Creativity, Inc.:

Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

By: Ed Catmull


Random House, 2014

368 Pages

Reading Time: 12 hours

PBC Rating: 9/10

Summary

"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

Why Our Gurus Recommend

This book is a great read for professionals at every level and for anyone looking to start, run, or manage a company. It provides useful insight into the ways in which organizational creativity can be fostered, maintained, and integrated into company culture. For business stakeholders, the lessons learned in this book are invaluable for both designing and transforming a company into one that consistently invents and innovates.