Intersection 2012

January 18, 2012 at 10:03 pm Leave a comment


This past week-end, I attended an event at Pixar studio called the Intersection. As an observer of the Sabbath, most Saturdays find me in church or spending time with family unless I am involved in some activities that involve benefiting others.  However, in a few cases, I have attended a few events during the Sabbath where I thought that I would learn something that would lead to tremendous personal growth (personal growth can lead to spiritual growth) but not always.

The Intersection event did not disappoint.  Intersection is a conference for leaders (business and nonprofit), investors and students who want to change the world!!!  (My kind of people). What makes this conference so different is the fact that you have people from different backgrounds bringing innovative ways to affect social change. The conference name comes from the fact that the “Intersection” of skill sets and ideas should bring about more innovative approaches to solving the world problems.

Here are a few ideas learned from the Intersection conference:

  • All new ideas are combinations of existing ideas.
  • All innovative ideas appear to be obvious afterward
  • We are horrible at predicting what will work hence the importance of using diverse teams that can unleash an explosion of ideas
  • At the intersection we come up with more ideas
  • Putting more money behind an idea does not necessarily guarantee success: For example for the Newton MessagePad Apple spent $500M and Palm computing spent only $3M on Palm Pilot because that’s all they had
  • When tackling a problem or project, focus on your smallest executable step


How does intersection happen at Pixar?

  • Both companies avoid the common way of doing things
  • At IDEO, they spend a lot of time at the extreme (for example with professional chefs for a kitchen or kids) as opposed to members of the general public
  • IDEO brings in a lot of young people that have not been “brainwashed” in the common way of doing things at other companies
  • Both companies are open to people with different backgrounds.
  • You want to create a broad tent. In a movie, different groups are pushing to win: The finance guys want to make sure they make as much money as possible, the creative guys are pushing the envelope in another direction…If one group ever wins, the company loses. The job of the president at Pixar is to make sure that a single group doesn’t win.
  • Why do they only have success at Pixar? They have failures but they don’t release them.  In Ratatouille they used one line from the failed previous version. Pixar does a lot of iterations.
  • Steve Jobs never went into a story meeting because he would have too much weight


Other ideas:

  • There are a lot of smart people outside of your organization than inside. How do you connect with these smart people outside of your organization?
  • Li & Fung is an example organization that has managed to leverage resources outside of their organization: they have a 15000 network. In a bad year they have a 30% return on equity (that’s very good in the apparel world!) 
  • They have figured out how to connect to different pieces. They have found a way to create long lasting relationship. Li & Fung knows a lot about the company of their partners so there is a lot of trust.












Entry filed under: Thought Provoking. Tags: .

Jonathan Vilma instills hope for Haitians and Americans alike Please give me your input on the new name for the blog

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