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Ed Catmull Details Secrets of Pixar’s Success at Harvard Business Review

by on September 4, 2008

Dr. Ed Catmull, co-founder and president of Pixar Animation Studios, has written a lengthy article for the Harvard Business Review detailing his views on what makes Pixar a successful company. Titled “How Pixar Fosters Collective Creativity,” the article begins with a meeting between Catmull and the head of a major motion picture studio who claimed that his central problem was not in finding good people, but finding good ideas.

In countering this executive’s opinion, Catmull details how his formative years in academia and Lucasfilm led to the founding of Pixar, how the risk-averse nature of executives is antithetical to creativity, and how the difficult production of Toy Story 2 was pivotal to creating the current environment at the company. Finally, Catmull describes the Pixar work environment in detail, explaining the origins and execution of their practices and how they have contributed to the success of the studio’s films.

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