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Publisher's Summary

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:


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.
Do not assume that general agreement will lead to change - it takes substantial energy to move a group, even when all are on board.
©2014 Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace (P)2014 Random House Audio
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Critic Reviews

"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)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By andrea gini on 10-06-15

A good listen... If you speed up the player

What does Peter Altschuler bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

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.

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51 of 53 people found this review helpful


By Austin M. Craig on 11-10-14

Rare insights - Not your average business book

What made the experience of listening to Creativity, Inc. the most enjoyable?

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.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Creativity, Inc.?

"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.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

The Making of the Pixar Legend

Any additional comments?

Catmull teaches lessons that will prove invaluable to anybody who works in a creative space. You won't find his perspective elsewhere.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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