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Pixar must be one of the world’s greatest creative businesses.

If you can think of any other company that is as nuts about sweating the small stuff to make sure that the story emerges, please let us know.

In this a16z podcast, former Pixar CFO Lawrence Levy tells the story of the business behind Pixar.

The business of creativity is all about culture

Although the whole thing is tremendous, what’s most interesting for us is that he touches on the culture of Pixar and how this is really the magic glue… or the super sauce if you will…which creates the brilliance that is the Pixar that we all know and love.

All too often business wrongly believes that the secret of their success lies is some kind of analytical formula. A step-by-step recipe – devoid of any kind of humanity or story telling – which is implemented much the same as feeding code to a machine.

Don’t get us wrong though, business without some kind of analytical framework is the same a running a Sunday School, but numbers and targets without culture and imagination is clearly not ideal.

Building a great internal culture as well as a desirable external brand is about people – and unless you capture and nurture the imaginations of people, no amount of analytical number crunching is ever going to get you to where you want to go.

If you want people to follow you, don’t show them a PowerPoint presentation with 10 forgettable bullet points. Rather tell them a plausible story of a land of milk and honey and they’ll do so, under extreme conditions, for 40 years.