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

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
Your Price: $37.50 CDN
Author: Ed Catmull with Amy Wallace
Publisher: Random House
Format: Hardcover
# of Pages: 340
Pub. Date: 2014
ISBN-10: 0812993012
ISBN-13: 9780812993011
About the Book:

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.

- Do not assume that general agreement will lead to change - it takes substantial energy to move a group, even when all are on board.

What people say:

"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

"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 common sense specificity and honesty, examples of how not to get in your own way and realize a creative coalescence of art, business and innovation." - George Lucas 

About the Authors:

Ed Catmull is co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios and president of Pixar Animation and Disney Animation. He has been honoured 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.