Review — Creativity, Inc
I was pretty excited to start reading ‘Creativity, Inc’ by Ed Catmull only to be thoroughly disappointed. So disappointed that I put the book down despite some decent yet obvious takeaways. It is yet another business book that couldn’t decide if it wanted to be a memoir with some business lessons or a business book with some memoir stirred in. In any event, I don’t recommend this book.
Fact of the matter is that we’ve all seen and probably even love a Pixar film or two. Personally I am a fan of the first few ‘Toy Story’ films and ‘The Incredibles’ but I digress. It would have been interesting to hear how some of these were made in some kind of narrative. While Catmull tries to do that, the poor writing, agonizingly long examples and painful overuse of rhetorical questions ended up making me not give damn how anything at Pixar works. I do find it kind of ironic that a book about an organization renowned for its story telling can put together any kind of a narrative.
The high level takeaway from this book for me was to be reminded of some things that we sometimes overlook. For example on page 169 where Catmull states, “If you don’t try to uncover what is unseen and understand its nature, you will be ill prepared to lead.” Well yeah but how often do you think about it this way?
Overall the takeaways were not enough to save this book from the donation pile. There are plenty of other business books out there worth your time and energy. Take a pass on this one.