This is quite possibly the best business book I’ve read. If you’re a fan of Pixar and the creative talent that has come out of Disney and the animation industry, this is a great review of one man’s exploration and fearlessness in pursuing excellence in his craft and cultivating an environment where an art form was born and has thrived. It has lots of practical insight and ideas into how Pixar has built an open environment for collaboration and constructive criticism through things like their Braintrust group to access the storyline of movie concepts and their exploratory short-films intended to explore ideas with less of a focus on the bottom line. Certainly many things have contributed to the amazing work that has come out of it’s office and caused it to be a disruptive innovation within the industry of filmmaking.
Walter Issacson’s biography of Jobs and the seemingly traumautizing experiences some had with Steve when they were not open to his way of doing things. It makes sense that Steve would mesh better with a building full of creatives, not to say there wasn’t frustration, but there was a different camaraderie with Pixar than I sensed from his tenure with Apple. Pixar seems to be an anomaly in the business world, a place where failure is welcome as a necessary predecessor to continually creating great work instead of trying to limit mistakes out of fear of the unknown. At Apple, it seemed, there was always someone trying to misplace Steve’s desire to embrace innovate products that he loved and ultimately that other people would love too. Granted, in Steve’s early years the book portrays him as a straight up ‘ass’. At Pixar, the product being films, I sensed an understanding from Ed Catmull and John Lassater about the creative process that Steve respected. Though Steve’s approach may not have changed much the result of Steve’s critical analysis looked different here as a result.
The Art of Creativity and Quotes from the Book
This book was so helpful and inspirational to me, I know I will need to read it again as I grow and have more experiences to expand my understanding of the art of creativity. This is a great resource that I also recommend using to combat when the ‘mind creep’ sets in that creativity is this illusive, subjective space that cannot be harnessed.
Some of My Favorite Book Quotes
- “We’ve found over the years that if people are enjoying the world you’ve created, they will forgive little inconsistencies, if they notice them at all.”
- “There are many blocks to creativity, but there are active steps we can take to protect the creative process.”
- “In a way, I’ve been searching all my life for better ways of seeing”
- “This principle eludes most people, but it is critical: You are not your idea, and if you identify too closely with your ideas, you will take offense when they are challenged.”
- “People need to be wrong as fast as they can.”