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)
Many criticized Peter Altshuer's performance. Don't be put off by such comments. I discovered that by just speading up 1.25x, the pace and expressiveness of the narration improve a lot, and the listening experience becomes a great one.
I read a lot of management literature and this is one of my all time favorites. I try to listen to it a few times a year and cry more often than not
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.
There were parts of this book that didn't make sense to me when I first listened... but they stuck. And I think I understand them better over time. It's the kind of book that takes a bit to settle in, for the lessons to really register. To me, those are the good ones.
"Your model of reality is not reality itself." This was frustrating when I first heard it. What are supposed to use if our own worldview models are inadequate? I believe I understand now from this that models of the world are simply tools. Use them when they're helpful. Discard them when they aren't.
The Making of the Pixar Legend
Catmull teaches lessons that will prove invaluable to anybody who works in a creative space. You won't find his perspective elsewhere.
Creativity Inc is a must read. It presents the details needed to run a company that can thrive in a turbulent world. Read only if you are bold enough to change. Management is no longer valid. Replace it with a new arenas based on cognitive behavioral science, intuition, and human ways of working.
The story is interesting. Unfortunately it is read, and over performed, by a narrator who sounds as if he was trained in the old theater. It makes the content feel old and dated, even though it's all about the creation of new ideas and technologies.
If you can get past the read, the story is engaging. It's very interesting to hear the many decades of development some ideas took, especially in a time where many assume these things happen overnight.
I think the narrator would be more suitable for historical fiction.
I am going to return this, unfinished, and just buy the book for my Kindle.
I read the book, wanted to go through it again, so got the audiobook. The narrator used for this amazing book casts an elderly, somber tone to an amazingly uplifting and inspiring story.
Reading it, not the audiobook.
ANYONE ELSE... Eagleman fron Incognito, or the Freakanomics narrators are great and keep the listner moving forward, not lost in painfully slow and silly expressions.
Love reading it, audiobook is painful to drag through.
I enjoyed the story. I loved the story. Several great insights and lessons to be applied in my everyday role. Executing on a Brain Trust team will be challenging...but it is spot on.
I watch our team behavior with a new perspective. More than once I've found myself picking a chair against the back wall to shake up the rigid seating patterns. Love it.
Peter's style, interests and understanding of the subject matter were clearly a total mismatch for this content. Peter may be a great "performer" and may the right style for a good drama, but not a business book.
The worst delivery imaginable. What a total disappointment. Such a great story, and such a terrible performance. Even a few minutes is difficult to get through, the voiceover is so affected and exaggerated and distracting. Awful stuff.
Buy the digital or paper book, skip the audio edition.
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.
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