Book Review: Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull

“Quality is the best business plan.”

“What does it mean to manage well?”

From Ed Catmull, co-founder (with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter) of Pixar Animation Studios, comes an incisive book about creativity in business—sure to appeal to readers of Daniel Pink, Tom Peters, and Chip and Dan Heath. 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. (Goodreads)


I don’t normally read nonfiction. I only started because my friend Irish at @iwishcream forced me to 🤣 I already have a pile waiting to be read from her. Anyway, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull is one of those recommendations I am truly thankful for. Do not be intimidated by the super long title. It’s actually a really fun read!

“Craft is what we are expected to know; art is the unexpected use of our craft.”

Read this if you want to learn not just about management and leadership, but how to do so creatively. This book made me realize that as much as it is challenging to manage people, it is even more difficult to manage and lead creatives.

“When it comes to creative inspiration, job titles and hierarchy are meaningless.”

The main focus of the book is about building a culture of creativity. I admire how the author tried to be entertaining and informative at the same time. It does not read like my idea of a (boriiiing) business or management books at all. I now think that there are more out there I should be reading.

“Getting the right people and the right chemistry is more important than getting the right idea.”

What I love about reading fiction are the stories! And this nonfic book has a lot. Even if you’re not really in training to be a people manager, read this for the motivation and inspiration from the wonderful successes and failures (the failures may even be the more inspiring part!) of Pixar; its awesome history and most importantly, the unforgettable people who made it the pillar that it is today.

“Failure isn’t a necessary evil. In fact, it isn’t evil at all. It is a necessary consequence of doing something new.”

Overall rating: 4/5⭐️

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