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 20 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 30 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 PhD 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 13 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:
©2014 Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace (P)2014 Random House Audio
"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)
Ed Catmull? Done! I bought this book within 2 seconds of seeing the title. I'm nearly done with the book. Really fun to get the pixar story from Catmull's side. (a major inventor of 3D graphics technology since the 70's) It reminds me of listening to The Woz autobiography: there's parallels (Both were tech partners with Steve Jobs). I've read many books that get into the pixar story, and I have my own personal history with the people from this company and era(s). Enjoying this perspective on company building, team leadership, balancing people and constraints, unique aspects of creative teams, amazing stories, and much more.
An in-depth look at the history of Pixar, Steve Jobs, and it's acquisition by Disney. The author takes you through Pixar's humble beginnings, the impact Steve Jobs had on the firm when he bought it and took it public, the various ways that they created a culture of excellence and creativity. It's interesting to hear how they created Toy Story, Ratitue(sp), Finding Nemo, etc. If you love creativity and entertainment it will open your mind. The author takes you through the many steps involved in the creative process of writing a script. One thing that stood out to me was the finding that 1st graders are more creative than 5th graders. That is a telling finding. The book will help anyone as it teaches you about how to live a more creative life.
I thought the narrating was just fine and actually enjoyed the tone of Peter Altshuler.
Hearing about all the mistakes and pitfalls that turned into some of the greatest animation movies ever.
How to improve your company and promote employee buy in.
This is my 12th audio book and my favorite so far. After listening to the story of Steve Jobs it was nice to get more detail on his involvement with this company. There is also a section of the book dealing with basing decisions off random events that I thought was very interesting.
Interesting, Fun and Inspiring
This has become one of my favorite books. First, I am a huge Pixar/Disney fan. So hearing the numerous stories behind the company really kept me wanting to hear more. I loved all the interesting little insights to some of my favorite movies like "Toy Story."
Besides the stories there were also several great management ideas that I would love to implement around my office. I am not sure all of them are practical in a traditional office environment but just hearing the details of how they put some things together really helped me think of things I can do.
I loved Peter Altschuler's performance. His voice and inflection were so good it made you feel as if you were really listening to Ed Catmull tell the story.
Top 5% for sure
When they were bought by Disney through Steve Job's negotiations
Definitely wanted to keep going.
The book comes across as a business guide, but transitions quickly into a memoir of the life and times of Pixar. That's fine, but my expectations were a bit different. I do think there is good content, although it could have easily been condensed into 5-6 hours.
Wouldn't translate very well.
Yes with a caveat. There are better books on creativity. This one should be read for an interest in Pixar more specifically.
The defense of Steve Jobs against the profile of his character which has become popular since his death
Not for me but maybe for others
Absolutely. It is an incredible story with examples of fostering a creative work environment. Anyone who inspires to lead people can learn a lot.
While it is not a typical story, gaining insight into what makes some of the leaders of Pixar tick is great. John Lasseter, Brad Bird, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, Steve Jobs, etc.
Eh, the performance wasn't that great, didn't really add too much.
I would have loved to listen to it all in one sitting, but who has the time. I listened during my morning commute into work.
I wasn't crazy about the performance, but the story was great. Well worth a listen.
Say something about yourself!
This book has some good management ideas from the masters of Pixar. As a computer scientist the author also shares a few (very few) interesting tid-bits about the technology behind their movies. I would like to hear more of these. Then there are diversions into related philosophical ideas which are somewhat interesting. Overall a pretty good book, but not nearly as interesting as a Pixar movie.
But I cannot listen to this book while driving. It puts me to sleep every time. The cause is equally shared by the style of the writing and the voice of the narrator. Together they are somnambulistic.
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