Genre: nonfiction, business
Length: 314 pages of text, 340 pages total
Interest: The Modern Mrs. Darcy recommended the book in her Summer Reading Guide. While I’d seen it reviewed a number of places, this post prompted me to put it on my list. Besides, the book is all about Pixar, and we love Pixar at our house.
Summary: Catmull has attempted to explain the specific actions he and the other leaders at Pixar to maintain a corporate culture of creativity. He’s worked at many different levels within business and believes that to maintain creativity and success you must actively review what’s working, what’s not, and search for problems before they become so big they’ll ruin you.
Final thoughts: While I know Catmull intended the book as a kind of how-to book for creativity in business, I read it mostly for the Pixar anecdotes. They were good stories and covered everything from Toy Story to Inside Out, as well as some of their failures. I found the whole book fascinating, even if I don’t work in a business environment where I can implement many of the suggestions. I did find it interesting that Catmull recommended a scientific method approach, in the sense that failure is a data point, not a catastrophe. Figure what failed, take it into account, and try again. No big deal, right? It becomes a bigger deal when you’re dealing with millions of dollars, but even so Pixar plans to fail.
Title comes from: Catmull has tried number methods to develop a corporate culture (the Inc.) of creativity.
Reading challenges fulfilled: 79/100 in my 100 Book Challenge
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