Case Study – Steve Jobs, Movie Mogul
In order to fully understand and understand and appreciate the story of Picture Studios, and its Chairman and CEO, Steve Jobs, one must revisit Picture’s humble beginnings. In 1975, at a vocational school in Old Westbury, New York, called New York Institute of Technology, Edwin Catmull, a straitlaced Mormon from Salt Lake City who loved animation but could not draw, teamed up with the people who would later form the core of Pixar (Pearce & Robinson, 2001).
In 1979, Catmull and his team grew disillusioned with New York Tech and went to work at George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic in San Rafael, California. Catmull decided to leave after seven years ...view middle of the document...
Disney, particularly worried about losing John Lasseter, agreed (Pearce & Robinson, 2001).
Based information provided in the case study, the following scorecard metrics would be appropriate to measure the organization’s success: profitability, productivity, competitive position, and technological leadership.
Wall Street is clearly star struck with Pixar. At the time of the article, “Pixar’s stock has soared to 48 from 23 a year ago based on the high expectations for A Bug’s Life and two other movies in the works. Indeed, Pixar’s revenues are projected to skyrocket form $11.5 million this year to $193 million in 2001, with profits soaring from $3.9 million to $87 million, according to Merrill Lynch & Co. analyst Jessica Reif Cohen” (Pearce & Robinson, 2001). “Pixar’s first feature film, 1995’s Toy Story, became the third-highest grossing animated film of all time, with $350 million in worldwide box-office revenues” (Pearce & Robinson, 2001).
Based upon box office receipts, it is evident that Pixar Animated Studios has been successful in each of its first four animated movies. The challenge facing Pixar going forward is how to out do itself with each new release, so box office receipts continue to increase.
Films using computer animation are very lucrative. “They cost 30% to 40% less to make than traditional animated films because only one-third as many staffers are needed. And the process yields digitally stored characters and backdrops that can be recast inexpensively into sequels” (Pearce & Robinson, 2001).
In order to continue producing high quality family entertainment, Jobs is tapping into his Silicon Valley roots and using computers to forge a unique style of moviemaking,
With Pixar’s unique combination of technology and creativity, Jobs could become Silicon Valley’s first movie mogul. According to Jobs, in Hollywood, there are very few brands, Disney and Spielberg, just to name a few, and it is Jobs’ desire to be one too. “To do that, Pixar must churn out hits at an aggressive pace – a Jobs aims to make roughly one movie a year. ‘They will emerge as a leading digital animation studio – a filmmaker that parents and children will appreciate and trust,’ says analyst Paul W. Noglows of Hambrecht & Quist, which does investment banking for the company” (Pearce & Robinson, 2001).
Pixar Animation Studios continues to create quality family entertainment. Based upon box office receipts to date, each new release earns more money than the previous release. Perhaps one new release each year is an aggressive goal, but if Steve Jobs and Pixar can do it without compromising the quality of their product, it is a strategic plan worth pursuing.
Some say Pixar’s future rests entirely in the hands of Disney, its partner and potential competitor. “The Hollywood powerhouse holds script approval on Pixar films and is doing some of the heavy lifting on the creative end. All...