NOTE TO E-MAIL SUBSCRIBERS: Please see this post in your inbox for a recording of the recent 2.5-hour live Q&A. Not on the email list? Sign up here and get extras like this for free.
This podcast is brought to you by The Tim Ferriss Book Club, which features a handful of books that have changed my life. Here’s the list. You can also find all 20+ episodes of this podcast here. Some are sober and some are drunk, so you can roll the dice.
Now, on to our guest…
Ed Catmull is co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios (along with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter) and president of Pixar Animation and Disney Animation. Ed has received five Academy Awards, and — as a computer scientist — he has contributed to many important developments in computer graphics. He is the author of Creativity, Inc., which Forbes has said “just might be the best business book ever written.” (!)
This episode touches on a lot, including lessons learned from George Lucas and Steve Jobs, the origins of Pixar, personal challenges, routines, and much more.
Show notes and links are below. Enjoy!
Show Notes and Select Links from the Episode
- Why Ed felt a sense of loss, despite a streak of successes after Toy Story in 1995
- The misleading question most people ask themselves when they become “successful”
- Why, after wanting to be an artist for most of his childhood, he switched his focus from animation to physics
- The congruence of art, storytelling, and science
- Why experiencing crises on each project is essential for building a strong, creative team
- How Ed connected to the ancient tradition of oral storytelling due to his inability to read poetry
- The importance of having “breadth” of knowledge while deep-diving into specialization
- Stories of George Lucas’ innovative decisions
- The arc in the mythology of Steve Jobs, and what everybody missed
- Why Steve Jobs decided to take Pixar public one week after Toy Story’s opening
- Which Pixar movies caused major challenges and had to be re-worked
- Why all Pixar movies suck at the very early stages
- Pixar’s secret to creating stories and movies
- The one film Pixar abandoned and the reasons
- The book Ed gifts most often
- Ed’s daily meditation practice
- Why he would not give his twenty-year-old self advice, even if he could
LINKS FROM THE EPISODE
- Visit the Tim Ferriss Book Club to find a new book each month (or so) that’s changed my life
- Learn more about Alfred Lee Loomis
- Pixar Animation Studios
- Find out more about George Lucas
- Learn more about Steve Jobs
- The Teaching Company
- History of England from the Tudors to the Stuarts
- Learn about Vipassana meditation
Books Mentioned in the Episode
- Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull
- The Hero’s Journey by Joseph Campbell
- The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
- One Monster After Another by Mercer Mayer
Posted on: August 12, 2014.
Please check out Tribe of Mentors, my newest book, which shares short, tactical life advice from 100+ world-class performers. Many of the world's most famous entrepreneurs, athletes, investors, poker players, and artists are part of the book. The tips and strategies in Tribe of Mentors have already changed my life, and I hope the same for you. Click here for a sample chapter and full details. Roughly 90% of the guests have never appeared on my podcast.
Who was interviewed? Here's a very partial list: tech icons (founders of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Pinterest, Spotify, Salesforce, Dropbox, and more), Jimmy Fallon, Arianna Huffington, Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York), Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ben Stiller, Maurice Ashley (first African-American Grandmaster of chess), Brené Brown (researcher and bestselling author), Rick Rubin (legendary music producer), Temple Grandin (animal behavior expert and autism activist), Franklin Leonard (The Black List), Dara Torres (12-time Olympic medalist in swimming), David Lynch (director), Kelly Slater (surfing legend), Bozoma Saint John (Beats/Apple/Uber), Lewis Cantley (famed cancer researcher), Maria Sharapova, Chris Anderson (curator of TED), Terry Crews, Greg Norman (golf icon), Vitalik Buterin (creator of Ethereum), and nearly 100 more. Check it all out by clicking here.