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Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration Hardcover – 8 Apr 2014
|Hardcover, 8 Apr 2014||
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“Just might be the best business book ever written.”—Forbes
“Achieving enormous success while holding fast to the highest artistic standards is a nice trick—and Pixar, with its creative leadership and persistent commitment to innovation, has pulled it off. This book should be required reading for any manager.”—Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit
“Steve Jobs—not a man inclined to hyperbole when asked about the qualities of others—once described Ed Catmull as ‘very wise,’ ‘very self-aware,’ ‘really thoughtful,’ ‘really, really smart,’ and possessing ‘quiet strength,’ all in a single interview. Any reader of Creativity, Inc., Catmull’s new book on the art of running creative companies, will have to agree. Catmull, president of both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation, has written what just might be the most thoughtful management book ever.”—Fast Company
“It’s one thing to be creative; it’s entirely another—and much more rare—to build a great and creative culture. Over more than thirty years, Ed Catmull has developed methods to root out and destroy the barriers to creativity, to marry creativity to the pursuit of excellence, and, most impressive, to sustain a culture of disciplined creativity during setbacks and success. Pixar’s unrivaled record, and the joy its films have added to our lives, gives his method the most important validation: It works.”—Jim Collins, co-author of Built to Last and author of Good to Great
“Too often, we seek to keep the status quo working. This is a book about breaking it.”—Seth Godin
“What is the secret to making more of the good stuff? Every so often Hollywood embraces a book that it senses might provide the answer. . . . Catmull’s book is quickly becoming the latest bible for the show business crowd.”—The New York Times
“The most practical and deep book ever written by a practitioner on the topic of innovation.”—Prof. Gary P. Pisano, Harvard Business School
“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
“A fascinating story about how some very smart people built something that profoundly changed the animation business and, along the way, popular culture . . . [Creativity, Inc.] is a well-told tale, full of detail about an interesting, intricate business. For fans of Pixar films, it’s a must-read. For fans of management books, it belongs on the ‘value added’ shelf.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Pixar uses technology only as a means to an end; its films are rooted in human concerns, not computer wizardry. The same can be said of Creativity Inc., Ed Catmull’s endearingly thoughtful explanation of how the studio he co-founded generated hits such as the Toy Story trilogy, Up and Wall-E. . . . [Catmull] uses Pixar’s triumphs and near-disasters to outline a system for managing people in creative businesses—one in which candid criticism is delivered sensitively, while individuality and autonomy are not strangled by a robotic corporate culture.”—Financial Times
“A wonderful new book . . . Unlike most books written by founders, this isn’t some myth-heavy legacy project—it’s far closer to a blueprint. Catmull takes us inside the Pixar ecosystem and shows how they build and refine excellence, in revelatory detail. . . . If you do creative work, you should read it, now.”—Daniel Coyle, author of The Talent Code
“A superb debut intended for managers in all fields of endeavor . . . He takes readers inside candid discussions and retreats at which participants, assuming the early versions of movies are bad, explore ways to improve them. Unusually rich in ideas, insights and experiences, the book celebrates the benefits of an open, nurturing work environment. An immensely readable and rewarding book that will challenge and inspire readers to make their workplaces hotbeds of creativity.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Punctuated with surprising tales of how the company’s films were developed and the company’s financial struggles, Catmull shares insights about harnessing talent, creating teams, protecting the creative process, candid communications, organizational structures, alignment, and the importance of storytelling. . . . [Creativity, Inc.] will delight and inspire creative individuals and their managers, as well as anyone who wants to work ‘in an environment that fosters creativity and problem solving.’”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“For anyone managing anything, and particularly those trying to manage creative teams, Catmull is like a kind, smart godfather guiding us toward managing wisely, without losing our souls, and in a way that works toward greatness. Perhaps it’s all Up from there.”—The Christian Science Monitor
“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
“This is the best book ever written on what it takes to build a creative organization. It is the best because Catmull’s wisdom, modesty, and self-awareness fill every page. He shows how Pixar’s greatness results from connecting the specific little things they do (mostly things that anyone can do in any organization) to the big goal that drives everyone in the company: making films that make them feel proud of one another.”—Robert I. Sutton, Stanford professor and author of The No A**hole Rule and co-author of Scaling Up Excellence
About the Author
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. 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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When they are written by the founders / builders of these companies'it is a different story altogether. Remember reading a great book called 'Joy Inc' by Richard Sheridan about a medium sized software products company called Menlo Systems. It was a class act ' a straight from the heart story of a CEO on what it takes to build a highly engaged company. Creativity Inc is a notch above.
It is multiple stories woven together'.it is the story of Ed Catmull and his dreams'.and PIXAR '.redefined computer animation and graphics'and produced a series of block busters ( think Toy Story 1 and 2, Think Monsters, Think Finding Nemo'the list is endless)'15 Academy awards, 11 Golden Globes and 7 Grammys and gave Disney Animation a run for their money and their tired tales of Alice in Wonderland, Snow White etc., A whole generation of Americans ( not just kids !) grew up on these newly created characters, their quirky stories and the home truths spun around them'.almost like the ancient Disney stories but set in the modern world and integrating it into the complexities of the new world'.
It is also the story of the birth of the 3D Graphics and Computer animation'.and the history and coming of age of these movies'.and the role of hi-tech in entertainment.
Concurrently it is also the story of the men (strangely no women in this) who defined a genre which holds on and getting stronger in spite of multiple other slicker franchisees. We go thru the lives of some of the greatest entertainers post Walt Disney'..Starting off from George Lucas, then to John Lasetter and Ed Catmull'and how after merger with Disney'.it is the story of Disney and Pixar combined together but run autonomously by Catmull under the watchful eye of Robert Iger.
It is also a great book on how to build great companies'.how to build creative companies'whose value is as much as the collective imagination and motivation of its employees'.the insightful stories of the successes of Catmull and Lasetter in ensuring that an animation company which is a marriage of Technology and Creativity'sustains where neither is swamped by the other'but each function builds on the strengths of the other'..the chapters on Brains Trust, Post Mortems, Story Telling are a must read for anyone who is leading people'.how to build high performance companies and sustain them'.this autobiographical book is like a Bible'.Ditto with the chapters post the Disney acquisition'Read it to appreciate the subtle nuances the author is so sensitive about organizational issues'.and how he carefully navigates the egos and anxieties'
And finally'this is a book about Steve Jobs'..who got in as the promoter of the company and bought it from George Lucas'.and the autonomy and independence he provided to Ed Catmull and John Lasetter'through the trying times in the beginning'to its humongous success later.'.and gave birth to an industry'of hi-tech computer animation, 3D graphics and yet narrating simple goofy tales'contrary to the stories of the brilliant but tyrannical Jobs'which comes out from the Apple related books, Steve Jobs comes out pretty well'as a genius'who could appreciate other intelligent and creative people'and challenge them to greater heights.
A natural question people would may be tempted to ask is how much of the creative genius of Steve Jobs played a role in the growth and success of PIXAR'.think we should spin the question around and ask 'How much of the creativity and innovation so well nurtured in PIXAR played a key role in shaping Job's genius and its eventual success on a much larger canvas called APPLE Inc ?
Normally I look down on management / how to books'I would classify this book more as the story of individual dreams and how you build and nurture them'..Read it'you will be wiser and also get a first-hand feel for hi-tech and the world of entertainment'and the efforts required to fuel and sustain it.
What I loved about this book is the authority and honesty with which this book is written. It is not a book in which Pixar is shown as a wonderland where everything is perfect. This book shows the efforts it truly takes to build a creative team and culture.
The fact that Pixar as a company is popular helps when it comes to understanding the anecdotes and instantly connecting with them.
What helps this book the most is that it is written by an insider and an insider with a lot of authority to speak about the company. It is not written by a journalist or a author who has to take lot of permissions to access the material / archives of the company and has to get the material approved by the company before it goes to print.
It is straight from the heart of someone who believes in the power of creative culture and teams and it shows.
I would recommend it to anybody who is interested in any kind of team management.
But I'm pretty sure that this book will have a great content in it because Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) in an interview he suggested 5 book for young entrepreneurs and this Creativity Inc. is in those 5 books.
for those who love the movies Pixar have repeatedly produced at the highest quality over the years, the great mentions about Steve Jobs & are fascinated in building a positive creative work culture - this book is for you!
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