I recently finished reading “Creativity, Inc“, by Ed Catmull, president of Pixar Animation and Disney Animation (also co-founder of Pixar).
Non-fiction is not always fun to read, but this book was. From beginning to end, Catmull takes us on a journey of struggle, failure, success and hard work. It’s inspirational, fun and engaging. What I loved most about this book is that he gets his point across without going around the bushes. He had something to say when he wrote it, and he did.
Let’s hope I can do the same with this post and what I’m trying to say. My readers will have to forgive me, I’m a blog rookie, so this is not second nature—yet.
Having said that, let me try, as best I can, to talk about this book and why I highly recommend it to managers, creatives and anyone willing to learn a thing or two about working in a collaborative environment.
I had heard that working at Pixar was great! I don’t know, one of those things one always hears —Pixar is one of those great companies to work at; great perks, great environment, fun… etc.—
Reading this book, I got a sense of that, but it didn’t come easy and it is definitely a process that goes on and on for it to continue to be the environment it is today.
As I mentioned, Catmull takes us through the history of the birth and growth of Pixar as well as his vision and that of his colleagues.
He talks about failure and mistakes as stepping stones to success and, therefore, being able to embrace them as such. This, of course, is nothing mind-blowing, but what makes it great in Creativity, Inc., is that he pairs his theories with examples, which is why this book is so great!
I think, overall, what I got out of this book is that failure is not evil and it’s a necessary part of success. Change is unavoidable, therefore we should embrace it and go with it, and learn and grow from it. Mostly, love what you do and don’t be afraid to speak your mind. If you are a good manager, you will appreciate this, if you work in a good environment, you will feel comfortable doing this. And, last but not least, be sure that mistakes will happen, so embrace them and deal with them, trusting your employees regardless.
Also, Catmull includes a small chapter at the end to speak about Steve Jobs. It’s a nice little chapter and probably a portrayal of him not many people had the pleasure of seeing. I, for one, having a neutral opinion on Jobs, enjoyed this chapter, especially since the man was the reason Pixar survived.
And I leave you with this note from the book that captured my interest:
It is precisely by acting on our intentions and staying true to our values that we change the world.
Thanks for reading and there will be more book reviews in future posts.