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061 Ed Catmull: Creativity, Inc

Ed Catmull, the co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios, explains how to foster creativity and build a sustainable creative organization.

Ed Catmull: Creativity, Inc


In "Creativity, Inc.," Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios, reveals the hidden principles and practices that have made Pixar one of the most successful and creative companies in history. Catmull shares his own experience and insights on how to foster creativity, overcome obstacles, and build a sustainable creative organization. He shows that managing creativity is an art and a science, and that it requires a deep understanding of the creative process, a willingness to experiment and take risks, and an unwavering commitment to excellence.


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

Author: Ed Catmull

Publishing Year: 2014

Publisher: Random House

Length in Hours: 12 hours and 52 minutes

5 main ideas

  1. The creative process is messy and unpredictable, but it can be managed and improved through careful observation, experimentation, and collaboration.
  2. Creative people thrive in a supportive environment that encourages risk-taking, open communication, and constructive feedback.
  3. Leaders must be willing to challenge the status quo, take risks, and empower their teams to experiment and innovate.
  4. To build a sustainable creative organization, leaders must focus on developing a strong culture that values creativity, learning, and continuous improvement.
  5. The most successful creative organizations are those that balance artistic excellence with business discipline, and that prioritize long-term growth over short-term profits.
Ed Catmull: Creativity, Inc

5 funny quotes

  1. "Getting the right people and the right chemistry is more important than getting the right idea."
  2. "Our goal is to make it safe to talk about problems."
  3. "The people who succeed at Pixar are the ones who have creative collisions, where they are trying to do something that nobody has ever done before."
  4. "If you want to be original, you have to accept the uncertainty, even when it's uncomfortable, and have the capacity to tolerate this discomfort."
  5. "Good leaders must communicate vision clearly, creatively, and continually. However, the vision doesn't come alive until the leader models behavior that supports it."

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "If you give a good idea to a mediocre team, they will screw it up. If you give a mediocre idea to a brilliant team, they will either fix it or throw it away and come up with something better."
  2. "It isn't enough to pick the right people; you have to figure out a way to pull the best out of them."
  3. "Failure isn't a necessary evil. In fact, it isn't evil at all. It is a necessary consequence of doing something new."
  4. "Do not assume that general agreement will lead to change--it takes substantial energy to move a group, even when all are on board."
  5. "Always take a chance on better, even if it seems threatening."

5 dilemmas

  1. Balancing the creative process with the need for structure and discipline in a business setting.
  2. Creating a culture of openness and trust while also maintaining a level of confidentiality and respect for intellectual property.
  3. Encouraging risk-taking and experimentation while also maintaining financial responsibility and sustainability.
  4. Nurturing creativity and innovation while also dealing with the pressures and demands of tight schedules and budgets.
  5. Fostering a sense of community and collaboration while also respecting individual contributions and ideas.

5 examples

  1. Ed Catmull: Founder and CEO of Pixar Animation Studios and one of the authors of the book.
  2. Steve Jobs: Co-founder of Pixar and Apple, and a key figure in the early years of Pixar's success.
  3. John Lasseter: A founding member of Pixar and the director of many of its early films, including Toy Story and Cars.
  4. Brad Bird: Writer and director of Pixar's The Incredibles and Ratatouille.
  5. Toy Story: Pixar's first feature-length animated film and a breakthrough success in the animation industry.

Referenced books

  1. "The Art of Dramatic Writing" by Lajos Egri
  2. "The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses" by Eric Ries
  3. "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" by Robert B. Cialdini
  4. "Outliers: The Story of Success" by Malcolm Gladwell
  5. "The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable" by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Share a quote

"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: Creativity, Inc
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