Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull

Part I. Getting Started

Chapter I. Animated

  • 토이스토리의 성공으로 픽사가 큰 회사로 성장한 후, 회의실 기다란 책상 가운데 자리에 앉게 되자 기다란 책상의 양 끝에서는 자유롭게 의견을 개진할 수 없다는 것이 보이지 않게 되어버림
  • I’ve made a policy of trying to hire people who are smarter than I am.
  • Sharing discoveries and creating communities: My view was that we were all so far from achieving our goal that to hoard ideas only impeded our ability to get to the finish line.
  • George has said that he hired me because of my honesty, my “clarity of vision,” and my steadfast belief in what computers do.
  • A research lab is not a university, and the structure didn’t scale well.
  • Clearly, it wasn’t enough for managers to have good ideas — they had to be able to engender support for those ideas among people who’d be charged with employing them.

Chapter II. Pixar is Born

  • 데모 애니메이션 후반 작업을 못 하고 보여줬는데도 사람들은 알아채지 못함: For all the care you put into artistry, visual polish frequently doesn’t matter if your are getting the story right.
  • Seeking simple answers to complex questions

Chapter IV. Estabilshing Pixar’s Identity

  • Braintrust: an ability to analyze the emotional beats of a movie without any of its members themselves getting emotional or defensive.
  • Getting the team right is the necessary precursor to getting the ideas right.
  • Creative venture: focus on people — work habits, talents, values. Hire good people, figure out what they needed, assign them to projects that matched their skills, and make sure they functioned good together.
  • Advertisers look for words that imply a product’s value and use that as a substitute for value itself. […] It must be an earned word, attributed by others to us, not proclaimed by us about ourselves. It is the responsilibty of good leaders to make sure that words remain attached to the meanings and ideals they represent.

Part II. Protecting the New

Chapter 5. Honesty and Candor

  • Braintrust: arguing about the project, not motivated by the kinds of things — getting credit for an idea, pleasing their supervisors, winning a point just to say you did
  • 만든 사람은 어떤 생각을 가지고 만들었기 때문에 그게 영화에서 보이지만, 그게 충분히 구현되어 있지 않으면 그게 만든 사람 눈에만 보이고 다른 사람에게는 보이지 않을 수 있다.
  • A good note says what is wrong, what is missing, what isn’t clear, what makes no sense, offered at a timely moment, not too late to fix the problem, doesn’t make demands; it doesn’t even have to include a proposed fix, but if it does, that fix is offered only to illustrate a potential solution, not to prescribe an answer, and is specific.

Chapter 6. Fear and Failure

  • 실패는 누구에게나 두려운 것. 조직적으로 이를 제어하지 못하면 아무도 시도하지 못한다.
  • When experimentation is seen as necessary and productive, not as a frustrating waste of time, people will enjoy their work — even when it is confounding them.
  • In general, I have found that people who pour their energy into thinking about an approach and insisting that it is too early to act are wrong just as often as people who dive in and work quickly. The overplanners just take longer to be wrong (and, when things inevitably go awry, are more crushed by the feeling that they have failed)

Chapter 7. The Hungry Beast and the Ugly Baby

  • Hungry beast: 매출을 drive하는 검증된 매출원, valuable motivator
  • Ugly baby: 오리지널하지만 아직 무르익지 않은 아이디어 수준의 시도, pure, full of potential, needy, unpredictable
  • Hungry beast는 ugly baby를 먹어치움
  • When someone hatches an original idea, it may be ungainly and poorly defined, but it is also the opposite of estabilished and entrenched — and that is precisely what is most exciting about it.
  • 이 둘을 평화롭게 공존시키는 것이 중요하다
  • If inefficiencies result in anyone waiting too long, if the majority of your people arn’t engaged in the work that drives your revenue most of the time, you risk being devoured from the inside our.
  • Frequently, the people in charge of the Beast are the most organized people in the company. When those people and their interests become too powerful — when there is not sufficient push-back to protect new ideas — things go wrong.
  • Each group is focused on its own needs, which means that no one has a clear view of how their decisions impact other groups. (…) If any one of those groups “wins,” we lose.
  • To view lack of conflict as optimum is like saying a sunny day is optimum. (…) But if every day is sunny and it doesn’t rain, things don’t grow.
  • Managers should reestablish balance.
  • I often say that managers of creative enterprises must hold lightly to goals and firmly to intentions.
  • 인턴 제도: Teaching them Pixar’s ways made our people examine how they did things, which led to improvements for all.
  • “In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgement. (…) But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new.”

Chapter 8. Change and Randomness

  • People want to hang on to things that work. You figure something out, it works, so you keep doing it. (…) And as we become successful, our approaches are reinforced, and we become even more resistant to change.
  • Change is going to happen, whether we like it or not. Some people see random, unforeseen events as something to fear. I am not one of those people. To my mind, randomness is not just inevitable; it is part of the beauty of life.
  • 방향을 잃고 무너졌을 때: “When this happens, it’s unusually because I feel like the world is crashing down and all is lost. One trick I’ve learned is to force myself to make a list of what’s actually wrong. Usually, soon into making the list, I find I can group most of the issues into two or three larger all-encompassing problems. So it’s really not all that bad. Having a finite list of problems is much better than having an illogical feeling that everything is wrong.”
  • If we allow more poeple to slolve problems without permission, and if we tolerate (and don’t vilify) their mistakes, then we enable a much larger set of problems to be addressed.

Chapter 9. The Hidden

  • 스티브 잡스가 픽사를 상장하려고 했던 이유: 분명히 언젠가는 실패하게 될텐게 그 때를 버틸 수 있는 돈을 쟁여두기 위해서. 그러나 실패를 하지 않았다는 아이러니.
  • Core management belief: If you don’t try to uncover what is unseen and understand its nature, you will be ill prepared to lead.
  • Facing complexity: 일반적으로는 “we can uncover and understand every facet of every problem if we just try hard enough” 하지만 이건 오류임. 더 좋은 생각은 “accept that we can’t understand every facet of a complex environment and to focus, instead, on techniques to deal with combining different viewpoints.”
  • The eagerness to get going can be counterproductive. 나중에 이미 해놓은 걸 다시 해야할 수도 있음.
  • Acknowledging the hidden: an essential part of rooting out what impedes our progress — clinging to what works, fearing change, and deluding ourselves about our roles in our success.

Part III. Building and Sustaining

Chapter 10. Broadening Our View

  • Our (established) models of the world so distort what we perceive that they can make it hard to see what is right in front of us.
  • 세계는 끊임없이 변한다. Model should be updated every moment.
  • When the embarrassment goes away, people become more creative.
  • Limits force us to rethink how we are working and push us to new heights of creativity.
  • 일반적인 회사에서는 당신이 시도하는 일을 justify해야한다. 하지만, you should not be required to justify everything. We must always leave the door open for the unexpected: Pixar’s short film. 정당화하기 어려움.
  • 단편영화: 처음에는 기술 시험대나 인재 등용문으로 쓰려고 했으나 장편과 너무 달라서 쓸모가 없음. 좋은 점은 넓은 경험을 해볼 수 있다는 것. 작은 팀으로 작품을 완성시키기 때문.
  • 영화의 한 장면의 문제가 될 경우, 대부분은 다른 장면을 함께 고쳐야함. 제작자는 단지 지금 문제되는 장면에 집중할 게 아니라, 스토리의 다른 부분을 보며 해결책을 찾아야함.
  • “We are successful, so what we are doing must be correct”, “We failed, so what we did was wrong”: 이렇게 하면 안됨
  • Postmortem: Consolidate what’s been learned, Teach others who weren’t there, Don’t let resentments fester, Use the schedule to force reflection, Pay it forward.
  • No matter how much you urge them otherwise, your people will be afraid to be critical in such an overt manner. Make a list of top 5 things you would/wouldn’t do again.
  • Keep the beginner’s mind: Don’t make yourself more prone to repeat yourself than to create something new. The attempt to avoid failure makes failure more likely.

Chapter 11. The Unmade Future

  • Future is about relying on our guiding principles, our intentions, and our goals. It’s NOT about being able to see and react to what’s coming before it happens.
  • Creating the unmade future: All we can do is foster the optimal conditions in which it — whatever “it” is — can emerge and flourish.
  • Moving quickly is a plus because it prevents him from getting stuck worrying about whether his chosen course of action is the wrong one.
  • The leader can never lose the confidence of his or her crew. As long as you have been candid and had good reasons for making your (now-flawed-in-retrospect) decisions, your crew will keep rowing.

Part IV. Testing What We Know

Chapter 12. A New Challenge

  • Disney: there seemed to be undue emphasis put on preventing errors.
  • 2년치 계획을 세세하게 열심히 완벽하게 짜는 것. 잠재적인 가능성을 해침. “It’s human nature that you will focus only on making it come true. You will stop thinking about other possibilities. You will narrow your thinking and defend this plan because your name will be on it and you will feel responsible.”
\Open mind and Plan

Chapter 13. Notes Day

  • Creative people must accept that challenges never cease, failure can’t be avoided, and “vision” is often an illusion.
  • The leaders of the company don’t say, “What the hell are you guys going to do about it?” Instead there is talk of “our” problem and of what “we” can do to solve it together.
  • Low cost and risk-taking: When costs are low, it’s easier to justify taking a risk. 비용이 높으면 감당할 수 있는 위험에 한계가 생김.

Afterword. The Steve We Knew

  • Steve understood the value of science and law, but he also understood that complex systems respond in nonlinear, unpredictable ways. And that creativity, at its best, surprises us all.

Starting Points

  • Give a mediocre idea to a great team, and they will either fix it or come up with something better.
  • When looking to hire people, give their potential to grow more weight than their current skill level. What they will be capable of tomorrow is more important than what they can do today.
  • As a manager, you must coax ideas out of your staff and constantly push them to contribute.
  • Delete Fear.
  • Seek to uncover what’s real.
  • Share problems.
  • Measuring the outcome without evaluating the process is deceiving.
  • The cost of preventing errors is often far greater than the cost of fixing them.
  • Change and uncertainty are part of life. Our job is not to resist them but to build the capability to recover when unexpected events occur.
  • It is not the manager’s job to prevent risks. It is the manager’s job to make it safe to take them.
  • Failure is a necessary consequence of doing something new.
  • Trust means you trust them even when they do screw up.
  • Finding and fixing problems is everybody’s job. Anyone should be able to stop the production line.
  • The desire for everything to run smoothly is a false goal — it leads to measuring people be the mistakes they make rather than by their ability to solve problems.
  • Don’t wait for things to be perfect before you share them with others. Show early and show often. It’ll be pretty when we get there, but it won’t be pretty along the way. And that’s as it should be.
  • Everybody should be able to talk to anybody.
  • Be wary of making too many rules. Don’t create rules to rein in the other 5 percent — address abuses of common sense individually. This is more work but ultimately healthier.
  • An organization is more conservative and resistant to change than the individuals who comprise it.
  • If one agenda wins, we all lose.
  • Protect new ideas from those who don’t understand. There must be phases of not-so-greatness. Protect the future, not the past.
  • New crises test and demonstrate a company’s values. They bond people together and keeps the culture in the present.
  • Stability shouldn’t be a goal. Balance should be a goal.



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Jongyoun Kim

Jongyoun Kim

CEO, Scatter Lab ( / Interests: AI, Startup, Uncertainty & Probability, Stoic, Relationship, Finance