During a recent hectic week in NYC we had a chance to meet with all kinds of people. George Lucas was one of them and another was Antonio Perez, Chairman and CEO of Kodak. It was interesting to observe their different approaches to innovation.
Lucas clearly says that he isn’t on top of the technology even though his business is driven by it. He doesn’t see the need to be when he can give a clear idea of what he wants to his people and they get on with it. For example, the big breakthrough in Star Wars was being able to track a computer created image – Kubrick in 2001, the Space Odyssey, had shown a rocket going from left to right across a frame but Lucas managed to actually pan across the frame and follow the image. I know, I hadn’t noticed that either.
Meanwhile, this is very different to Antonio Perez who at the drop of a hat loves to get into the technology. He is very hands on and provides leadership through a contagious enthusiasm for the technology itself. (For example, here are some of his ideas on intellectual property, in conversation with Alan Murray of the Wall Street Journal.)
Both men keep their audiences enthralled but with a philosophy on technology that is completely different.