I am reading Creativity, Inc. by Tim Something who is the founder and CEO of Pixar Studios. In the section I am reading, he talks about how he met John Lassiter–the Executive Producer and Director for many of Pixar’s blockbusters like Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, and Toy Story 2. Here is a story that I found fascinating:
John Lassiter was a Disney animator in the early 1980s before coming to Pixar. He had this idea to create a short film which integrated computer generated graphics with hand-drawn animation. He, along with other Disney animators, visited George Lucas’ ILM studios in the graphic arts division (where Pixar was born). He became amazed at the work they were doing with computer animation and decided to pitch his idea to his project managers at Disney. The managers listened to his ideas and shortly after that fired him. The animation team felt, at the time, that computers had no place in animated films. Within a few months, Lassiter was hired by what would become Pixar Studios.
Lassiter would go on to actually make the film which is what you can see below:
Lassiter’s story is not unique. Many of the people we call geniuses in their field were originally laughed at or shunned because their ideas were too bold, too unique, or too revolutionary.
So, here is the message that I took away from this: Be bold. Be daring. Be audacious. If your employer values you and values creative endeavors, you are set. If not, then find a place that will and you will better off because of it.