Read creativity inc overcoming the unseen forces that stand in the way of true inspiration by Ed Catmull AmyWallace Online


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-evFrom 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 story meetings, the postmortems, and the “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 twenty-seven 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. Now, 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 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....

Title : creativity inc overcoming the unseen forces that stand in the way of true inspiration
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ISBN : 19816540
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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creativity inc overcoming the unseen forces that stand in the way of true inspiration Reviews

  • Ross Blocher
    2019-01-30 23:28

    For those unfamiliar with Ed Catmull, he is best known as the president of both Pixar and Disney Animation Studios. Full disclosure: I work for the latter. Before I came to work at Disney, I knew of Ed Catmull as a technological innovator in the field of computer graphics and animation. He was essential in the development of the alpha channel, z-buffer, texture mapping, and a number of other technologies that make digital animation possible. After years of problem solving in the technical space, he found himself in charge of a thriving company (Pixar) and devoted his problem solving acumen to management and the problem of keeping creativity alive. This book is a record of that effort, his successes, his failures, and the lessons he learned along the way.I haven't read much in the way of management books, so it's hard for me to compare Creativity, Inc. with others in that field, but Catmull has a particular advantage when it comes to credentials and credibility. Pixar has released 14 animated features; every single one of them a box office phenomenon, and Pixar enjoys the most consistent critical success of any studio. Similarly, Disney Animation has seen a resurgence under Ed's and John Lasseter's leadership, with an ever-improving slate of hits.What makes those statistics so impressive is that creativity is a legendarily fickle beast: success often leads to complacency, what-worked-before is encoded as rule and takes away the flexibility to innovate, population and budgets get blown out of proportion until the constraints that provided inspiration disappear, and as a result creative streaks tend to be frustratingly unsustainable.Ed Catmull shares the story of his early days in computer graphics and his uncertain transition into management, giving specific examples of things that worked and did not work. There are numerous anecdotes about his interactions with Steve Jobs and the various directors at Pixar, and deep reflection on the roles of personality, pride, bias, objectivity, failure, success, teamwork and the various permutations thereof. Eventually Pixar is acquired by Disney, with the unusual result of Ed and John being placed in charge of Disney Animation. This provides a test bed to try Pixar's management philosophy out on a new population of talented but struggling filmmakers.The conclusion is that there are no easy answers or set rules for keeping creativity alive. Anything that can be stated as a maxim is already half-way obsolete as the repeated words become divorced from the reality of the situation. Instead, creativity requires constant vigilance: searching oneself for biases, trying things in new ways, picking talented people and allowing them to have a voice, keeping your communications open and independent of your organizational structure, knowing when to cut your losses in the interest of pursuing excellence, failing often and not seeing failure as something to be protected against, and so on. I can't summarize all the insights, and their explanations are helpful - so read the book!I'll sum up by saying Creativity, Inc. should be of interest to managers of all stripes - even in businesses that aren't traditionally seen as creative - as well as to anyone who follows the history of technology or animation. Ed Catmull is an extremely smart person, and it's nice to see someone with his perspicacity and concern for others in such a prominent position. The book won't win any awards for flowery prose, but it was a quick read, and Ed Catmull has a very pragmatic, introspective, and unclouded approach to problem solving that will benefit everyone.

  • Tim Adler
    2019-02-18 04:55

    This book is so disappointing. I had hoped it would take one behind the scenes of such storytelling genius as UP and TOY STORY. Instead, it's a bunch of platitudes which could be bullet pointed in a few pages, which indeed they are at the end. Most of it is common sense: rigid pyramid structures in organisations are bad; everybody should feel free to contribute; and, get this, if you're planning to write a feature film, it's good to do some research. Like, duh. At one point, Catmull -- who, to his credit, comes across as a regular, self-deprecatory guy -- even suggests doing Zen-style meditation to contemplate the inner mysteries of management. At this point, I felt like marching round to the back of his head and snipping off his pony tail. Fine if you're a pampered West Coast animator whose facility has a swimming pool, pottery and ballet classes, etc. Try telling that to the average British company, whose idea of a worker's perk is a new beige computer every four years and grudgingly providing instant coffee.

  • Otis Chandler
    2019-02-17 05:40

    Recommend this highly for anyone who works in a technology or creative field. Pixars track records is unparalleled - 14 movies and all of them have been massive hits. I had two important takeaways from this book: how to build a great, lasting culture, and how to build a creative company.Catmull's philosophy both around creating movies and managing his company, is to be relentless about remembering that he doesn't know what he doesn't know. In creating a movie, you don't know what it will be when you start. In creating a company, you similarly don't know what it will be, especially at first. But equally importantly when you are scaling it, you don't know the dynamics of what is happening throughout the company - you will have a filtered view based on the (always) incomplete picture you can see. So you have to relentlessly have the mindset to remember that there are dynamics at play that you don't know, and look for them.“From that day on, I resolved to bring as many hidden problems as possible to light, a process that would require what might seem like an uncommon commitment to self-assessment.”"I believe the best managers acknowledge and make room for what they do not know—not just because humility is a virtue but because until one adopts that mindset, the most striking breakthroughs cannot occur."So how did Pixar build 14 hits in a row? They created a highly leveraged feedback loop. They created a culture of open feedback, and encourage anyone in the room - regardless of rank - to have an equal voice. They have lots of ways to get feedback on the film and iterate on it: from daily standup every morning to review scenes, up to braintrust meetings with all the best directors and creative minds to review the story. They spend a lot of time - years - iterating on and nailing the story before putting it into production - and even then they keep iterating. Nothing trumps good story. “Braintrust meetings require giving candid notes, but they do a great deal more than that. The most productive creative sessions allow for the exploration of myriad trains of thought.”"The first step is to teach them that everyone at Pixar shows incomplete work, and everyone is free to make suggestions. When they realize this, the embarrassment goes away—and when the embarrassment goes away, people become more creative.""in Japanese Zen, that idea of not being constrained by what we already know is called “beginner’s mind.” And people practice for years to recapture and keep ahold of it."I loved the concept of "the beast" - which is the trap of needing to continue to succeed a higher and higher levels. “It is one of life’s cruel ironies that when it comes to feeding the Beast, success only creates more pressure to hurry up and succeed again.” An important point to this was that feeding the beast means bigger and better, and taking less risks. To create something new, you have to have the right leadership to shelter the seed and let it grow. The stories about Steve Jobs were great. Made you respect him even more. For taking a huge financial risk to spin Pixar out of Lucasfilms and then personally float it for a long time, taking even more risk. I loved hearing about how much foresight he had with regards to Disney and negotiating that deal. I also loved the story about the wide screen - basically how Steve responds to passion, and pushes people until he finds where it is. This quote explains it well: His method for taking the measure of a room was saying something definitive and outrageous—“These charts are bullshit!” or “This deal is crap!”—and watching people react. If you were brave enough to come back at him, he often respected it—poking at you, then registering your response, was his way of deducing what you thought and whether you had the guts to champion it."

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    2019-02-09 06:45

    I was reading this more for the creativity angle than the story-of-a-company angle, so I definitely skimmed some of the Pixar story. I read bits of this to the group of library faculty and staff that I supervise, and we had a great conversation about our current and upcoming "ugly babies." "Originality is fragile. And, in its first moments, it's often far from pretty. This is why I call early mock-ups of our films "ugly babies. They are not beautiful, miniature versions of the adults they will grow up to be. They are truly ugly: awkward and unformed, vulnerable and incomplete. They need nurturing - in the form of time and patience - in order to grow. ... Our job is to protect our babies from being judged too quickly. Our job is to protect the new.""Managers of creative enterprises must hold lightly to goals and firmly to intentions.""The goal is to place one foot on either side of the door - one grounded in what we know, what wer are confident about, our areas of expertise, the people and processes we can count on - and the other in the unknown, where things are murky, unseen, or uncreated.""Give a good idea to a mediocre team, and they will screw it up. Give a mediocre idea to a great team, and they will either fix it or come up with something better. If you get the team right, chances are that they'll get the ideas right.""If there are people in your organization who feel they are not free to suggest ideas, you lose. Do not discount ideas from unexpected sources. Inspiration can, and does, come from anywhere.""It isn't enough merely to be open to ideas from others. Engaging the collective brainpower of the people you work with is an active, ongoing process.""It is not the manager's job to prevent risks. It is the manager's job to make it safe to take them."

  • Amanda
    2019-02-11 07:50

    I read this because I'm an artist, but I loved it because I'm a manager. Whether you're a computer science history buff, a fan of Pixar or Disney, an aspiring animator, an entrepreneur, an artist, or manager, you'll get something great out of this book. One of the best business books I've read in a long time.

  • Po Po
    2019-02-10 23:33

    What this book is: a managerial how-to on fostering creativity, productivity and work/ life balance in the office.What this book is not: a guidebook of creative inspiration for regular everyday DIYers who work alone.* * *The ideas are cut and dry and pretty simplistic for being, ostensibly, a manager's book on creativity.Although this book isn't a memoir, there is a very brief gloss-over on Ed Catmull's family, childhood and education. There are interesting details on Pixar's promising yet rocky start, Steve Jobs and his explosive personality, the financial difficulties Pixar endured in its beginning years, and the Disney takeover. * * *These are the main points:-- Change and uncertainty are part of life. Don't resist change; build the capability to recover when unexpected events occur.-- Failure is a necessary consequence of doing something new.-- Don't fall for the illusion that by preventing errors, you won't have errors to fix. The cost of preventing errors is often far greater than the cost of fixing them.-- The creative process is messy. You will have an "ugly baby" initially; the beautiful end product doesn't arrive spontaneously but through many incarnations of ugly.

  • Raquel Brune
    2019-01-22 00:31

    Es un libro mucho más técnico de lo que estoy acostumbrada, pero aún así sigue siendo una lectura que habría acabado en mi mesilla por placer. Ed Catmull convierte la historia de Pixar y cuanto ha aprendido al frente de la empresa sobre la creatividad y el trabajo en equipo en un relato apasionante y en ocasiones incluso poético. He aprendido y he disfrutado cada página. No se puede pedir menos de Pixar.

  • Fred
    2019-01-21 01:40

    This book was equal parts "Management Theory Text" and "Memoirs of an Unconventional CEO" with a healthy dose of "My Business Relationship with Steve Jobs" and while that may sound a bit scattered or even dry, this work is neither. Catmull manages to sprinkle the above seasonings into the broth in precisely the correct measurements to create an insightful and enjoyable stew. Often mentioned in the text is his continued education, often through trial and error, about effectively managing creative people. Upon reflection, I am given to wonder if, perhaps, his journey was more one of a crystalization of his personal beliefs and style rather than a deepening understanding or discovery. Whatever the case, this book was an enjoyable read and not at all a dry dusty tome. Even so, and for no discernable reason that I can put my finger on, I am hesitant to give this book more than 3 stars. Granted, that may be unfair of me. Give it a read and decide for yourself.

  • Gergana
    2019-02-02 04:47

    A wonderful and insightful story, loved everything about this book and I am definitely buying a hard back copy so I can underline some of the lessons. Ed is a great story teller and a pretty good psychologist. Many business books are straight to the point :"Take risks!" "Believe in yourself" etc., but Creative, Inc. dives even deeper into the true meaning of "leadership".

  • Suzanne
    2019-01-27 05:32

    This is one of this books that you find yourself referencing in conversations on a regular basis. It's a mistake to think of this as a book for managing a workforce that needs to be creative, or a way to make your company more creative. For me, it was more about that messy business of leading and managing people. It's messy due to the different personalities and the mixed perspectives each person has. Add in that there is so much information which is naturally hidden to each person and the situation is always evolving. "Change is going to happen, whether we like it or not." And somehow, we all need to get on the same train and start laying tracks in the same direction, often without a clear idea of the landscape we need to get through. I loved how Ed wanted to show the warts and all side of Pixar. He shared the challenges and struggles but his clear message is that this is normal. It's how you seek to solve them, the desire to find the inspiration whether to solve a story line that's bombing, a technical challenge that has never been done before or breaking through a "this can't be done in the time you want it" logjam. For Ed, "the unpredictable is the ground on which creativity occurs."It was really interesting reading the different mental models Pixar people used to deal with those times when everything looks the darkest, as a way to "keep fear in its place." As Ed says "The models in our heads embolden us as we whistle through the dark. Not only that, they enable us to do the exhilarating and difficult work of navigating the unknown." One small note: the beginning was a bit boring for me. Once I got to Chapter 3, I was hooked!

  • Heino Colyn
    2019-01-28 04:54

    I’ve always liked Pixar, what they do and how they go about doing it, so I was pretty excited to read this book. It contains a lot of valuable information, but I think the best thing about it is the way that it conveys this information. The majority of the things I keep thinking about after finishing the book were actually just casually mentioned as part of an interaction. Love that. Also, the sections on the Braintrust and Notes Day were especially interesting, not to mention Ed showing a different side of Steve Jobs that was really refreshing. And just BTW, Ed sounds like a nice guy to have over for a game of Exploding Kittens or something.

  • Jay
    2019-02-08 03:45

    In trying to come up with descriptions of how this book is written, I keep thinking of the word "earnest". Ed Catmull, the president of Pixar and Disney Animation, comes across as an earnest guy trying to do the best job he can. And as part of his earnest approach to running an animation company, he and his team came up with a number of ways to try to ensure his employees didn't lose their mojo, their creativity, their inspiration. This book is a description of the things they tried. What this book isn't is a how-to book. This focuses on giving examples of what Pixar tried, how they approached issues, and how they tried to spread the best of Pixar to Disney Animation. In telling this story, Catmull tells the story of his life in animation and of Pixar. I really enjoyed the story of the company, and in particular how Steve Jobs influenced the company and how he added his touch. Jobs seems to have been a unique personality in business, so I don't find these interactions to be examples of best practices, but they are very interesting. You get a little of the "bad Steve" that felt like the core of Issacson biography, but you also get Catmull's defense of Jobs and his earnest belief that Jobs truly grew in the years he owned Pixar.This felt like two books. Roughly a third of this book is related to stories about Pixar the company and their movie products, while the remaining two thirds are stories about how creativity is nurtured there. I would gladly read a full book about the companies and movies, and I hope Catmull or someone else writes one. The creativity stories are also of interest, and Catmull earnestly shares details of company meetings, programs, and policies that were tried, as well as his personal thoughts about how things should work. I appreciated the thought process descriptions, although I didn't necessarily find any of the examples earth shatteringly novel. Some examples of topics discussed are research trips for animators, having teams of expert reviewers that provided advice that didn't need to be followed, keeping company culture during a merger, and using a work day for the entire company to investigate issues to growth. Certainly interesting, but not in the "Here's how YOU do it" way. After reading this, I've added to my todo list that I need to watch the Disney Animation movie "Bolt", which is part of the story in this book and which I had previously missed. I think I've seen the others that are mentioned.I won a copy of this book in Goodread's First Reads program.

  • NaTasha Rosenberry
    2019-02-13 05:37

    It starts off slowly, but this book turned out to be one of the most fascinating reads. Besides the incredibly interesting process behind Pixar’s evolution and the creation of animated films, the amazing way that this company cultivated a culture of communication and creativity is inspiring. I’d love to see some of these strategies applied with education.

  • João Carlos
    2019-01-27 06:47

    Ao infinito... E além...6 Estrelas PixarEdwin Earl “Ed” Catmull (n. 1945), doutorado em ciência da computação pela Universidade do Utah, é co-fundador, juntamente, com Steve Jobs e John Lasster, da Pixar Animation Studios e presidente da Walt Disney Animation Studios e da Pixar Animation Studios. ”Criatividade”, com o subtítulo ”Como Vencer as Forças que Bloqueiam a Inspiração” é um livro escrito por Ed Catmull em parceria com a jornalista Amy Wallace.Nos últimos vinte anos “assisti” a todos os filmes (incluindo, as curta-metragens) produzidos e realizados pela Pixar; destaco ”Toy Story” por ser o primeiro filme, com um “elenco” absolutamente inesquecível. Ao longo do livro Ed Catmull declara de uma forma primorosa, que independentemente dos inúmeros sucessos da Pixar, os “falhanços” e os “medos” inerentes ao processo criativo também acontecem; revelando que de uma forma hábil e firme se pode e deve discutir de um modo aberto e sincero, as origens e os fundamentos desses percalços, que devem ter e fornecer um feedback constante, para que não se repitam no futuro. A genialidade de Ed Catmull e da sua equipa reside, essencialmente, no modo e na forma, como projectaram no início uma tecnologia diferenciadora e inovadora, que permitiu à Pixar construir um novo “conceito” no domínio da computação gráfica, tecnologia que catapultou a empresa para a hegemonia tecnológica, a que se associou um conjunto de argumentista e realizadores, uma equipa multidisciplinar, que souberam implementar uma dinâmica complexa, assente na criatividade e na liderança. ”Criatividade” é um livro excepcional – cada frase tem um contexto e encerra um conceito e uma ideia subjacente - que nos ensina como o processo criativo, assente numa admirável capacidade de liderança e de diálogo, com passos concretos e repetíveis, alicerçados uma abordagem inovadora, pode maximizar as qualidades intrínsecas de cada um dos intervenientes, num trabalho de uma equipa multidisciplinar e criativo. ”Criatividade – Como Vencer as Forças que Bloqueiam a Inspiração” é um livro de leitura imprescindível… Uma "impressionante" review do Nelson Zagalo sobre este magnífico livro:

  • Paul
    2019-02-08 07:29

    The book is presented as a “how to” on inspiring a creative culture and doing away with anything that hinders the creative process. While giving a great behind-the-scenes look at the production steps that went into favorite animated films, it also provides some valuable tidbits of advice for leaders.Whether you work in a creative company or one where creativity is valued, you’ll find detailed discussions around the following topics useful: * Encourage all employees to express themselves freely with no required conformity * Create a space that encourages community and collaboration * Don’t shy away from irreverence and whimsy * Have confidence in the people you hire * Put your own insecurities aside; hire the best even if they’ll take your job someday * Create opportunities for employees to solve problems * Candor is crucial to the creative process * Mistakes are learning experiences * Build trust so mistakes can be resolved together * Check your ego at the door * Don’t let your desire for quality become unreasonable * Always look for ways to tap into the creativity of ALL of your employeesThe stories about what went into the making of a number of films were entertaining. The meat of the book is at the very end when Catmull summarizes all of his leadership advice in one section called Starting Points. Read the book for fun and bookmark the last chapter for the advice you’ll want to use in developing the creative culture you desire.

  • Donna
    2019-02-15 05:44

    This book wasn't what I expected but it worked. I really liked this. The author, co-founder of Pixar, is extremely passionate about animation and he lets you know the huge role he played in the way computer animation has changed the old way of doing things. I found it funny that the old guys at Disney didn't even want to give computer animation and also computer editing, a courtesy nod, because they knew their craft (the old way) and didn't want to change. I think they completely missed the boat, but with that being said, Disney now owns Pixar, so I guess it all worked out for them. Pixar has created so many memorable characters, that my kids have grown up loving. So I applaud Pixar for its tenacity in doing what it needed to do to survive and for the co-founders who fought for their dream. This book was about so much more than Pixar and its upstart. It had some great instruction on business, as well as personal life. So 4 stars.

  • MichelleG
    2019-01-28 04:39

    Reading this book was like sitting down and talking with a beloved father/ mentor. I feel like I've been through such an incredible journey. I've learnt so much, not just about Pixar and the ingenious creative process, but also about human dynamics, how to think about and treat people who work with and for you, and also the reasons behind all of those things ... and why they are so important, from a business perspective, but also from the human perspective!I feel like I have taken away so much from this book, that I feel like I need to personally thanks the author Ed Catmull for such a moving, heartfelt and important book. So here's to you Ed, and this incredible book - thank you!

  • RitaSkeeter
    2019-02-20 03:31

    Stimulating. Thought provoking. Inspiring.I started reading this book on a whim this morning, and couldn't put it down. I had borrowed an e-book from the library, but I've just bought a paperback and intend to re-read when it arrives. A fuller review to come after that.

  • Glauber Laender
    2019-02-21 05:37

    Esse entrará na lista dos meus livros favoritos enquanto não decido se ele é ou não o TOP 1.

  • Paola Quiros
    2019-02-10 06:31

    Great book, helps you think HUGE !!!

  • William Girdler
    2019-01-28 01:27

    I have a deep bias for Pixar so I don't know if I can do this review fairly. This book was written by Ed Catmull, one of the founders and president of Pixar Animation Studios. First off the book is very businessminded. It talks about how to lead others and how to create a situation that in turn fosters creativity. Pixar is known for its special mindset concerning treatment of employees and how to make everyone feel special and important. That stuff is great, but that's not why I read this. If one day I'm thrust in a leadership position I will reflect on this book and how to act.But as for right now, I only know how the bottom of totem poles look.There are two other things this book covers. How to tell a story and the history of Pixar. Both of which interest me a great deal. And damn does Catmull deliver on both fronts. The history of Pixar is mostly anecdotal besides the major moments. You don't get an in depth analysis of the making of every film. And the how to tell a story isn't a detailed breakdown of what makes some stories work and others fail. In fact all three parts aren't particularly able to be separated. What ends up occurring is a fantastic combination of the three. For instance, Catmull talks about 'The Brain Trust' a panel created to view films in progress and the purpose of the panel is to impart constructive criticism and what was liked. Nothing said in the panel is law and does not have to be adhered by the director but allows him to pull back and see the film as other creative's would. This process which I've butchered in description here led to moments like Anton Ego's speech in Ratatouille, the ending of Wall-E and the opening of up. Catmull talks about various directors and creative's at Pixars outlooks on creation. Some of which, especially Pete Doctor's fail early and fail often, are fascinating approaches to storytelling and making sure that the final product is something special. This book nails every mark that it strives and in the end it's certainly more on the business advice side than anything else, but I definitely enjoyed that and found what I came for in the rest.What especially surprised me was Job's presence in the book. The way Catmull talks about him and the story he imparts. I always found Steve Jobs kind of detestable despite being a necessary figure in Pixar, something I absolutely adore. I always find Job's love of design over technology infuriating and his products through Apple, overly expensive glossy pieces of Jewelry that hold public sway because of savvy marketing rather than technological prowess, as infuriating. I always hated him for reported treatment of those who essentially built him, Woz and others at early Apple. But dammit if this book didn't make me love him. Him saying that one day everything he made at Apple will end up in dumpster but the stories told by Pixar will live forever. His unwillingness to give up on them. His pride over them. And his willingness to give them the autonomy and freedom needed to create the masterpieces they've made. And by the time I finished the book and Catmull starts talking about Jobs' death I found myself getting a little teary eyed. For what he had done and for who he was and the legacy he left behind. Young Steve Jobs was a bit of an asshat but his willingness to be wrong and to change to fit his newly perceived wrongness as expressed through this book made me love him. Something I never thought I'd say.Anyway if you're a pixar nut there's a lot for you here. If you're a manager of some sort there is an absolutely ton for you here. And if you're a storyteller, then you should really just check this book out.Or if you're just a person with a pulse, honestly. It's really good and even the business stuff can be applied to your life in various means. I'm so happy I grabbed this book. You should too.

  • Daniel (Attack of the Books!) Burton
    2019-02-21 01:25

    I can't tell if Creativity, Inc: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration belongs more in management, inspiration, self-help, or fodder for fans. What I can say, though, is that I loved reading it.Though he was born in West Virginia, Ed Catmull moved to Utah as a child and was raised in neighborhoods near my own. Despite interests in animation, during college at the University of Utah, he became pursued at talent in math and studied physics and computer science. Eventually, this led him to a graduate degree under Ivan Sutherland, the "father of computer graphics," also at the University of Utah. Decades before computer animation was a thing, Catmull began developing the programming to do 2D and 3D programming. During this time, he found himself recruited to work at Lucasfilm, becoming vice president of Industrial Light and Magic's computer graphics division until 1986 when a guy named Steve Jobs bought it up and started Pixar. Catmull became Chief Technical Officer...and the rest is history.Okay, that's probably a gross summary of Catmull's path to Pixar, but it gets us to the point when things get really interesting. A major part of Creativity, Inc. is Catmull's anecdotes about the process of developing some of the biggest cartoons--or movies--in recent decades. It's a combination of management and creativity, and leveraging good management practices to help people access their most creative solutions and abilities, that made Pixar great. Catmull, who has an engaging and magnetic story telling ability, uses different obstacles the company ran into throughout his career to show how creativity can be unleashed.Another very interesting aspect of the story is hearing Catmull's perspective on working with Steve Jobs. Never an easy person to work with, Jobs' story has been thoroughly told elsewhere. But Catmull comes with a perspective of someone who needed Jobs, but was also needed by Jobs...and together they succeeded. Even though it is only a small portion of the larger story, it's a fascinating piece.I'm not a manager, but I ate up what Catmull wrote here. Between the anecdotes, behind the scenes stories, and the lessons he learned to deal with obstacles, organizational change, and difficult partners, Creativity, Inc is an enjoyable read.

  • Sherif Nagib
    2019-01-30 05:34

    إدوين كاتمول مؤلف الكتاب هو رئيس بيكسار وديزني، وواحد من مخترعي الجرافيكس أنيميشن، يعني تاريخ. الكتاب عن رحلته مع تأسيس بيكسار وإدارة بيئة إبداعية ناجحة. الرجل بيتكلم بتواضع شديد عن قصص فيها فشل ومعاناة، وإزاي شركة عملاقة زي بيكسار، لمّت هذا العدد من الجوائز والأوسكارات وغيرت شكل الأنيميشن وأسلوب الحكي فيه، مرّت بعثرات وكل فيلم كان فيه مصيبة ولطم وصريخ وإحساس بإن "ده الفيلم اللي هايوقع الشركة". الواحد بيبقى عنده إحساس إن الدنيا ماشية حلاوة مع الناس دول بس الموضوع مش كده نهائي، هم بس منظمين شوية وبيعرفوا يتناقشوا مع بعض للوصول لحلول. دي أكبر ميزة عندهم ومش عندنا. مشكلتي الوحيدة مع الكتاب هو الرغي الرهيب. باقرا فيه بقالي سنة ونص كل شوية أسيبه وأرجع له، الكتاب فعلاً ممل بعض الشئ وكان ممكن يكون أقصر الثلث على الأقل والإسهاب رهيب والحكايات بتصل أحياناً لمستوى "أصل سيدي خد ستّي وراحوا السيما". الفصل الأخير فيه خلاصة الكتاب لو حد عاوز ينجز.

  • Grace
    2019-02-05 07:55

    My first book of 2017 is done!! This was a great book to kick this year off. By the end I was getting quite emotional. (The final chapter of the book is a tribute to Steve Jobs and all he did for Pixar.) It's such a breath of fresh air to hear stories from such an amazing leader. How Ed fostered creativity and created a safe haven for honesty was truly revolutionary. I loved hearing the stories behind some of the movies. All in all, a fantastic book about what it means to lead and learn.

  • Jurgen Appelo
    2019-02-08 07:49

    Inspiring story of an amazing company. Read it!

  • Shehab Hamad
    2019-02-08 04:26

    Fun (if obvious) insights into the Pixar story including a few entertaining Steve Jobs cameos! Main take-aways for me were the bits on candor and the "brain trust".

  • Jeff
    2019-01-22 03:42

    Like many of you, I've been a big fan of Pixar. The way they have built a staff culture that pushes against the status quo allowing them to pursue new and innovative ideas is inspiring. This book helps unlock the secret to how they achieve this and how they empower leaders to accomplish it. I highly recommend this book to any person currently breathing. Here are a few of my takeaways from Ed Catmull, CEO of Pixar, the author of Creativity, Inc.On Leadership: * In big organizations there are advantages to consistency, but I strongly believe that smaller groups within the larger whole should be allowed to differentiate themselves and operate according to their own rules, so long as those rules work. * What makes Pixar special is that we acknowledge we will always have problems, many of them hidden from our view; that we have to work hard to uncover these problems, even if doing so means making ourselves uncomfortable; and that, when we come across a problem, we marshal all of our energies to solve it. * One of the most crucial responsibilities of leadership is creating a culture that rewards those who lift not just our stock prices but our aspirations as well. * The goal is to uncouple fear and failure -- to create an environment in which making mistakes doesn't strike terror into your employees' hearts. * Rather than trying to prevent all errors, we should assume, as is almost always the case, that our people's intentions are good and that they want to solve problems. Give them responsibility, let the mistakes happen, and let people fix them. If there is fear, there is a reason - our job is to find the reason and to remedy it. Management's job is not to prevent risk but to build the ability to recover. * When in doubt, empower your people. On Creativity: * Braintrust meetings are sessions where directors present to a group of people the latest concept and direction of the movie in process. Candor is required. * To understand what the Braintrust does, you have to start with a basic truth: People who take on complicated creative projects become lost at some point in the process. It is the nature of things - in order to create, you must internalize and almost become the project, and that near-fusing with the project is an essential part of the it emergence. But it is also confusing. Where one a director had perspective, they lose it. All directors become lost somewhere along the way. That creates a problem for those who seek to give helpful feedback. How do you get a director to see a problem that cannot see? The key is to help directors see that the film is under the microscope -- not the filmmaker. YOU ARE NOT YOUR IDEA, AND IF YOU IDENTIFY TOO CLOSELY WITH YOUR IDEAS, YOU WILL TAKE OFFENSE WHEN THEY ARE CHALLENGED.* When people in creative professions merely cut up and reassemble what has come before, it gives the illusion of creativity, but it is craft without art. Craft is what we are expected to know; art is the unexpected use of our craft. *Research trips challenge our preconceived notions and keep cliches at bay. They fuel inspiration. They are what keeps us creating rather than copying. GET OUT OF THE OFFICE!!!!!* Andrew Stanton on the creative process: If you're sailing across the ocean and your goal is to avoid weather and waves, then why the hell are you sailing? You have to embrace that sailing means you can't control the elements and that there will be good days and bad days and that, whatever comes, you will deal with it because your goal is to eventually get to the other side. You will not be able to control exactly how you get across. That's the game you've decided to be in. If your goal is to make it easier and simpler, then don't get in the boat." * To keep a creative culture vibrant, we must not be afraid of constant uncertainty. We must accept it, just as we accept the weather. Uncertainty and change are life's constants. And that's the fun part.

  • Honza Marcinek
    2019-02-17 23:30

    Už chápu, proč v knižním nakladatelství Melvil neplánují vydat tuto knihu. Kdyby ji totiž vydali, tak můžou rovnou zrušit jejich edici "Žádná velká věda". V této knize Eda Catmulla je totiž všechno, co potřebujete vědět. Zjistíte, co se skrývá za virálním úspěchem (Hitmakeři); zjistíte, řešit velké problémy a jak si ověřit správnost vašich myšlenek (Sprint); zjistíte, jak dosáhnout spokojeného života (Designérem vlastního života); zjistíte, že si mnohdy musíte stát za svým a dokážete tak přesvědčit i Steva Jobse (Nikdy nedělej kompromis); zjistíte, proč některé týmy drží pohromadě a jiné se rozpadají (Lídři jedí poslední); zjistíte, že ptát se je velmi důležité (Začněte s proč); a zjistíte toho mnohem více. V této knize opravdu najdete spoustu zajímavých postřehů, které jsou začleněny ve skutečných příbězích ze života Edwina Catmulla - prezidenta studia Pixar a Disney Animation. Já jsem dlouho čekal na okamžik, kdy tato kniha vyjde v češtině. Slavila totiž úspěch po celém světě a spoustu úspěšných lidí ji doporučuje jako must-read. Jenže po dvou letech čekání mi došlo, že se nedočkám. Tak jsem si ji pořídil v originále. Už od samotného začátku mě chytla a já se těšil na každou další kapitolu. Během čtení mějte u sebe i zvýrazňovač, protože tam najdete tolik zajímavých postřehů, které stojí za to si zapamatovat a zkusit je aplikovat ve svém vlastním životě. Kdyby alespoň z části se někteří kreativní ředitelé reklamních agentur v Čechách inspirovali a zavedli něco z toho, co navrhuje Ed Catmull, tak v reklamě bude chtít pracovat každý a hlavně budou vznikat kreativnější kampaně a nápady (zejména kapitola o výzkumu by je o tom mohla přesvědčit). Takže můj závěr je ten, že knihu doporučuji všem, kteří pracují v kreativním oboru i mimo něj. Kniha je velmi inspirující a dokáže vás přesvědčit, že každý z nás může mít radost z práce.

  • Susana
    2019-01-22 02:36

    Un interesante análisis sobre mecanismos para promover la creatividad, el trabajo en equipo y la búsqueda de la excelencia en las empresas. Tal vez algunos o muchos de estos mecanismos y experiencias sean difíciles de aplicar en empresas más pequeñas, más formales o más tradicionales, pero vale la pena darle un vistazo para tomar ideas y enriquecer las opciones de estas empresas.Me resultó demasiado minuciosas las explicaciones sobre las películas de Pixar, tal vez porque las he visto todas, o prácticamente, todas y disfrutado mucho, en particular en las primeras páginas de libro, donde, confieso, estuve a punto de abandonar su lectura.Nunca hubiese sospechado que el proceso de elaboración de una película en Pixar podía llevar tanto tiempo (años) o que pudiesen transformarse de tal manera durante su proceso de gestación.

  • K.M. Weiland
    2019-02-06 01:40

    I was fortunate enough to receive this wonderful book as a gift. It’s such an amazing read on so many levels. First of all, it’s just plain fun to get to sneak a peek behind the curtains of everyone’s favorite movie studio. As a film buff *and* someone who grew up with Pixar’s characters, it was a delight to get to find out what was really happening behind the scenes.But beyond the pure fun of voyeurism, this is also a very serious book. It offers brilliant insights into creativity on an individual level and business practices on a much vaster scale. I enjoyed and was inspired by every single page. I walk away with a profound respect for the vision and integrity brought to Pixar the company and to the stories they create.