Of the many great moments of San Diego Comic Con, this was one of my favourites that inspired me think about organizations, attitudes and the little things that can make businesses exceptional. By shear chance, meandering the crowded aisles of the exhibition floor, I found myself at the beginning of a a clay sculpting demonstration at the Weta Workshop booth. I heard someone who was there before me mumble something about 'he's going to challenge himself to 20 minutes', so I pulled out the phone to capture some footage in the off-chance it was going to be good. The sculptor turned out to be Richard Taylor, head of Weta Workshop.
He said to me that he is out of practise, but his talent isn't what I find awesome. When any member of a successful company's leadership team volunteer to be part of a show plan, that's getting quite involved.. It wasn't executed like a PR activity either –"come see one of our founderw and how awesome he is". No, he was just a dude in the demo line-up alongside other artists at the organization... And SDCC is a consumer show too, so not like the audience are leads to becoming actual clients to drive core revenue.
Weta has worked hard from humble beginnings to become one of the top design and effects facility contributing to so many of the most loved titles and brands in film and television. They have long participated at SDCC and showed off really drool-worthy stuff to the fans.
I've never worked for Weta Workshop, I don't know this dude – how he is at the helm of the org, or what he's like to work with or work under – but this inspirational moment made me believe that you can build a cool and thriving business, be part of the broader community, and still have your feet on the ground and hands in the clay.
"Can I get a copy of that video, please?", he asked.
"Yes, of course, man."