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The Pixar Crisis of 2013 and What Ed Catmull and John Lasseter Did About It

An article on Bloomberg News focuses on a portion of Creativity, Inc., the recently published book by Pixar President Ed Catmull, which details three crises that Pixar confronted in 2013: “the cost of making animated films was rising, the DVD market was shrinking and there was a feeling among management that a tenet of the Pixar culture, employees’ freedom to speak their minds, was faltering.” The result was “Notes Day 2013,” where 1,000 Pixar employees gathered for several days to discuss their complaints and ways for the company to improve, leading to two-and-a-half pages of notes for John Lasseter. Among the goals for Notes Day were to “maintain Pixar’s sense of intensity and playfulness, beating back the creeping conservatism that often accompanies success while also getting leaner and more nimble,” and also cutting costs by 10%.

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