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Creativity Inc. Paperback – 8 Apr 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Random House US (8 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055384122X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553841220
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.1 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,275,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"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)

"This is best book ever written on what it takes to build a creative organization. It is the best because Catmull’s wisdom, modesty, and self-awareness fill every page. He shows how Pixar’s greatness results from connecting the specific little things they do (mostly things that anyone can do in any organization) to the big goal that drives everyone in the company: Making films that make them feel proud of one another." (Robert I. Sutton, Professor of Management Science at Stanford University, author of The No A**hole Rule and co-author of Scaling Up Excellence)

"Just might be the best business book ever written" (Forbes Magazine)

"Pixar uses technology only as a means to an end; its films are rooted in human concerns, not computer wizardry. The same can be said of Creativity Inc., Ed Catmull’s endearingly thoughtful explanation of how the studio he co-founded generated hits such as the Toy Story trilogy, Up and Wall-E. . . . [Catmull] uses Pixar’s triumphs and near-disasters to outline a system for managing people in creative businesses―one in which candid criticism is delivered sensitively, while individuality and autonomy are not strangled by a robotic corporate culture" (Financial Times)

"Achieving enormous success while holding fast to the highest artistic standards is a nice trick―and Pixar, with its creative leadership and persistent commitment to innovation, has pulled it off. This book should be required reading for any manager" (Charles Duhigg - Author of THE POWER OF HABIT) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

Part autobiography, part history of Pixar, part business book, Creativity Inc is an inspiring look at the role creativity plays in one of the most successful media businesses the world has ever seen --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ant Man on 1 Mar. 2015
Format: Hardcover
I came to Creativity Inc without ever having seen a Pixar film, nor am I a member of the cult of Steve Jobs, so was reading it simply because it was recommended as a business book. On that basis alone it is still worth reading.

Above all, Catmull deserves congratulations for striving to build a work environment that raises business above the level of sharp elbows and animal instincts. The dominant motivator is the desire to produce great work, and to bring out the best in people in a respectful and trusting workplace.

He does not suggest that "creativity" is the sole domain of media, arts and entertainment, nor does he even attempt define the word. Instead he talks about the conditions (culture, incentives, behaviour, office design) that allow creativity to thrive. Most helpfully, he describes the challenges you should expect to encounter while in the midst of a big creative project. Expect to make mistakes, to feel lost. Expect your early efforts to be poor, and be open to feedback from your colleagues. If you want to create something excellent, don't expect it to be easy. At Pixar, it takes hundreds of people four years to make a two hour animated film.

Much of the advice may seem obvious, but how many bosses have you had who inspired you to do more than you ever thought you could? Ed Catmull seems to be one of those people. I imagine that if you worked for Ed you would feel trusted, valued and challenged and you would do everything you could to deliver your best work.

Read simply as a book about creativity and leadership, it still scores well, even if you don't know who Buzz Lightyear is.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JMM on 4 Nov. 2014
Format: Hardcover
Movie fans will no doubt be familiar with auteur theory. Filmmaking is clearly a collaborative process requiring the talents of many people, but the general concept is that it is best for one person - the director - to be able to create their unique vision with as little interference as possible. I subscribe to this theory myself. You can't have too many cooks in the kitchen, as the saying goes.

But Pixar does have quite a few cooks, each contributing their own unique ingredients to the films. As Pixar fans know, there is a small group of people (about a half-dozen or so) who have essentially worked on all the movies -- they alternate directing, writing, and other duties, but they all provide input into each of the films. Although there is typically only one person credited as director, at Pixar the films are very much a collective vision and thereare checks and balances going on throughout the filmmaking process.

This book is full of anecdotes from Pixar - examples of creative disagreements and problem solving techniques from inside one of the great movie production companies.

I recall John Lasseter once saying (and I'm paraphrasing) something like "every movie we make is at one point the worst movie ever made". So how does Pixar turn the worst movies ever made into near-perfect films such a high percentage of the time? Well, this is essentially what the book answers. It's because of a creative environment where risks are encouraged and the more ideas the better - after all, you can throw away the bad ideas and keep the good ones.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By GOTTON TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 6 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover
Right from the start I have to say that I loved this book.

With companies like Apple and Google getting so much written about them today as being both the most innovative companies about as well as the places to be for anyone who is interested in future thinking, it is easy to overlook the importance and brilliance of other companies out there that are making big waves in their field.

Pixar is one such company (for me at least) and as a creative person I now find myself truly ashamed that I had not spent more time reading about this company before.

This book is a very in depth look by one of the Pixar's founders into one of the most revolutionary companies of the late 20th century and this century as well.

It is easy to overlook these people that have become famous for making computer animated cartoons but actually they are a company that has revolutionised the movie industry. They took a concept that was completely new and have not only run with it but have changed the cinematic world as we know it to the point where some of the highest grossing movies of all time are now Pixar movies.

On top of this it is also easy to overlook the management aspect in these creative companies. Everyone's heard of Steve Jobs and a lot of people who are aware of this industry know of John Lasseter, but Ed Catmull has always seemed like a tertiary character to their story but as this book has proved a number of times, I have been wrong to think that way.

Basically what I am saying is that this is a book that took me completely buy surprise and I loved every minute of it. The story is incredibly well told not to mention being one of the most inspiring books I have read about a business in a long time.
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