Read of the Week: Creativity Inc by Edwin Catmull

A change of pace for this week’s Read, our COO and Deputy Director  Sarah recommends a business book with a difference in Edwin Catmull’s Creativity Inc.

Ed Catmull had a dream to make the world’s first computer-animated movie. He forged an early partnership with George Lucas and then founded Pixar with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter in 1986. Nine years later and against all odds, Toy Story was released, changing animation forever.
Yes this is a business book, but it’s so much more than that. Ed Catmull writes about how important it is to find a balance between creativity and business, to allow for true originality whilst keeping the business strong.
Ed writes:
“We begin life, as children, being open to the ideas of others because we need to be open to learn. Most of what children encounter, after all, are things they’ve never seen before. The child has no choice but to embrace the new. If this openness is so wonderful, however, why do we lose it as we grow up? Where, along the way, do we turn from the wide-eyed child into the adult who fears surprises and has all the answers and seeks to control all outcomes?”
This child-like openness to ideas and creativity are shown to strengthen the business.
Whilst explaining techniques such as ‘Braintrust’ sessions where art is born, the book takes the reader through the creation of many of the world’s favourite animation movies, from Toy Story through to Finding Nemo and WALL-E.
It is, at heart, a book about how to build and sustain 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.’

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