Ed Catmull is co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios and president of Pixar Animation and Disney Animation. Dr. Catmull is a recognized pioneer in the field of computer animation and joined George Lucas at Lucasfilm in 1979. What we now know as Pixar would be spun off and acquired in 1986 by none other than Steve Jobs, who simultaneously led both Pixar and NeXT Computer after his exile from Apple Computer. Creativity, Inc., Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand In the Way of True Inspiration (Random House, 2014, ISBN 978-0812993011) documents not only Dr. Catmull’s journey, but also the journey of computer animation from a university research topic to SIGGRAPH short films like Red’s Dream and Tin Toy to 1995’s Toy Story, the first fully computer animated film. In my college days, I would watch Pixar shorts at computer animation festivals. Now that I’m a parent, I still have a valid “excuse” to see each and every Pixar film.
Judging Pixar’s exceptional track record, it might not seem that its employees need help being creative. But every one of its films has struggled at some point during its development. What Pixar has developed over the years, under Ed Catmull’s leadership, is an evolving set of principles and practices that help it deliver award-winning stories that touch the hearts of children and adults alike.
We tend to think only of artists and musicians when the topic of creativity is mentioned. But creativity underlies nearly every human endeavor, including business intelligence. And not just the visual aspects of our work. Data architecture and integration require just as much creativity as data visualization. What I most appreciated about this book was its insights on how a diverse group of professionals can learn to work more effectively together, be more candid in giving feedback and more gracious in receiving it.
A thought-provoking book for those that inspire and motivate teams.
- Purchase Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration (hardcover edition) on Amazon.com
- Purchase Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration (Kindle edition) on Amazon.com
- Follow Ed Catmull on Twitter
Disclosure of Material Connection: I borrowed a copy of this book from a public library and did not receive it free from its publisher. Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”