The co-founder and longtime president of Pixar updates and expands his 2014 New York Times bestseller on creative leadership, reflecting on the management principles that built Pixar’s singularly successful culture, and on all he learned during the past nine years that allowed Pixar to retain its creative culture while continuing to evolve.
“Might be the most thoughtful management book ever.”—Fast Company
For nearly thirty years, Pixar has dominated the world of animation, producing such beloved films as the Toy Story trilogy, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Up, and WALL-E, which have gone on to set box-office records and garner eighteen Academy Awards. The joyous storytelling, the inventive plots, the emotional authenticity: In some ways, Pixar movies are an object lesson in what creativity really is. Here, 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, and then forged a partnership with George Lucas that led, indirectly, to his founding Pixar with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter in 1986. Nine years later, Toy Story was released, changing animation forever. The essential ingredient in that movie’s success—and in the twenty-five movies that followed—was the unique environment that Catmull and his colleagues built at Pixar, based on 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.
• 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.
Creativity, Inc. has been significantly expanded to illuminate the continuing development of the unique culture at Pixar. It features a new introduction, two entirely new chapters, four new chapter postscripts, and changes and updates throughout. Pursuing excellence isn’t a one-off assignment but an ongoing, day-in, day-out, full-time job. And Creativity, Inc. explores how it is done.
Finding Nemo. Toy Story. The Incredibles. These wildly successful, award-winning films are all part of the outstanding canon Pixar Animation Studios has produced since its inception in 1986. Pixar co-founder and president Catmull takes us inside the company and its evolution from unprofitable hardware company to creative powerhouse. Along the way, he addresses the challenge of building an effective and enduring creative culture. Punctuated with surprising tales of how the company's films were developed and the company's financial struggles, Catmull shares insights about harnessing talent, creating teams, protecting the creative process, candid communications, organizational structures, alignment, and the importance of storytelling. His own storytelling power is evident as he narrates the company's precarious journey to profitability. Written in an earnest and introspective tone, with the help of Wallace, the book will delight and inspire creative individuals and their managers, as well as anyone who wants to work "in an environment that fosters creativity and problem solving." Catmull's voice and choice of topics reveals him to be a caring, committed, philosophical leader who loves his work, respects his creative colleagues, and remains committed to the advancement of computer animation and great filmmaking.
Creativity Inc is a must read for any and every leader
Creativity Inc. is one of the most inspirational, insightful, and honest books I've read in awhile. Two thumbs up!
If you're an experienced manager, aspiring leader, or someone who simply enjoys learning about behind the scenes of such an interesting and unique company, then this book is a must read.
I wish every business owner would read this.
This is my third copy. Bought a hardback, then bought another as a gift. Just bought this for my iPhone and iPad because it's a reference book as much as it is a biographical page turner. It's just awesome. Catmull is honest and humble while bragging about some of the biggest pop successes ever. Highly recommend.
Would Neva put this book down
As a creator, this is a book that you can always check back to for direction