Ed Catmul
Rating: 9.5/10
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Reading Ease: Reading Time:10 hours

It should come of no surprise that one of the founders of Pixar would be able to craft an amazing story with the book Creativity Inc. in collaboration with Amy Wallace. Halfway through, I knew this book would are my all-time favorites list. What stands out in this book compared to other business books is the selflessness of Ed Catmul, who spoke about his colleagues more than himself and the books balanced blend of business, biography, philosophy and psychology; coming together to illustrate how to enable people to work together.

Pixar movies have shaped my childhood and continue to shape my adult hold, telling stories with deep lessons in simple ways that trigger a wide spectrum of emotions. The consistency of quality is high valued at Pixar and it has created a division called Braintrust to make sure the story feels right. In addition, Pixar has a unique culture of fostering creativity, trust, learning and communication to encourage the creation of stories worth telling.

There is turbulence along the road to success and Pixar has been on the brink of collapse numerous times. The company has found a way to cultivate skill and manufacturing luck. Change is also always around the corner and the stories about George Lucas of Lucasfilms, Steve Jobs co-founder of Apple who became a majority owner at Pixar, Bob Igner, CEO of Disney who purchased Pixar in 2006, and all the other waves of economic change posed great challenges to try to maintain the Pixar culture while allowed for positive change. The Pixar founders Ed Catmul, John Lassetter and Jim Morris believed in Pixar; they wanted it to outlast them like the way stories last generations.

Notetable Quotes

“Failure isn’t a necessary evil. In fact, it isn’t evil at all. It is a necessary consequence of doing something new.”Ed Catmull
"For many people, changing course is also a sign of weakness, tantamount to admitting that you don’t know what you are doing. This strikes me as particularly bizarre—personally, I think the person who can’t change his or her mind is dangerous. Steve Jobs was known for changing his mind instantly in the light of new facts, and I don’t know anyone who thought he was weak."Ed Catmull
“If you aren’t experiencing failure, then you are making a far worse mistake: You are being driven by the desire to avoid it.” Ed Catmull
“Getting the right people and the right chemistry is more important than getting the right idea.”Ed Catmull
“When faced with a challenge, get smarter.”Ed Catmull
"Craft is what we are expected to know; art is the unexpected use of our craft."Ed Catmull
"You don’t have to ask permission to take responsibility."Ed Catmull

Motivations to Read

Pixar movies have influenced my personal growth, ever since I watched Toys Story on VHS as a little kid and even today as a young adult. I was surprised that this was recommended numerous times as a business book when the nature of the story is creativity, but I guess they both go hand in hand.

3 Reasons to Read

  • The ideals and techniques that have made Pixar so successful and wide admired.
  • How to build and work in high performing teams.
  • How to unlock and unleash your creativity.
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