The Pixar Magic

I love stories about entrepreneurs and inventors who overcome adversity, flirt with disaster & bankruptcy, only to end up hitting the long ball.  The Economist published a great article in May describing the Pixar story.  As usual, things did not start off in a very promising manner.

"Ed Catmull's ambition at school had been to become an animator at Disney, but he gave up because he couldn't draw. "

Entrepreneurs don't often realize how long it can take to realize their dreams. Pixar's predecessor started in 1977 as a computer-graphics company. By 1985, with losses mounting and no end in sight, the founders considered selling their firm to General Motors or Philips Electronics, who appreciated the firm's technology solely for its 3D rendering capabilities for auto and medical scan imagery. They won an Oscar in 1988 which brought them temporary fame but it would be several years until Toy Story would hit. It was not until 2006, 29 years after its founding, that Disney purchased Pixar for $7.4 billion.

You should click on the Economist article "Tall tales" link to see the entire article.  Well worth the read for those of you slugging it out in the trenches, wondering if the win will ever hit. This tale shows the power of faith and perservance as well as the role that fate can play. You also can never tell exactly what form or business model will lead to that success.