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Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration Paperback – 29 Dec 2016
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"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)
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 seenSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
This book is broken down in to four sections
1) Getting Started
While Ed was at university he was involved with high tech research funded by the American government( as a response to the Russian Sputnik program). The government just let the scientists research whatever they wanted and trusted them to do the right thing, this was highly influential on the author's belief in non hierarchical groups and trusting people to get on with their work.
"The leaders of my department understood that to create a fertile laboratory, they had to assemble different kinds of thinkers and then encourage their autonomy. They had to offer feedback when needed but also had to be willing to stand back and give us room. I felt instinctively that this kind of environment was rare and worth reaching for. I knew that the most valuable thing I was taking away from the U of U was the model my teachers had provided for how to lead and inspire other creative thinkers. The question for me, then, was how to get myself into another environment like this-- or how to build one of my own."
After going in to the business world, Ed found problems with the non hierarchical structure when groups got large, so he had to start introducing managers (later in the book the author states that during the filming of Toy Story the managers became a problem getting in people's way ("sand in the gears" as the author put it) and their control had to be rained in)
When Pixar showed their animation Wally B at the SIGGRAPH conference the animation was not properly complete, but the audience loved it anyway because they liked the story.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the best books I read for a manager wishing to release new team potential. Well worth the read.Published 2 months ago by Chris W
Excellent book, every person working in creative products from movies to games should read this.Published 6 months ago by Andrew
Catmull shows us that running a creative organization requires skills beyond what we normally expect. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Hilary