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.
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