Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

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Random House Publishing Group, Apr 8, 2014 - Business & Economics - 480 pages
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From a co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios—the Academy Award–winning studio behind†Coco, Inside Out,†and†Toy Story—comes an incisive book about creativity in business and leadership for readers of Daniel Pink, Tom Peters, and Chip and Dan Heath.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Huffington PostFinancial TimesSuccessInc.Library Journal

Creativity, Inc. is 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 creativity—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,†WALL-E, and Inside Out,†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 co-founding Pixar 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 leadership and management 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 to make it safe for others to take them.
• The cost of preventing errors is often far greater than the cost of fixing them.
• A company’s communication structure should not mirror its organizational structure. Everybody should be able to talk to anybody.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Castlelass - LibraryThing

Ed Catmull offers insight into Pixar, how it started, and how they keep creativity alive. It examines their acquisition by Disney, and how they ensured this corporate giant did not stifle their ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Narilka - LibraryThing

One part memoir, two parts business management guide, Creativity, Inc. is Ed Catmull's love letter to the computer animation and animated movie industries. Catmull is best known as one of the co ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

GETTING STARTED
Pixar Is Born
Chapter A Defining Goal
Establishing Pixars Identity
Honesty and Candor
Fear and Failure
The Hungry Beast and the Ugly Baby
Change and Randomness
Broadening Our View
The Unmade Future
A New Challenge
Notes
The Steve We Knew
Thoughts for Managing a Creative Culture
About the Authors
Copyright

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About the author (2014)

Ed Catmull is co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios and president of Pixar Animation and Disney Animation. He has been honored with five Academy Awards, including the Gordon E. Sawyer Award for lifetime achievement in the field of computer graphics, and the ACM A.M. Turing Award for major contributions of lasting importance to computing. He received his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Utah. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and children.

Amy Wallace is a journalist whose work has appeared in GQ, The New Yorker, Wired, Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times Magazine. She currently serves as editor-at-large at Los Angeles Times magazine. Previously, she worked as a reporter and editor at the Los Angeles Times and wrote a monthly column for The New York Times Sunday Business section. She lives in Los Angeles.

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