For a book titled Creativity Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces that Stand in the Way of True Inspiration from the CEO of perhaps the most creative film studio (Pixar) in existence, Ed Catmull, one would hope that the book itself would creatively tell its story and apply its principles. Unfortunately, I found this book to be rather boring, another run-of-the-mill business book recounting the companies success and strategy.
Occasionally there were some interesting insights regarding how Pixar managed to create an environment of creativity, or how certain company visions and values could be applied to the reader. For example, Pixar has always put an emphasis on having a team (they call the ‘brain trust) of leaders to use candor and honesty to help push a good story into a great story. Through various ways, this emphasis on candor runs through all levels of the company, giving a voice and opportunity for anyone to suggest something that would be good for the whole company. Additionally, though Pixar’s technology is cutting-edge, they have always believed and maintain that story trumps all. When you think about Pixar films, they almost always have a compelling story to tell. Finally, I appreciated the emphasis on encouraging mistakes in order to free up creativity. Through many failures comes great success.
If you absolutely love Pixar, or you are a leader of a team looking for one or two nuggets of inspiration, then this book could be for you… Otherwise, give it a pass.