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Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspirationby Ed Catmull
Synopses & Reviews
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY LIBRARY JOURNAL
“What does it mean to manage well?”
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. Forbes raves that Creativity, Inc. “just might be the business book ever written.”
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 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, and WALL-E, 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 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 thirteen 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.
Praise for Creativity, Inc.
“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
"Finding Nemo. Toy Story. The Incredibles. These wildly successful, award-winning films are all part of the outstanding canon Pixar Animation Studios has produced since its inception in 1986. Pixar co-founder and president Catmull takes us inside the company and its evolution from unprofitable hardware company to creative powerhouse. Along the way, he addresses the challenge of building an effective and enduring creative culture. 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. His own storytelling power is evident as he narrates the company's precarious journey to profitability. Written in an earnest and introspective tone, with the help of Wallace, the book 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.' Catmull's voice and choice of topics reveals him to be a caring, committed, philosophical leader who loves his work, respects his creative colleagues, and remains committed to the advancement of computer animation and great filmmaking. Agent: Christy Fletcher, Fletcher and Company." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The writer of the New York Times Magazineandrsquo;s popular andquot;Who Made That?andquot; column explains how better ideas enter the world, revealing the fabled andldquo;ahaandrdquo; moment to be the result of a series of steps anyone can apply to solve the problems we encounter in everyday life.
Find out where great ideas come from.
A father cleans up after his toddler andand#160;imaginesand#160;a cup that wonand#39;t spill. An engineerand#160;watches people using walkie-talkies and has an idea.and#160;A doctor figures out how to deliver patients to the operating room before they die.and#160;
By studying inventions like these andmdash; the sippy cup, the cell phone, and an ingenious hospital bed andmdash; we can learn how people imagine their way around andquot;impossibleandquot; problems to discover groundbreaking answers. Pagan Kennedy reports on how these enduring methods can be adapted toand#160;the twenty-first century, as millions of us deploy tools like crowdfunding, big data, and 3-D printing to find hidden opportunities. and#160;and#160;and#160;
Inventologyand#160;usesand#160;theand#160;storiesand#160;of inventors and surprising researchand#160;to reveal the steps that produce innovation. As Kennedy argues, recent advances in technology and communication have placed us at the cusp of a golden age;and#160;itand#39;s now more possible than ever before to transform ideas into actuality.and#160;Inventology is a must-read forand#160;designers,and#160;artists, makersandmdash;and anyone else who is curious about creativity. By identifying the steps of the invention process, Kennedy reveals the imaginative tools required to solve our most challenging problems.
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