320期 / 荐书:皮克斯的创意秘技 - Creativity Inc.

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Creativity Inc. 读完,创意工作者特别是创意行业的管理者必读的一本书。Ed Catmull是Pixar的最早创始人,也是和John Lassette、Steve Jobs合为Pixar黄金三角的最重要角色,这本书除了讲述Pixar的发展历程,更注重于如何对于创意工作者进行管理(这方面谁会比Pixar更有发言权?)最关键的因素就是:管理者要创造一个允许犯错的安全环境,这样大家的才华才会充分发挥。这不是说说,举个例子:玩具总动员2的过程文件曾经被全部误删除,100多人的团队2年多的工作付之东流,这个错误算是严重了吧?但某员工因为在家办公居多,家里电脑同步了最新的过程文件,于是损失最后只有一周的工作量。Pixar怎么处理这个重大错误的?不予追究。他们甚至没去查是谁删除的文件。这就是“安全的允许犯错的环境”。

作者Ed用了若干章的篇幅来描述自己和Steve Jobs共事的经历,和苹果员工眼中的暴戾的老板乔布斯不同,Pixar的乔布斯简直是完美的领导:对外犀利地维护Pixar的权利,对内激励员工发挥出最大潜能,永远对事不对人,完全尊重创作者,只要你能在逻辑和专业上说服他。和其他传记作者眼中的乔布斯不一样,Ed和他共事了25年,几乎算是与乔布斯共事时间最长的人,他眼中的乔布斯,展现出更令人愿意追随的一面。当然,被他蹂躏的人也不少,比如超人总动员的导演John Lassette和他第一次开会,就被怼得有些盯不住……

作为个人从这本书里可以学到什么?除了重视失败之外,我觉得最重要的是去除“项目按计划进行”的幻觉。任何项目都不可能按计划完美滴实现,过程必然充满不确定性,必须有自己的模型或方法来面对,否则永远不会宁静。Scrum算是一种方法(对于dev),对于设计师,双钻石设计流程算是一种。不过我最喜欢书里介绍的Pixar独创的Brain Trust会,建立在绝对信任基础上的专业批评会,完全针对作品的攻击,向往。

Creativity Inc. shows us how the most creative team of this planet manage their people and project, and what makes Pixar became a legendary company. The book is so good that when I listened to the audiobook, I always felt guilty that I occasionally missed some part. The content is too good to miss.

The most important thing that makes Pixar extraordinary is the attitude towards failure. The founders of Pixar do all the things they can to create a safe atmosphere for making mistakes. Because they believe when you dare to fail, you are more likely to create something different. They do not just say some pretty words. For example, the whole project file of Toy Story 2 was deleted by accident, which meant 2 years hard working of a 100 man's team would be wasted. By pure luck, the file was restored from a work from home employee's computer. They didn't punish the people deleted the file after that. Actually, they didn't even try to find out who deleted the file. That's the attitude of letting the people fail and learn from it.

I was touched by the part about Steve Jobs in this book. Steve created the roadmap of Pixar in the early days, and protected this company with his fierce business instinct, Pixar also makes Steve a better leader and visionary by shows him the perfect way of combine art and technology. Ed Catmull worked with Steve for more than 25 years, the Steve in this book is different from other books, which I dream to work for.

One thing really makes Pixar different from other competitors, is the storytelling. It is the hardest part of making a movie, and it is an art. As a designer, I should learn the methodologies and the frameworks of working, which is the technology part, but I also need to focus on the emotion and the story, which is the art part. Art challenges technology, and technology inspires art.


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