The Greatest Negotiation in History

Imagine having balls of steel, a mind sharper than a whip, and pockets deeper than a porn star's cleavage. That's the story of how Steve Jobs saved Pixar.

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👇 Today’s Briefing

  • Insight: The Secret Weapon to Negotiation Success 📜

  • Story: The Greatest Negotiation in History 🏦

  • Action: The “S.W.O.T. Team” Challenge 🚔


The Secret Weapon to Negotiation Success 📜

👉 INSIGHT: Above all else, you must know what a winning outcome looks like.

“The most dangerous negotiation is the one you don't know you're in.”

To define your win, you need to focus on two crucial principles that can significantly impact your negotiation success:

1. Define your winning outcome: Successful negotiators spend 4 times more time planning and preparing than average negotiators. This means you need to invest time in determining what a win looks like for you and strategizing how to achieve it.

2. Never split the difference: Among 1,000 negotiators, those who focused on interests rather than positions were 42% more likely to find mutually beneficial solutions. This means you should dig deeper to uncover the underlying interests of all parties involved.

Combining these principles is like having a secret weapon in your negotiation arsenal, akin to a stash of Viagra and a copy of "The Art of Seduction" by your bedside. By meticulously preparing and focusing on interests, you'll be well-equipped to discover win-win solutions that leave everyone feeling satisfied.


The Greatest Negotiation in History: How Steve Jobs Secured Pixar's Future 🏦

“You can agree…or I can walk.”

Part 1 - The Problem

In the early 1990s, Pixar Animation Studios needed a strategic partner to navigate the entertainment industry. Steve Jobs, the visionary entrepreneur, saw immense potential in Pixar and aimed to acquire a majority stake.

Jobs recognized that Pixar's groundbreaking technology and creative genius had the power to revolutionize the world of animation, but he also knew that the company faced significant challenges in the cutthroat world of Hollywood.

Pixar was heavily reliant on Disney but lacked financial resources, so Disney basically had Pixar by the balls. Jobs, with a mind sharper than a dominatrix's whip, devised a daring plan to shift the power dynamics.

He understood that Pixar needed to break free from Disney's grip and establish itself as a standalone powerhouse in the industry.

With Pixar's future hanging in the balance, Jobs bet everything on the success of their first feature film, Toy Story. Despite reservations and immense pressure, Jobs remained steadfast.

He had an unshakable belief in the talent and vision of the Pixar team, and he was determined to see their dream become a reality, no matter the cost.

Part 2 - The Gamble

He poured his personal wealth into Toy Story, putting his entire fortune on the line. Pixar was burning through money like a pyromaniac at a fireworks store, and Disney held the upper hand. However, Jobs had a master plan. He knew that the success of Toy Story was the key to Pixar's independence and long-term success.

If Toy Story triumphed at the box office, Pixar could capitalize on the hype and go public, raising capital to level the playing field with Disney.

It was a high-stakes Catch-22: Toy Story had to succeed, and Pixar needed to go public simultaneously. 

Jobs orchestrated a delicate balancing act, working tirelessly behind the scenes to make it all happen.

Against all odds, Jobs's mental kung fu paid off. Toy Story opened to critical acclaim and became a massive hit, grossing over $373 million.

The film's success was a testament to the incredible talent and dedication of the Pixar team, and it validated Jobs's unwavering belief in their potential.

Part 3 - The Payoff

Pixar went public the following week, resulting in a momentous capital infusion. This transformed Pixar into a formidable force in the animation industry. The company now had the financial resources to compete with the big players, and it was no longer beholden to Disney's whims.

With Pixar's pockets now deeper than a porn star's cleavage, Jobs renegotiated deals with Disney, securing favorable terms and increasing Pixar's equity per picture.

In fact, Pixar was doing so well that Disney had to buy the entire company just to stay competitive in animation.

In a true negotiation kung-fu move, Jobs then became the largest shareholder of Disney. He had risked everything to make Pixar a success, and his gamble had paid off in spades.

The success of Toy Story and Pixar's subsequent IPO marked a turning point in the animation industry. It proved that computer animation could be a viable and profitable medium for feature films, and it established Pixar as a major player in Hollywood.

Jobs's vision and leadership had been instrumental in making it all happen, and he had cemented his legacy as one of the most influential figures in the entertainment industry.

Key takeaway: Steve Jobs's audacious bet on Toy Story and his maneuvering to take Pixar public exemplify the bold strategies that made him a legendary figure in the business world.


Rockefeller’s Negotiation Checklist ✅ 

John D. Rockefeller used this checklist every time he was in a high stakes negotiation. Next time you are in a negotiation, try it out:

  • What is the market situation?

  • What is the business situation?

  • What are your strengths?

  • What are your weaknesses?

  • What capital do you have?

  • What are your opponents strengths?

  • What are your opponents weaknesses?

  • What assets do they have?

  • What are you doing?

  • What goals do you have?

  • How determined are you to achieve them?

  • What are the opponents goals?

  • What are their attitudes?

  • What is in your opponent’s thoughts, heart, and feelings?

  • What is the main value that you can offer?

In short, scope out the clusterf**k you're in — then figure out how to out-hustle the competition to crush your goals.

Meme of the Week 🤣 

Bite-Sized Reads 📚

[Read] Chris Voss: “He who has learned to disagree without being disagreeable has discovered the most valuable secret of negotiation.”

[Read] Roger Fisher: “The more attention that is paid to positions, the less attention is devoted to meeting the underlying concerns of the parties.”

[Watch] Bruce Willis: “Anyone else want to negotiate?”

Tell Us About Yourself in 2 Seconds 👇👇

Publisher: Jordan Belfort

Editors in Chief: Brock Swinson and Davis Richardson

DISCLAIMER: None of this is financial advice. This newsletter is strictly for educational purposes and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. Please be careful and do your own research. 

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