Adventures in Bookland : To Pixar and Beyond

What I read

To Pixar and Beyond: My Unlikely Journey with Steve Jobs to Make Entertainment History
Author: Lawrence Levy
272 pages

To Pixar and Beyond
Book Cover


This is a very well written book and gives an extremely good insight into Pixar’s struggle to become a blockbuster factory and its process of raising an IPO. Apart from that it also painted a completely different picture of Steve Job’s style of working.

Key Quote

There is nothing you can do about where the pieces are. It’s only your next move that matters.

Key Takeaways

  • Take things one step at a time. Not all steps require you to take the final decision.
  • Look for someone you can work with and learn from.
  • Look at the business the way a grandmaster looks at a chessboard.
  • Tiny startups beat big companies because of one thing – Culture. It is what innovation depends on.
  • Mentors you can trust to give you the right advice when you need a sanity check are important.
  • There are 2 key things you need to effect change or get a good deal
    • Leverage i.e the assessment of the bargaining power or the strength of the actual hand you have
    • Negotiation i.e. how you put the bargaining power to work for you.
  • It’s helpful to see what leverage you and the other party have in one place before going into a negotiation.
  • Be crystal clear of what you want out of the negotiation. Don’t have a backup position for things that are important to you. However, there a risk of over-reaching so that you end up with nothing.
  • Sometimes a leader has to take the hit to get something meaningful done for the rest of the team.
  • You have to find the Middle Way – the balance between structure i.e the bureaucrat and fluidity i.e the artist irrespective of whether its personal or business.


Even if you are not interested in the movie or animation business, this book is a must-read. It was hard to put down and had some great takeaways.

Have you read this book? How did you find it? Let me know in the comments.

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