Published: 8 months ago

Top Ten Quotes: Creativity, Inc.

I first read this fantastic book when in came out in 2014. We recently re-read a portion of it for our staff meeting, which has generated new ideas and practices for some of our workflows. As the president of Pixar Animation and Disney Animation, Ed Catmull walks the reader through not only a history of the two companies, but lays the groundwork for how great teams pull together to get the job done.

 

Here are my top ten favorite quotes from the book:

  • …my job as a manager is to create a fertile environment, keep it healthy, and watch for the things that undermine it.
  • If you give a good idea to a mediocre team, they will screw it up. If you give a mediocre idea to a brilliant team, they will either fix it or throw it away and come up with something better.
  • As more people are added to any group, there is an inexorable drift toward inflexibility.
  • When filmmakers, industrial designers, software designers, or people in any other creative profession merely cut up and reassemble what has come before, it gives the illusion of creativity, but it is craft without art. Craft is what we are expected to know; art is the unexpected use of our craft.
  • Easy isn’t the goal. Quality is.
  • By resisting the beginner’s mind, you make yourself more prone to repeat yourself than to create something new. The attempt to avoid failure, in other words, makes failure more likely.
  • Creative people discover and realize their visions over time and through dedicated, protracted struggle.
  • What is the point of hiring smart people…if you don’t empower them to fix what’s broken?
  • If there is more truth in the hallways than in meetings, you have a problem.
  • Don’t wait for things to be perfect before you share them with others. Show early and show often.

 

 

Order Creativity, Inc.

 

See all posts in the Top Ten Quotes series.

 

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6 Comments.
  1. Chuck Land says:

    Hey Danny,

    What parts of the book did y’all read for staff meeting?I love this book and got a lot out of it.

    • Danny says:

      Ha…you’re gonna love this. 3-5, 74-75, 85-95, 102-105, 124-127, 170-173, 194-203, and 315-319. Our main focus was the chapter on Honesty and Candor.

      Those of us who had read the entire thing before wanted to read much more, and those who were reading for the first time agreed. I think a lot of teams have gone back and started filling in the gaps.

      • Chuck Land says:

        Thanks! Have you guys read Chasing Magic? What is the format by which you guys discuss books as a team?

        • Danny says:

          I haven’t! Do you mind sending me a link? Nothing I’m finding on Amazon looks like what you’re talking about. 🙂

          We go through books in wildly different ways. Sometimes we read them and they’re a launch pad to another conversation. Sometimes we’ll have a list of prepped questions to go through. And in cases like Creativity Inc, we discussed it as an entire staff and then some of our individual teams have kept the convo going.

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