Creativity, Inc

Creativity, Inc

Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

Book - 2014
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"In 1986, Ed Catmull co-founded Pixar, a modest start-up with an immodest goal: to make the first-ever computer animated movie. Nine years later, Pixar released Toy Story, which went on to revolutionize the industry, gross $360 million, and establish Pixar as one of the most successful, innovative, and emulated companies on earth. This book details how Catmull built an enduring creative culture -- one that doesn't just pay lip service to the importance of things like honesty, communication, and originality, but committed to them, no matter how difficult that often proved to be. As he discovered, pursuing excellence isn't a one-off assignment. It's an ongoing, day-in, day-out, full-time job. And one he was born to do"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Random House,, [2014]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780812993011
Branch Call Number: 658.4 Catmull 2014
658.4 C365
Characteristics: xvi, 340 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Wallace, Amy 1962-
Alternative Title: Creativity, Incorporated

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"A book for managers who want to lead their employees to new heights, a manual for anyone who strives for originality, and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation."


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aplbrandon
Jan 20, 2020

I can see Tim Wu nodding his head in agreement at Ed Catmulls's conclusions: Just like politicians, corporations, once they get to the top, they then spend all their energy trying to stay there. I think that's a lot of what Ed is talking about in this book. Pixar figured out how to do it right and then they wanted to keep repeating the process. Except, according to Ed, the process is not replicable. At all! And I'm not entirely convinced that Dr. Catmull did not inadvertently write a book on parenting. I kept thinking I could replace the words 'animation studio', 'movies' and 'creativity' with the word 'parenting'. I think he'd have written a best seller. Ed, in a very concise and series of thoughtful ways says that there are no formulas. There are no freebies. You just have to sort of be there in the moment and put in the messy work and not be afraid to flub through it. ENGAGE!!! Or at least that's my take. This is a totally wicked smart book on management and creativity. Ed Catmull is slightly irritating in that he appears ultra cool, calm and unflappable at every turn. He's a genius programmer. He's a Mormon with seven kids! And he went on a spiritual retreat for mindfulness and didn't speak for days. My god, you can't make this stuff up! Ed totally brings it. He created the 3D Animation movie industry. In this regard, like Ron Burgundy he's kind of a big deal. He was there from the beginning. Along with Steve Jobs and John Lassetter he made it. Wow! Steve Jobs features in the book and I imagine a lot of people would be surprised Jobs had originally bought Pixar from George Lucas. He bought it for 5 millions dollars. Catmull ends the book with a chapter on Jobs. They worked together for 20+ years. It's special stuff. It's a special book. Pixar is special. I have no doubt Ed's beard is special. The Disney merger also features throughout in all it's glory. It's a really wonderful book on management and creativity and humanity. If you have every lived on Earth or worked in a company with other humans you should probably read this book. If you are some flavor of creative, then doubly so. And quadruply so if you are in management.

s
SusyHendrix
Feb 13, 2019

I enjoyed this a lot! It was cool seeing the way Pixar developed over time.

o
ooppii
Jan 06, 2019

Started out quite interesting and then it became a little tedious about halfway. I might borrow it again and give it another try to finish the book. Nothing really exceptional; just mildly interesting.

mdaguann Sep 18, 2015

Easy and inspiring read about a company that faced the ropes and came out on top with the help of some excellent leadership and candor

Mykeylynx Nov 03, 2014

Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull
A book:
About the start of Pixar, it’s culture, the failures and success.

My take away:
Transparency candor (the quality of being open and honest in expression; being frank.) this creates real communication and is vital to building Alliances (life long relationships) not mere friendships. Careful who you friend always be aware of what kind of relationships you want to build. When someone gets sick will you be there for them, What kind of friend are you?

Failure is part of success. If you are going to fail, fail fast and learn quick.

No point in playing the blame game. At Pixar someone used the Unix delete command: rm -f * and 90% of Toy Story was gone. The engineer realized what was going on and quickly pulled the plug on the machine. Outch!!! Oh then the backup was not working the way it should 😭. Luckily one of the employees was working from home and made a weekly copy of all the files and had a backup. Buzz was buzzing again 🙏. It was found to be a waste of time to delve into who done it. Trust your people.

The movie made millions and millions of emotions run wild. Without the people there would be no idea of Toy Story. Catmull iterates the point: ideas come from people and people should always be more important than the idea. Pixar treats their people well and in return they have an open and collaborative environment with good communication and ideas.

When you have conversations in the hallway about company issues, rather than in meetings, there may be an issue with transparency in the company culture, ya think…

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