I wanted to share with you my summary of a book written by the President of one of the most creative companies in the world, Ed Catmull of Pixar.
Key takeaways from the book:
- A campus like Pixar or Google that allows for creative space and bumping into other coworkers allows for more creativity as people are in closer proximity all the time.
- How you structure the meeting room table is important. Make sure it allows inclusiveness for everyone, including lower-tier male and female employees to belong and #leanin.
- What seems like a tragedy at the time may be your biggest blessing in the future. Warren Buffett’s rejection from Harvard lead him to his mentor that shaped his investing life. Your rejection or hard times may be what fuels you to learn more and better yourself to succeed even more in the future (Steve Jobs is a great example). In the book’s case, the author wanted to be like Walt Disney but wasn’t good enough to develop the skills to do that, although he was close. If he was good enough, Pixar may not have existed.
- The tech start-up world is not for everyone and that’s ok. We all have different abilities. Pixar, like other tech companies like Paypal, literally hemorrhaged millions of dollars a month for a while before they succeeded. It is often not the smartest decision to be in a company that had so much risk and is losing that much money. There are many types of businesses, some that are profitable and stay that way from day 1. You do not have to go about it through this risky, stressful route.
- Having said that, Steve Jobs had enough faith not to sell the company after losing a lot of money for a while. He got offers from many companies to buy it, including Microsoft, for millions of dollars. His reasoning was that if it was still worth something, it’s worth sticking it through until it succeeded.
- Like many tech companies, they succeed by pivoting. Most tech businesses fail because of lack of pivoting. Pixar was willing to shift to trying to sell something different in order to succeed.
Here’s my video opinion of the book, Creativity Inc:
I’m not the only one who liked the book. Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook reads 1 book a week (or at least tries to). He recently read Creativity, Inc. too. It’s actually a pretty well known book in the right circles.
They both voice a concept that is echoed in one of my favorite books of all time, Good to Great.
I think it’s probably one of the most important concepts in business. Remember this if you forget everything else from this post: Get the right employees in the company first, the rest will work itself out.