eknowledger's review

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4.0

Mind Provoking Thoughts

- Candier vs Honesty
- "Brain trust" Meetings
- Failure is required for creativity
- Failure isn’t a necessary evil
- Fail fast
- Creativity is not linear
- Good Ideas vs good people
- Change
- Randomness
- Brain Models vs Reality
- "Notes day" idea
- Passion for excellence
- Future is a direction
- Ease is not the goal but excellence is
- Uncertainty needed for creativity "the weather analogy"
- Steve jobs relationship with his wife and children and how it groomed his attitude as a leader
- Steve Jobs Reality Distortion
- Steve Jobs last 3 goals (Very touching, inspiring, and heart breaking)

Managing Creative Culture Thoughts

- Give a good idea to a mediocre team, and they will screw it up. Give a mediocre idea to a great team, and they will either fix it or come up with something better.
- When looking to hire people, give their potential to grow more weight than their current skill level. What they will be capable of tomorrow is more important than what they can do today.
- Always try to hire people who are smarter than you. Always take a chance on better, even if it seems a potential threat.
- If there are people in your organization who feel they are not free to suggest ideas, you lose. Do not discount ideas from unexpected sources. Inspiration can, and does, come from anywhere.
- There is nothing quite as effective, when it comes to shutting down alternative viewpoints, as being convinced you are right.
- If there is more truth in the hallways than in meetings, you have a problem.
- Many managers feel that if they are not notified about problems before others are or if they are surprised in a meeting, then that is a sign of disrespect. Get over it.
- The first conclusions we draw from our successes and failures are typically wrong. Measuring the outcome without evaluating the process is deceiving.
- It is not the manager’s job to prevent risks. It is the manager’s job to make it safe to take them.
- Failure isn’t a necessary evil. In fact, it isn’t evil at all. It is a necessary consequence of doing something new.
- Trust doesn’t mean that you trust that someone won’t screw up – it means you trust them even when they do screw up.
- Finding and fixing problems is everybody’s job. Anyone should be able to stop the production line.
- The desire for everything to run smoothly is a false goal – it leads to measuring people by the mistakes they make rather than by their ability to solve problems.
- Don’t wait for things to be perfect before you share them with others. Show early and show often.
- A company’s communication structure should not mirror its organizational structure. Everybody should be able to talk to anybody.
- Engaging with exceptionally hard problems forces us to think differently.
- Do not assume that general agreement will lead to change – it takes substantial energy to move a group, even when all are on board.
- The healthiest organizations are made up of departments whose agendas differ but whose goals are interdependent. It one agenda wins, we all lose.
- Our job as managers in creative environments is to protect new ideas from those who don’t understand that in order for greatness to emerge, there must phases of not-so-greatness. Protect the future, not the past.
- Excellence, quality, and good should be earned words, attributed by others to us, not proclaimed by us about ourselves.


bhnmt61's review

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4.0

Interesting book about how to foster creativity in a corporate environment. There are parts that would have been tedious to me, but there are lots of stories about how various Pixar films were developed, and that helped quite a bit.

thechanelmuse's review

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5.0

“Our actions change our reality. Our intentions matter. Most people believe that their actions have consequences but don’t think through the implications of that belief.”

This is an insightful, intimate, behind-the-scenes look at Pixar’s work culture and the philosophy they live by to facilitate as a thriving company that doesn’t hinder the efforts, suggestions, potential, mood and creativity (of course) of their employees. Ed and others leads with trust and encouragement to use small and big failures as lessons that should be acted on swiftly rather than playing the blame game if something goes wrong or falls apart because after all it’s teamwork within individual tasks that leads to tighter bonds and wiser decision-making for the future. In short, “focus on the problem not the person.” This methods in this book are very very usual for other creative companies to thrive rather than burdening the abilities and confidence of their team.

clindberg157's review

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informative inspiring reflective fast-paced

5.0

Absolutely inspiring.

ohnoitskylie's review

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informative slow-paced

2.5

elisehernke's review

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4.0

Really fantastic insights about running creative corporations and how to nurture the processes that allow for interesting stories to flourish, while still making money and being profitable, etc.
Notably, this book was rereleased in 2019 after John Lassiter stepped down from Disney & started his own company (after some unfavorable allegations) and Ed Catmull retired. Would be interested to grab his thoughts on what’s happened to the company in the past decade.

inkandinsights's review

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5.0

This is a non-fiction nook but written like a beautiful story.

Pixar is perhaps the most beautiful storyteller we know.

But, Pixar is not a single person. it is a collective of creative professionals, computer engineers, animators, producers, directors, and a diverse set of people from diverse backgrounds.

Bringing together the creative force of such a big collective is not an easy task. It is unimaginable for someone like me who still hasn't wrapped his head around the beauty and stunning craftsmanship of Pixar movies.

Ed Catmull breaks down in a beautiful narrative manner how Pixar became Pixar as we know it.

It is amazing to know how a company that was once in dire traits and was desperately looking for a buyer has now become the pioneer of animated movie-making.

The book has textbook lessons on leadership, creative thinking, managing emotions at work, giving and getting feedback, and ultimately, becoming a better version of oneself.

Needless to say, I was actively taking notes that I hope will serve by better future.

What really surprised me about this book is the 'Afterword'. The section where Ed revisits his career alongside Steve Jobs.

Is there anything in this world that has not been influenced by Steve Jobs? I doubt it.

nadialeeowens's review against another edition

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inspiring reflective medium-paced

4.0

missyjohnson's review

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3.0

More a history of Pixar than any type of business or management book. I did enjoy Catmulls information about what Steve Jobs was like as a boss and colleague. The twenty plus years of working with him and for him gave a better insight as to the growth of the man than the snippets of negative press that are so predominate in this day and age

winterdream1999's review

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challenging funny informative inspiring reflective slow-paced

5.0