Tag Archives: Walt Disney Company

For innovation: listen to your customers but don’t believe them

Big data and analytics are going to alter customer experiences through personalization. But, companies should be wise get out of the building and not assume that big data is an innovation silver bullet.

As companies adopt social and big data technologies, automation and anticipation will become hotly adopted strategies to create or enhance existing offerings. For some industries, such as retail, providing the option for customers to order through their mobile phone is the first step towards automation and anticipation, and pretty soon we’ll start seeing people’s orders waiting for them before they even order them.

With all the data about customer habits it has accumulated over the years, Starbucks is a company that is uniquely positioned to do this. I don’t know the exact number of times the average person stops by Starbucks on their way to work, but I’m sure it is in the 3 day average.

That’s an ingrained habit.

But, even with some sense of certainty of what people might do, we still have to ask ourselves some questions: How will customers benefit from us anticipating what they will order today? At what point does novelty wear off? How will it make them feel? What would make them feel less uncomfortable?

Why settle for average? Steal from the greats to be great

strategy as uniqueness

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nevenka/3061982219/

The challenge with copying uniqueness is that is takes a relentless commitment to excellence.

Whenever I’m asked about innovation, a list of names always comes up: Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook.

Why, I always ask, are these the ones that always come up?

Nothing wrong with bringing up those companies, but surely, there are others. This is an issue when discussing innovation, because there is a very narrow view about what innovation looks like. And, when this gap in definition exists, people naturally look around for examples of what it looks like. They can’t imagine anything else.

blu maya and the simpsons

VIDEO: The Process of Animation by Walt Disney Studios and The Simpsons

blu maya and the simpsons

Here is the video from the conference we held at our office two months ago.

Edwin Aguilar, Assistant Director at The Simpsons, and Jose Zelaya, Character Designer at Walt Disney Studios, talk about the Process of Animation to a large audience at IOS Offices Tijuana.

From Script to End: The Process of Animation

The process of animation by Walt Disney Studios and The Simpson

Blu Maya and IOS Offices is proud to bring you two pioneers in the art of animation for the first time together on one stage to show and talk to you about how they do it: Walt Disney Studios and The Simpsons.

I’m proud to say that this is the first time an event like this, where two different animation companies collaborate in a workshop, is held. If you are at all interested in the act of creation, this is a must-attend event where you will learn the whole process of animation. Including how to pitch the studios.

Disney cel animation

A powerful innovation breeding habit you can do right now

“We are tuned to think linearly – but the fact is, these are exponential times”.

And to think exponentially, we need to break out of our comfort zone and seek out new knowledge.

I’ve spent time in companies where they talk about innovation. Supposedly they fight for it. Funny thing is, I don’t notice any “innovation breeding habits” in display. And, if you ask them about those habits, the first one that comes up is brainstorming.

Sorry, but innovation work is more than just brainstorming around what you know. It’s about constant learning. And not so much as learning about the same topic, but going out an learning from people who are not in the same line of work as you. Learning about their domain, how they solve problems, what their challenges are, etc.

This is where seeds for innovative ideas born.

What’s the best way to manage creative personalities at work?

Fight with them. Not against them.

That’s how.

These days, we are in serious need of creative firepower. And for all the startup incubators that are popping up everywhere, there still seems like creativity is a scarce resource. For me, creative personalities are passionate people who are not happy with the way things are and that not afraid to stir the pot. And, if your culture’s values are based on combining imagination with execution excellence, you can’t expect creatives to change their ways.

labsy sketch

The importance of workplace diversity for innovation

labsy sketch

Click for larger image

My friend and business partner Christian Laborin created the above illustration for someone very special to him. He put it on his Facebook cover and very shortly the comments came in. Including Jose Zelaya, a friend from Disney Studios, stopped by to give his two cents: There is so much love in this illustration!


Everyone notices different things.

What do you notice?

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