From a co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios—the Academy Award–winning studio behind Coco, Inside Out, and Toy Story—comes an incisive book about creativity in business and leadership for readers of Daniel Pink, Tom Peters, and Chip and Dan Heath.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Huffington Post • Financial Times • Success • Inc. • Library Journal
Creativity, Inc. is a manual for anyone who strives for originality and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation—into the meetings, postmortems, and “Braintrust” sessions where some of the most successful films in history are made. It is, at heart, a book about creativity—but it is also, as Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull writes, “an expression of the ideas that I believe make the best in us possible.”
For nearly twenty years, Pixar has dominated the world of animation, producing such beloved films as the Toy Story trilogy, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Up, WALL-E, and Inside Out, which have gone on to set box-office records and garner thirty Academy Awards. The joyousness of the storytelling, the inventive plots, the emotional authenticity: In some ways, Pixar movies are an object lesson in what creativity really is. Here, in this book, Catmull reveals the ideals and techniques that have made Pixar so widely admired—and so profitable.
As a young man, Ed Catmull had a dream: to make the first computer-animated movie. He nurtured that dream as a Ph.D. student at the University of Utah, where many computer science pioneers got their start, and then forged a partnership with George Lucas that led, indirectly, to his co-founding Pixar in 1986. Nine years later, Toy Story was released, changing animation forever. The essential ingredient in that movie’s success—and in the thirteen movies that followed—was the unique environment that Catmull and his colleagues built at Pixar, based on leadership and management philosophies that protect the creative process and defy convention, such as:
• Give a good idea to a mediocre team, and they will screw it up. But give a mediocre idea to a great team, and they will either fix it or come up with something better.
• If you don’t strive to uncover what is unseen and understand its nature, you will be ill prepared to lead.
• It’s not the manager’s job to prevent risks. It’s the manager’s job to make it safe for others to take them.
• The cost of preventing errors is often far greater than the cost of fixing them.
• A company’s communication structure should not mirror its organizational structure. Everybody should be able to talk to anybody.
I absolutely LOVE this book, I’m a huge Disney and Pixar fan so hearing how Pixar got started and how it got to Disney is awesome. The reader’s voice is very soothing and calm. He sounds like he’s in your room reading the book to you with the most gentle voice you can imagine.
Needs to be fixed
Audio cuts out at Part 1 - Track 2 - 18:17. Apple please fix this ASAP!
Very, very good on multiple levels
Look self help or management strategy books are mostly crap that are filled with meaningless rah-rah’s and empty platitudes. Things like: when in doubt, do the right thing. Yeah, great, thanks for the help. What’s the right thing. This book is another attempt at that. And it works much, much better. It provides strategies for working in a think-on-your-feet, quick response world, like advertising and movies, but it applies to anything non-scientific. Catmull gives specific situations, strategies, and then reviews the results when the strategies were implemented. They won’t apply specifically to you, but at least they are not empty examples.
Secondly, Catmull weaves the Pixar story through the management saga, so you get a great, first hand view of the development of the great companies of all time, from the absolute beginnings to today. That makes it a great book, even if you don’t care about management.