The first thing Ed Catmull said when we sat down in his Emeryville office was this: "People assume we've got it figured out. That's a real problem." I knew then that he well understood this common creative dilemma, and would have ideas about how to break out of it.
For the first time in recent memory, Pixar won't be in the running at the Oscars for a best animated feature award. I'd read the buzz about why this might signal the end of the studio's decades-long run of success. But Catmull revealed why losing the top spot to Disney, at least for now, was part of a pattern he both accepted and, in fact, had intentionally helped to create.
In the second installment of my Fast Company series Less of the Same, Catmull and I explore the power of competitive collaboration and of disrupting one's own thinking. They have proven to be important tools for Pixar in facing change and adapting to it. If you've been wondering what's been happening in the rapidly evolving world of digital entertainment, or are struggling with a creative rut, I think you'll find important answers and inspiration in this article. I'd love to know if you find it useful.