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Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen…
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Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of… (edition 2014)

by Ed Catmull (Author)

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7164819,047 (4.19)19
Member:noonaut
Title:Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
Authors:Ed Catmull (Author)
Info:Random House (2014), Edition: 1, 368 pages
Collections:Read, To read (inactive), Read but unowned
Rating:***
Tags:psychology, creating, read, read2017

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Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull

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» See also 19 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
I read this for Mark Zuckerberg’s book club, A Year Of Books. I love Pixar movies and I’m a business student grad, so Creativity, Inc was really appealing to me because it tells the history of Pixar and explains how they do business. There is a lot of great advice in the book for companies (mostly creative companies but really all kinds of businesses could learn a thing or two from this book) and just overall has a good lesson for people in general. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, being candid is important, change is good and typical hierarchy needs to be challenged. I felt Ed Catmull was frank about his experiences and was just honest about how he felt when he was new at managing people. The book goes over the same themes in different situations showing how they continued to help Pixar, it can feel a bit repetitive, but it serves a good purpose to show how what made Pixar work continues to make them work.
( )
  wellreadcatlady | Oct 4, 2018 |
This was the fastest I burned through a book suggested by our office book club. Pixar is so revered throughout the world that it felt wondrous to hear about the inner workings. Ed seems like the kind of boss I'd love to work for, particularly as a creative type. Hearing about the pitfalls and triumphs through their incredible history of quality motivated me to do better and look for more efficient ways to do my own job. Hearing lots about Steve Jobs was also interesting. Not the most lean book considering the subject matter, but there's a lot of history to go over and I'm glad I read it.

Edit: Not sure how I feel about this now that the allegations regarding John Lasseter have been revealed. This obviously wasn't addressed in the book at all. Does it diminish the lessons Ed mentions? Not sure. It led to a very interesting and thorough book club conversation at our office. Would consider changing my score to reflect this. ( )
  hskey | May 9, 2018 |
A ( )
  BefuddledPanda | Dec 4, 2017 |
Catmull's book is a refreshing look at Pixar, providing a managerial perspective that's often missing from great American stories. He is good at relating the day-to-day operational problems a creative firm faces, building up a credible case for how all that "boring" management adds up to creativity.

The book's style is, if we're charitable, earnest; if we're less so, plain. The opening chapter, which summarizes the story of Catmull and Pixar, can be a bit rough, like a B-grade school assignment. There's a folksy, embroidered-pillow quality to much of the book, but this is balanced with a fair deal of self-awareness and largely successful attempts to explain which soapy statements and corporate witticisms are actually helpful.

Excluding the epilogue—a eulogy for Steve Jobs—the book sets the record straight on an interpretation I've read many times elsewhere: it's not Jobs that set up (and continued to maintain) Pixar as a behemoth of sustainable, repeatably successful art; it's Catmull, who recognized it early on as a challenge and then rose to it over and over. ( )
  mrgan | Oct 30, 2017 |
(Rating: 4.5 / 5.0, rounded down) ( )
  rabbit.blackberry | Oct 19, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
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Catmull, Edprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wallace, Amymain authorall editionsconfirmed
Altschuler, PeterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812993012, Hardcover)

From Ed Catmull, co-founder (with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter) of Pixar Animation Studios, comes an incisive book about creativity in business—sure to appeal to readers of Daniel Pink, Tom Peters, and Chip and Dan Heath.

Creativity, Inc. is 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—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 how to build a creative culture—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, and WALL-E, 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 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 thirteen 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.
• 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.
• Do not assume that general agreement will lead to change—it takes substantial energy to move a group, even when all are on board.
 
Advance praise for Creativity, Inc.
 
“Many have attempted to formulate and categorize inspiration and creativity. What Ed Catmull shares instead is his astute experience that creativity isn’t strictly a well of ideas, but an alchemy of people. In Creativity, Inc. Ed reveals, with commonsense specificity and honesty, examples of how not to get in your own way and how to realize a creative coalescence of art, business, and innovation.”—George Lucas
 
“Business gurus love to tell stories about Pixar, but this is our first chance to hear the real story from someone who lived it and led it. Everyone interested in managing innovation—or just good managing—needs to read this book.”—Chip Heath, co-author of Switch and Decisive

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:20 -0400)

"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"--… (more)

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