Creativity, Inc. - Ed Catmull & Amy Wallace

Creativity, Inc.

By Ed Catmull & Amy Wallace

  • Release Date: 2014-04-08
  • Genre: Management & Leadership
Score: 4.5
From 878 Ratings


From a co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios—the Academy Award–winning studio behind Coco, Inside Out, and Toy Story—comes an incisive book about creativity in business and leadership for readers of Daniel Pink, Tom Peters, and Chip and Dan Heath.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Huffington PostFinancial TimesSuccessInc.Library Journal

Creativity, Inc. is 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 creativity—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, WALL-E, and Inside Out, 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 co-founding Pixar 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 leadership and management 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.


  • Visionary simplicity

    By EasterAries
    Catmull reveals that, like their movies, the secret of Pixar’s creative culture is brilliantly simple and grounded in the principles of being a good human being. It’s easy to understand, even while implementing requires constant vigilance and hard work. Healthy management is not a set-it-and-forget-it solution, but a constant process of communication and introspection.
  • Excellent & Insightful

    By Emajossch
    Fantastic, must-read for basically everyone. Valuable and extremely insightful, one of my favorites for sure.
  • Excellent Leadership

    By LAB0402
    Creativitiy Inc is one of those books that not only inspires leaders and future leaders alike, it inspires employees and followers as well. Everyone has a voice and an environment that allows those voices to be heard in a meaningful and respectful way enables a culture to thrive and be excellent. Also the concepts on making mistakes in invaluable. This book is neccessary!
  • Insightful yet practical

    By My_muzak
    A must read for anyone who leads teams in any capacity.
  • A must read!

    By talentlesshack
    So much information about effective companies and groups.
  • Great read

    So many lessons on how to extract brilliance and creativity from the people around you.
  • Five stars

    By Snowgumby
    Required reading, worth your time.
  • Best book on creative business I've read

    By MikesCrazyIdeas
    Would love a chance to be in an environment where even some of these ideas were implemented.
  • Invaluable

    By UJVB
    As a manager at an exploding new media company, the thoughts and ideas expressed in this book resonate greatly with me and forms the foundation upon which all of us can continue to build and evolve.
  • Under the hood and between the ears look at Innovation

    By Busstaflex
    "Innovation" may be one of the most popularly used words a company will use to describe their core values, yet so many companies fail to foster an environment that truly breeds innovation. Creativity Inc. provides straight forward and insightful thoughts on promoting an innovative environment, and pairs these thoughts with an excellent sampling of real world applications.