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 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.
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.
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.
As a director of engineering for a semiconductor company, I found this book both inspiring and entertaining. There are many Pixar concepts that I would like to incorporate into our culture.
Many of the insights provided by Ed Catmull on how to manage creative teams are extremely thought provoking. Having had a prior opportunity to hear Dr. Catmull speak, I knew that he could be very engaging (the President of Pixar captivated an audience without even a single slide). His book was no disappointment. He expounds on the various aspects and challenges of creating a successful company and managing complex teams, but he does this in an extremely unpretentious manner. His introspective nature comes through in the text as he acknowledges his company's successes and failures, always keeping in mind the limitations and tendencies of all human beings. Throughout the book I was totally engaged, and I never felt he was being overly redundant in his messages. After listening for several hours, I had looked down in hopes that the book wasn't coming to and end... and I was relieved to discover I had 6 more hours of Dr. Catmull's wisdom!
I could image re-listening to this book again to further appreciate and solidify his messages. Anyone who serves in a leadership role could benefit from this story.
The character of the book most reminds me of the Steve Jobs biography. However, Ed Catmull's first-hand telling of his own experiences make this into a book that one could learn from as well as be engaged by.
I think the performance and voice are very fitting to the book.
Ed Catmull is one of my favorite people!
Always loved reading books. Now listening to more and more audio books as I can do it in the car, or on my phone. Really loving them.
Inspiring, Thought Provoking
Peter Altschuler makes it feel like he's the author, telling his story.
No characters in this book.
I think he was a good narrator, but not sure he brought anything additional.
It just made me overwhelmed :-)
One of the best books I've read.
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