George Lucas, Master Businessman

Michael Pinto wrote a long, thoughtful essay describing the many ways that George Lucas broke the standard rules of Hollywood business in order to become successful. For example, Pinto says that Lucas' decision to leave Hollywood immediately after the first movie probably preserved his creativity:

Not too long after the success of Star Wars in 1978 Lucas went to work on constructing the Skywalker Ranch near Nicasio, California. What’s amazing to me about this is that instead of embracing Hollywood as the center of his operations Lucas instead fled north to get away from tinsel town. From a corporate culture point of view this allowed Lucas to “think outside of the box”. And in many ways his move reminds me a great of how Microsoft founder Bill Gates made it a point to not center his company in silicon valley, but rather in Redmond, Washington where they would thrive in isolation.

On an immediate level this allows Lucas to focus on the product instead of getting caught up in the trappings of the film industry. The practical result of this is that it allows the people who work in the marketing department to avoid the “me too” approach. Hollywood is famous for not taking risks, but if you’re going break through the noise you have to chances — and Lucas has avoided that trap which in turn has helped his longevity.


Link | Photo by Flickr user brunkfordbraun used under Creative Commons license

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