: 'Though Pixar is the pioneer of computer animation, the essence of our business is to create compelling stories and memorable characters. It is chiseled in stone at our studios that no amount of technology can turn a bad story into a good one.'

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pixar: Mission Statement

Pixar's objective is to combine proprietary technological and world-class creative talent to develop computer-animated feature films with memorable character and heartwarming stories that appeal to audiences of all ages. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

News Roundup!

tories from around the world of Pixar — now with reduced fat!

Hollywood Awards Toy Story 3: Lee Unkrich is set to accept the "Hollywood Animation Award", Toy Story 3’s first major industry accolade! The 14th Annual Hollywood Awards ceremony is scheduled for October 25th in Beverly Hills.

Block Party Ousted; to be Replaced: Disney’s Hollywood Studios is in the midst of designing a brand new Pixar-themed parade to replace "Block Party Bash" in 2011. The new show, which will include a larger representation of the studio’s library, is set to begin rolling on January 16th. [via Orlando Sentinel]

Dylan Brown to Present at CREATIVEMix: Pixar Canada’s Creative Director, Dylan Brown, has been confirmed as one of eight keynote speakers at this year’s CREATIVEMix conference in Vancouver. I’m proud to say that I had a (very small) part in making this happen, so I can’t wait to see what’s in store. Learn more about the conference here.

Oren Jacob on Competition: In an interview with TechCrunch, Pixar’s Chief Technical Officer, Oren Jacob, reveals that he’s all about competition. Whether it be gardening, grocery shopping (there’s a competition for that) or his main job at the studio, Jacob is in it to win it! Here’s hoping his new documentary, Ready, Set, Bag!, makes its way to my neck of the woods sooner than later. Check out the post + a video featuring the all-around nice guy, right here.

Date Set for Cartoon Art Museum Benefit: Although full details have not yet been revealed, the Cartoon Art Museum recently announced (through its official Facebook page) that its annual Pixar benefit is set for November 6th of this year. Stay tuned for more details on visiting the studio. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Competitors for Pixar!

Competitive Landscape for Pixar Animation Studios Inc.
The US economy heavily influences business spending for software products. The success of programming companies depends heavily on strong technical expertise. The success of packaged-software companies depends on technical expertise and good marketing. Small software companies compete mainly by developing packaged products in small niches or producing custom products for individuals. Many small companies form alliances with larger ones to market their products. The packaged software industry is capital-intensive: average annual revenue per worker is about $360,000. The custom programming industry is relatively labor-intensive: average annual revenue per worker is about $175,000. 

Dream Works Animation SKG Inc, The Jim Henson Company Inc, and Lucas film Ltd were main competitors for Pixar...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pixar: First Film, Ratatouille

While Pixar and Disney continue to thrash out the details of a new agreement between the two companies, news has emerged about the film which is intended to become the first movie outside their existing deal. With The Incredibles and Cars already announced, all attention has been on the secret so-called Project 2006. This film is all  about a rat called Ratatouille, who lives in a fancy Parisian restaurant. The movie was directed by Jan Pinkava, who made Pixar’s 1998 Oscar-winning short Geri’s Game.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Pixar: Introduction

Pixar Animation studios is an American CGI animation film studio based in California, United States. As of 2006, Pixar is a subsidiary of 'The Waly Disney Company'.Pixar began in 1979 as the Graphics Group, part of the computer Division of Lucasfilm before it was acquired by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in 1986. The studio has earned twenty-four Academy Awards, six Golden Globes, and three Grammy's.

Pixar has produced eleven feature films beginning with Toy Story in 1995, all of which have met with critical and commercial success. Pixar's twelfth film, Cars 2, is scheduled for release on June 24th, 2011.

Introspection is good. But terribly boring when it is narrated to others. So .. live with this till I finish my dinner .. and then perhaps there shall be more ..

Love and happiness,

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pixar: The First Post

I have decided to choose a company Pixar, which is an animation studio with the technical, creative and production capabilities to create a new generation of animated featured films, merchandise and related products. It was started by  Steve Jobs, an innovator. I believe the history of this company and the long journey taken by Steve jobs will definitely be an inspiration for all my fellow classmates.

I strive to seek your attention!

My love and more to all...