The Pixar Way: 37 Quotes on Developing and Maintaining a Creative Company (from Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull)

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    22-Jan-2015

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In his book, Creativity, Inc., Ed Catmull shares his experience as a manager of Pixar, one of the worlds most famous creative animation studios. More than that, Ed offers a number of starting points to help those that wish to work in an environment that fosters creativity and problem solving, to create it. We've collected 37 choice quotes from the book that demonstrate how to develop and maintain a creative company and paired them with images from Pixar's award-winning films and two upcoming features (Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur).

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  • 1. THEPIXAR WAY 37 QUOTES ON DEVELOPING ANDMAINTAINING A CREATIVE COMPANYPhoto: Creativity, Inc. cover / Disney PixarFROM THE BOOK CREATIVITY, INC. BY PIXARS ED CATMULL

2. WE BELIEVE THATIDEAS ONLY BECOMEGREAT WHEN THEYARE CHALLENGEDAND TESTED.Photo: The Incredibles / Disney Pixar (2004)FROM CREATIVITY, INC. BY ED CATMULL 3. A HALLMARKOF A HEALTHYCREATIVE CULTUREIS THAT ITS PEOPLEFEEL FREE TO SHAREIDEAS, OPINIONS, ANDCRITICISMS. LACK OF CANDOR,IF UNCHECKED, ULTIMATELYLEADS TO DYSFUNCTIONALENVIRONMENTS.Photo: WALL-E / Disney Pixar (2008) FROM CREATIVITY, INC. BY ED CATMULL 4. SEEK OUTPEOPLE WHO AREWILLING TO LEVELWITH YOU, AND WHENYOU FIND THEM,HOLD THEM CLOSE.Photo: Toy Story / Disney Pixar (1995)FROM CREATIVITY, INC. BY ED CATMULL 5. MISTAKESARENT ANECESSARY EVIL.THEY ARENT EVIL AT ALL.THEY ARE ANPhoto: Finding Nemo / Disney Pixar (2003)INEVITABLE CONSEQUENCEOF DOING SOMETHING NEW.FROM CREATIVITY, INC. BY ED CATMULL 6. TO BE WRONG AS FASTAS YOU CAN IS TO SIGNUP FOR AGGRESSIVE,RAPID LEARNING.Photo: Cars / Disney Pixar (2006)FROM CREATIVITY, INC. BY ED CATMULL 7. FOR LEADERS ESPECIALLY,THIS STRATEGYTRYINGTO AVOID FAILURE BYOUT-THINKING ITDOOMS YOUTO FAIL.Photo: The Incredibles / Disney Pixar (2004)FROM CREATIVITY, INC.BY ED CATMULL 8. TO BE A TRULYCREATIVE COMPANY,YOU MUST STARTTHINGS THATMIGHT FAIL.Photo: Monsters University / Disney Pixar (2013)FROM CREATIVITY, INC. BY ED CATMULL 9. THERE ARE TWO PARTS TO ANY FAILURE:THERE IS THE EVENT ITSELF, WITH ALLITS ATTENDANT DISAPPOINTMENT,CONFUSION, AND SHAME,AND THEN THERE IS OURREACTION TO IT. IT ISTHIS SECONDPART THAT WECONTROL.Photo: Up / Disney Pixar (2009)FROM CREATIVITY, INC.BY ED CATMULL 10. A MANAGERSDEFAULT MODESHOULD NOTBE SECRECY.Photo: Ratatouille / Disney Pixar (2007)FROM CREATIVITY, INC. BY ED CATMULL 11. YOUREMPLOYEESPhoto: The Incredibles / Disney Pixar (2004)ARE SMART; THATSWHY YOU HIRED THEM.SO TREAT THEM THAT WAY.FROM CREATIVITY, INC. BY ED CATMULL 12. RATHER THANTRYING TO PREVENTALL ERRORS, WE SHOULDASSUME, AS IS ALMOST ALWAYSTHE CASE, THAT OUR PEOPLESINTENTIONS ARE GOOD AND THATTHEY WANT TO SOLVE PROBLEMS.Photo: Finding Nemo / Disney Pixar (2003)FROM CREATIVITY, INC. BY ED CATMULL 13. OUR JOB IS TOPROTECT OUR[NEW IDEAS] FROMBEING JUDGED TOOQUICKLY. OUR JOBIS TO PROTECTTHE NEW.Photo: Ratatouille / Disney Pixar (2007)FROM CREATIVITY, INC.BY ED CATMULL 14. PART OF OUR JOBIS TO PROTECTTHE NEW FROMPEOPLE WHO DONTUNDERSTAND THAT, INORDER FOR GREATNESS TOEMERGE, THERE MUST BE PHASESOF NOT-SO-GREATNESS.Photo: Finding Nemo / Disney Pixar (2003)FROM CREATIVITY, INC. BY ED CATMULL 15. MAKINGSOMETHINGGREAT ISTHE GOAL.Photo: WALL-E / Disney Pixar (2008)FROM CREATIVITY, INC. BY ED CATMULL 16. THE SYSTEM IS TILTED TO FAVOR THE INCUMBENT.THE CHALLENGER NEEDS SUPPORTTO FIND ITS FOOTING. ANDPROTECTION OF THE NEWOF THE FUTURE,NOT THE PASTMUST BE ACONSCIOUSEFFORT.Photo: Cars 2 / Disney Pixar (2011)FROM CREATIVITY, INC.BY ED CATMULL 17. Photo: Inside Out / Disney Pixar (TBD: 2015)ITS FOLLY TO THINK YOU CAN AVOIDCHANGE, NO MATTER HOWMUCH YOU MIGHT WANT TO.BUT ALSO, TO MY MIND,YOU SHOULDNT WANT TO.THERE IS NO GROWTHOR SUCCESS WITHOUTCHANGE.FROM CREATIVITY, INC.BY ED CATMULL 18. RANDOMNESS ISNOT JUST INEVITABLE;IT IS PART OF THE BEAUTYOF LIFE. ACKNOWLEDGING ITAND APPRECIATING IT HELPS USRESPOND CONSTRUCTIVELYWHEN WE ARE SURPRISED.Photo: Brave / Disney Pixar (2012)FROM CREATIVITY, INC. BY ED CATMULL 19. IF WE MAKE ROOMFOR IT INSTEADOF SHUNNING IT,THE UNKNOWN CANBRING INSPIRATIONAND ORIGINALITY.Photo: The Good Dinosaur / Disney Pixar (TBD: 2015) - Concept artFROM CREATIVITY, INC. BY ED CATMULL 20. WE MUSTMEET UNEXPECTEDPROBLEMS WITHUNEXPECTED RESPONSES.Photo: Up / Disney Pixar (2009)FROM CREATIVITY, INC. BY ED CATMULL 21. CHANGE ISINEVITABLEWORKING WITHCHANGE IS WHATCREATIVITY IS ABOUT.Photo: Monsters, Inc. / Disney Pixar (2001)FROM CREATIVITY, INC. BY ED CATMULL 22. IF YOU DONT TRY TO UNCOVERWHAT IS UNSEEN ANDUNDERSTAND ITS NATURE,YOU WILL BEILL PREPAREDTO LEAD.Photo: Monsters, Inc. / Disney Pixar (2001)FROM CREATIVITY, INC.BY ED CATMULL 23. ACKNOWLEDGING WHATYOU CANT SEEHELPS PROMOTEFLEXIBILITY.Photo: Finding Nemo / Disney Pixar (2003)FROM CREATIVITY, INC. BY ED CATMULL 24. THE MOST CREATIVEPEOPLE ARE WILLINGTO WORK INTHE SHADOW OFUNCERTAINTY.Photo: Monsters University / Disney Pixar (2013)FROM CREATIVITY, INC. BY ED CATMULL 25. I BELIEVE THATWE ALL HAVE THEPOTENTIAL TO SOLVEPROBLEMS AND EXPRESSOURSELVES CREATIVELY. WHATSTANDS IN OUR WAY ARE THESEHIDDEN BARRIERSTHEMISCONCEPTIONS AND ASSUMPTIONSTHAT IMPEDE US WITHOUTOUR KNOWING IT.Photo: Brave / Disney Pixar (2012) FROM CREATIVITY, INC. BY ED CATMULL 26. I BELIEVE THATYOU SHOULD NOTBE REQUIRED TO JUSTIFYEVERYTHING. WE MUSTALWAYS LEAVE THE DOOR OPENFOR THE UNEXPECTED.Photo: The Good Dinosaur / Disney Pixar (TBD: 2015) - Concept artFROM CREATIVITY, INC. BY ED CATMULL 27. THE ATTEMPTTO AVOID FAILUREMAKES FAILUREMORE LIKELY.Photo: A Bugs Life / Disney Pixar (1998)FROM CREATIVITY, INC. BY ED CATMULL 28. DRIVING THE TRAINDOESNT SETITS COURSE.THE REAL JOBIS LAYINGTHE TRACK.Photo: Toy Story 3 / Disney Pixar (2010)FROM CREATIVITY, INC.BY ED CATMULL 29. Photo: The Incredibles / Disney Pixar (2004)IN MY EXPERIENCE, CREATIVEPEOPLE DISCOVER ANDREALIZE THEIR VISIONSOVER TIME ANDTHROUGH DEDICATED,PROTRACTEDSTRUGGLE.FROM CREATIVITY, INC.BY ED CATMULL 30. EARNING TRUSTTAKES TIME; THERESNO SHORTCUT TOUNDERSTANDING THATWE REALLY DO RISE ANDFALL TOGETHER.Photo: WALL-E / Disney Pixar (2008)FROM CREATIVITY, INC. BY ED CATMULL 31. EASY ISNTTHE GOAL.QUALITY ISTHE GOAL.Photo: Monsters University / Disney Pixar (2013)FROM CREATIVITY, INC. BY ED CATMULL 32. WHAT IS THE POINT OFHIRING SMART PEOPLEIF YOU DONTEMPOWER THEMTO FIX WHATSBROKEN?Photo: Cars / Disney Pixar (2006)FROM CREATIVITY, INC.BY ED CATMULL 33. THERE IS NOTHINGLIKE A CRISIS TO BRINGWHAT AILS A COMPANYTO THE SURFACE.Photo: A Bugs Life / Disney Pixar (1998)FROM CREATIVITY, INC. BY ED CATMULL 34. MANAGERS OF CREATIVECOMPANIES MUST NEVERFORGET TO ASK THEMSELVES:HOW DO WE TAP THEBRAINPOWER OFOUR PEOPLE?Photo: Toy Story / Disney Pixar (1995)FROM CREATIVITY, INC.BY ED CATMULL 35. IT ISPRECISELY BYACTING ON OURINTENTIONS AND STAYINGTRUE TO OUR VALUES THATWE CHANGE THE WORLD.Photo: Ratatouille / Disney Pixar (2007)FROM CREATIVITY, INC. BY ED CATMULL 36. REALIMPROVEMENTCOMES FROMCONSISTENT RIGORAND PARTICIPATION.Photo: Brave / Disney Pixar (2012)FROM CREATIVITY, INC. BY ED CATMULL 37. IT ISMANAGEMENTSJOB TO FIGURE OUTHOW TO HELP OTHERSSEE CONFLICT AS HEALTHYAS A ROUTE TO BALANCE,WHICH BENEFITS US ALL INTHE LONG RUN.Photo: Toy Story 2 / Disney Pixar (1999)FROM CREATIVITY, INC. BY ED CATMULL 38. A BETTER MEASURE OF OUR SUCCESS ISTO LOOK AT THE PEOPLE ON OURTEAM AND SEE HOW THEYARE WORKING TOGETHER.CAN THEY RALLY TOSOLVE KEY PROBLEMS?IF THE ANSWER ISYES, YOU AREMANAGING WELL.Photo: Toy Story 3 / Disney Pixar (2010)FROM CREATIVITY, INC.BY ED CATMULL 39. Your complete guide to planning!and running a business.