Book Review: Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull

I was minding my own business (pun intended) while browsing the shelves of my local Chapters book store when I saw a huge poster on the wall advertising Creativity Inc. and I recognized right away that it featured an image from Pixar Studios! Immediately I went on a hunt for the book it was advertising.

Publisher: Random House Canada

Pages: 340

Type: Hardcover

ISBN: 978-0-307-36117-2

Date: 2014

And what a book it was! Most Disney/Pixar fans will pick up just about anything that is related to these companies. This book however may not find its way onto as many home bookshelves as say, The Art of Tangled or The Story of Walt Disney. Why?

Fair warning: You really need to love reading and the inner workings of business to enjoy, or even understand, this book. But that’s not a bad thing! Stick with it and you will learn some fascinating history behind the making of your favorite Pixar films along with some insights into the characters of the men and women who made them.

But especially this guy:

Ed Catmull

We all know about John Lasseter and Steve Jobs and their contributions to Pixar’s success. But there are many more people who have made the company’s continued growth and profit possible. Ed Catmull is among these people. And he is generous in noting the hard work of others!

I can’t say much more about the contents of this book. To quote anything would be to print it so radically out of context that it would be impossible to understand. I think the book needs to be considered as a whole by readers who get the medal for finishing it!

Review: I’d give the book a 4 out of 5 Stars. I think many will find it a tad dry and a bit of a slog to get through. But I also think this is due to the nature of the material, and its primary focus on business, and not due to Catmull’s writing. However, it isn’t a book for every Disney/Pixar fan so I have to lower its mark because of this hampered appeal.

Personally though I’d say ‘buy Creativity Inc.’ because if you’ve ever worked for a company that was abusive to employees and made you wonder where common sense went, you’ll be uplifted to see how Pixar became a company that put people first.

Eight Weeks

When Life Invades Disney

Life Invades Disney

When Life Invades Disney

By Mike Ellis.

Those of you that have been around since we kicked off our blog way back in September 2010 have probably noticed that I haven’t been around very much lately.  There’s a lot that goes into this, so for those that wish to know why, please keep reading.  As we wind down the calendar year 2015, I’ve got to tell you that I think this is perhaps the hardest year I’ve had to endure in my 47 years.  While certainly not every day has been a Debbie Downer, this year has had so many more significant events happen than in years past that it almost feels like all of the bad is being cashed in during this year. When life invades Disney, sometimes Disney has to take a back seat for a while…

It all kind of started back in April, with the passing of Cindy’s Uncle Ted.  He was a fine man, a Godly man, perhaps even a man after God’s own Heart, as was described of David in Acts 13:22.  After Uncle Ted’s passing, scarcely 6 weeks passed away before Cindy’s Uncle Sam unexpectedly passed away.  It was sudden, it was tragic, and it left a family that was grieving one loss having to grieve a second loss way too soon.  While we were in Montana for the funeral, our dog Regan got sick, and just a couple of days after we got back, we had to put him down because his hips stopped functioning — his quality of life was not good at that point, and we knew that he was suffering.  It was a hard decision, but it was the right decision.

In July we were looking forward to going to California for #Disneyland60.  Unfortunately, though, at the last minute, only Sophie and I could go — and while we had fun with Stephanie and Shane and loved seeing Sheila, Randy and Jagan, for me at least, the trip was not nearly as fun because my soul mate was not able to enjoy it with me.  Then, while we were there, I learned that Cindy’s Uncle Walter passed away — also unexpectedly.  So, in 12 weeks, we had lost three of Cindy’s uncles as well as Regan.

Then, to pile on while “they” could, I learned on August 3rd, 2015 that the company I used to work for, UNC-TV, had made the incredibly stupid decision to outsource their entire IT department effective October 31st.  Just like that, with 18 1/2 years of permanent time with the state of North Carolina, I was losing my job, as were the men and women that I worked with in that department.

UNC-TV is a state agency, and also a member station for the PBS — and if you contribute to UNC-TV, that’s your decision to do so.  However, if you knew some of the things that I know, you would probably not donate to that organization.

All of that takes us to today.  Where are things right now?  Well, for starters, I’m still looking for work.  If you know anyone that is looking for a networking or network security guy, then please have them take a look at my LinkedIn profile.

As I mentioned earlier, things are not all bad — I have a family that loves me and cares for me, we have savings to see us through all of these difficult times, we know God and know that He has a plan for us, and we are listening to what His plan is.  The right job will appear when it is time, so right now I’m learning some patience to see me through these days.  It’s going to be okay.

As I’m sure you are aware, though, when life invades Disney, unfortunately life wins, and Disney has to take a back seat.  I’ve been thinking really hard about what I should write, if anything, to talk about my absence, but I like what I’ve written here.  Being able to reflect on it allows me to see it for what it is, and also for what it isn’t.  For example, this isn’t the end by any stretch.  It was a break, a time to step away for a while, to focus on things that needed to be focused on more, and a time look inward to see what direction this blog is going to take.  Now, after many months of stagnate pixels, I think I have an idea, and I think I’m ready to pick up the writing some.  Thank you for reading this far, and thank you in advance for your prayers, thoughts, Pixie Dust, and everything else you will do for my family in the days, weeks, and months ahead.

My hope and wish is that My Dreams of Disney will once again become one of the places you go to in your day to get a Disney fix.  I don’t know when that will be, or how often, but I hope it does become one of those sites you turn to.  Until then, thanks for stopping by, and let’s go have a great Disney day!

Working on the Blog

technical-difficulties-star-wars-dark-side-difficulties-demotivational-poster-1255054626 Hello everyone, I wanted to take a moment and let you know that I’m working on the theming for the blog — so for a while, you may see things change drastically.  Thanks for your patience and cooperation, and if there is something that you would like to see incorporated into the new theme, please let me know.

 

Thanks!

 

Mike