Hey everyone, here we go. . . . . .
IN OUR WORLD
OK, OK, I know, my blog schedule has been horrible. I deeply appreciate all of you that have sent me notes wondering what’s going on.
As soon as the new blog format and web site are up and going I will be back on schedule.
In the meantime here we are, 6 months into 2011, heck, we are past halfway! The longest day of the year has come and gone. So, as they say on Game of Thrones – “winter is coming”, though at 100 degree’s + in Texas, winter seems a distant thing.
The first half of 2011 has been fantastic. 33 projects for 17 clients in 12 different industries! It has been challenging and rewarding. Can anyone ask for anything more?
The Dazzling Blue platform – the journey from ordinary to extraordinary has really taken off. The article in the Dallas Morning News has certainly stirred interest in the ideas and action points in that journey.
The Opportunity of Meeting – how to change everything you think and do regarding meetings is now in active play with three of my clients.
July has me heading down to Austin, then off to Boston, a quick stop in Houston and a closing trip to Houston.
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THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
Let’s talk Pixar, the animation film giant. Most of you are familiar with these creative geniuses through their major theater releases such as the Toy Story trilogy, Wall-E, Finding Nemo, Up and others. The Pixar empire is the result of John Lasseter and his unique partnership with Steven Jobs.
A quick history:
- Jobs, after being fired by Apple, dabbles around in a few projects including Next Computer and buys the tiny animation division of Lucas Films in 1986 for about $10 million that becomes Pixar.
- He brings with him a young John Lasseter to run things.
- He gives Lasseter a three word set of marching orders – “Make it great”. So Lasseter embarks on that simple and powerful mission.
- It took about 10 years to make their first major theater release – Toy Story. Since that time they have released 12 major animated features.
- The Oscars have been kind to Pixar who almost singlehandedly created the Animated Award category. Of the 8 Pixar films released between 2001 and 2010, 6 have taken the Oscar.
- In all Pixar’s work has been nominated for 211 various film awards taking 205 of them.
- 20 years after his $10 million investment, Jobs sold Pixar to Disney for $7.4 billion. John Lasseter continues to run Pixar in addition to Disney Animation and the Imagineering team (guys that design theme parks and the rides we all wait hours for).
The key to Pixar success always starts from a single point; the story. The story has to be outstanding, it has to be foundational. It’s not about the amazing animation, but instead always starts with the story. They spend countless hours scrutinizing every aspect of the tale. It means everything to their process.
How simple, powerful and elegant is a single filter point?
The results speak for themselves and present a wonderful platform for us to examine; what is our most important filter? Does it drive your decision model? Can it be articulated throughout your teams?
Pixar has proven that a single filter and simple marching orders – Make it Great, can make all the difference!
MOVIES: Larry Crowne and Transporters: Two choices for the heat intense 4th of July weekend. Not a bad way to spend some summer time hours.
NetFlix Fans: Cedar Rapids: A quirky off-beat comedy that made me laugh.
TV: My DVR has been filled with stuff from the All England Lawn Tennis Club. Man, I love those grass courts. I also have given Falling Sky’s (TNT – Sunday nights) a run. It’s pretty good. You can always camp out at the USA Network for the their great, though formula driven, shows like Suits, Burn Notice, Covert Affairs and any of their other top notch TV series.
BOOK: Full Engagement – Tracy: Not a lot of new stuff from Brian Tracy, but interesting with a foundation around building the right team and the problems that result from prolonging a bad teams time together.
MUSIC: Last Friday night one of my favorite singer songwriters was in town – Pierce Pettis. I was scheduled to land at 6:30 PM and the show was scheduled to start at 8:00 PM, no worries, right? Wrong, after around a 4 hour delay my flight landed at 10:30 PM and I missed the show, but wanted to share a little Pierce with you.
WEB SITES: Find out what happened on the year you were born.
SOUTH OF NORMAL
I am a huge fan of John Maeda at the Rhode Island School of Design and love the idea of helping those who invested in learning from you turn that knowledge into a career.
During tough economic times, the academic challenges of college can pale next to the difficulty of finding a job afterwards. Aiming to help make its graduates’ lives easier in this respect, the Rhode Island School of Design has begun equipping them with a kit of business-oriented tools upon graduation.
Now in their second year, RISD’s “artrepreneur kits” include practical tools and resources designed “to help these highly creative thinkers to maximize their potential for innovation and explore entrepreneurial possibilities”. Among them, for instance, is a Square[www.springwise.com/financial_services/square/] device and activation code, enabling graduates to process credit card payments anywhere. Also included in the kit are free six-month accounts with Prosite, a newly launched online portfolio site from Behance, along with an accompanying publication. YouSendIt, meanwhile, is providing each RISD graduate with a 2GB account free for three months, followed by a service discount on the file-transfer service thereafter. Perhaps best of all, Etsy this year is offering the first-ever Etsy RISD Fellowship to the graduate whose shop on the recently launched RISD Etsy Team Page shows the most promise. The winner will receive a USD 1,500 grant to attend Hello Etsy: A Summit on Small Business and Sustainability in Berlin this fall. RISD also maintains a section on Kickstarter to help its students gain funding and visibility.
As tuition fees continue on their upward trend even as economic woes continue, it’s a smart educational institution that does all it can to help its graduates get a leg up in the real world. Other institutions around the globe: what about you?
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Thanks for stopping by and until next time, Adios and Aloha.