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Must read – Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull

I was finally able to finish one of the books I have been most excited about reading in the last few years, Creativity Inc.:Overcoming The Unseen Forces That Stand In The Way Of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull. Ed Catmull is the president of Pixar Studios and Disney Animation and has a long history with innovation in computer graphics but has also huge success in bridging creativity, computers and corporate success.

The book seeks to provide the reader some helpful tips in managing with staff and projects while fostering creativity. These lessons are shared within the context of the Pixar creation story. Some interesting tidbits are shared surrounding the development of successful Pixar movies like Up and Finding Nemo. Ed also provides some insight into what it was like working with Steve Jobs.

As a person who is a geek as well as having a strong creative side, I found the book entertaining while some of the tips and lessons are things I can use in my day job. My positions over the years have been a strong mix of creative and design work as well as heavy technical development (mechanical engineering and software). This book really did a good job outlining some of the problems I personally experienced over the years. The proposed solutions in the book will not work for everyone but the overall theme of engagement and iterative design is compelling.

Who would enjoy this book?

This book should be of interest to people in technology, creative arts/design or just anyone interested in a bit of Pixar history. It is not a long read but well worth it. BTW, I decided to get the paper version (versus a Kindle version) of this book and I am glad I did. My daughter will be the next to read this. Check it out.