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Disrupt Yourself Podcast with Whitney Johnson

Jul 4, 2023

A rat learns to cook. A trash compactor learns to love. Two office workers -- who are the monsters under your bed, mind you -- discover a new source of renewable energy. The possibilities at Pixar are infinite. But how do you shoot a movie entirely on computers? And who’s going to make the software for all of this?

Ed Catmull took on those questions in the early 70s, inventing many of the early computer techniques that got a 3D image on the big screen. With funding from fellow visionary Steve Jobs, Ed and his team at Pixar did what was impossible just a few decades earlier. In 1995, Toy Story -- the first computer-animated feature film -- was on the big screen.

But it wasn’t just money or software that made Pixar into the storytelling, tear-jerking behemoth that it is today. Out this month is an expanded edition of Ed's manual to success, Creativity Inc. In the book and in our conversation, Ed details his careful, cultural maintenance over 40 years at Pixar.