Here is a short, simple review of Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace. For more marketing book reviews click here.

The book

Let’s be honest… When watching a Pixar movie, it is impossible not to stare at the screen in absolute awe. And it’s not just the flawless animations. It’s the story, the feelings and the overarching themes – all coming together to deliver the ultimate entertaining experience.

I wanted to learn more about the magic behind Pixar, and what makes their movies so special. That’s how I came across Creativity Inc.

Creativity Inc. tells the story of Pixar from the perspective of its founder, Ed Catmull. But it doesn’t stop there. Creativity Inc. also describes Pixar’s view of what creativity is and how to develop a business culture that fosters it.

In short, Creativity Inc. is a book for managers who want to lead better, creatives who strive for originality, and curious individuals who are keen to learn how Pixar works from the inside.

Credits - Pixar

The author

Ed Catmull is the co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios and ex-president of both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. A pioneer in the field of computer graphics, he was one of the very first people to dream (and accomplish) the making of a fully computer-animated feature film with Toy Story in 1995.

Creativity Inc. was co-written by Amy Wallace. She is a journalist whose work has appeared in GQ, the New Yorker, Wired, LA Times and the New York Times Magazine.

Credits - Pixar

Why you should read it

There are two key reasons for reading Creativity Inc.

The first one is getting to know the story of Pixar and what it means to build and run such a prosperous venture. Ed Catmull brings countless nuggets from the past of his company – the challenging start as an internal team at Lucasfilm, the making of iconic feature films like A Bug’s Life and The Incredibles, the relationship with Steve Jobs (who was Pixar’s majority stakeholder) and many other career and life-defining moments. So if you are a business geek with the passion for business biographies á la Shoe Dog, you will definitely enjoy this.

The second one is learning a unique take on what creativity is, and on how other companies can build a creative culture like Pixar’s. Creativity Inc. explores the concepts of embracing uncertainty, accepting risk, trusting peers and not falling victim to mental models that restrict creativity. These might sound like buzzwords right now, but each one of them is handily explained thanks to real examples from Pixar’s own journey – like that time when Toy Story 2 was at the brink of missing its release date, or the story of a company wide, full-day meeting called Notes Day in which all employees worked together to find solutions to streamline Pixar’s production process. This mix of theory and behind-the-scene insights alone is worth the full read, especially if you are into management or organisational change.

However, one final word of caution. Do not expect Creativity Inc. to be a step-by-step guide to become a creativity guru or some sort of get-creative-quick scheme. As Ed Catmull puts it, the job of sustaining creativity and managing a creative culture is not easy. But ease isn’t the goal; excellence is. So roll up your sleeves and get ready for the ride.

Tap here to see Creativity Inc.‘s official website.

There are NO affiliate links on AdCoffee as it’s a passion project, but if you like what you see you can always donate a coffee (ha!) on Ko-fi. 👌

More marketing book reviews? 👇

Hey, you. If you liked this post, you should get the next ones straight to your inbox.