Pixar Animation Studios Main Gate Photo

An excellent front page story by Claudia Eller on Pixar’s Ed Catmull in today’s L.A. Times (registration may be required). Couple of quotes from the article worth noting:

“Sometimes, it’s the leadership that’s blocking something,” Catmull said in a recent interview in his new office at Disney, a place where animators have griped for decades about being micromanaged. “I’ve always believed that you shape the management team around the talent rather than try to force people into a certain way of doing it.”

Later in the piece Eller notes several of Catmull’s managerial beliefs:

Ed believes that you should always hire people who are smarter than you.Ed believes that it’s more important to invest in good people than good ideas.Ed believes in a “talent-ocracy.” If you make films for everybody, you need to listen to everybody’s ideas, whether they come from a janitor or a storyboard artist.Ed believes that you learn by making mistakes and that success often disguises problems.Ed believes that magic happens when you don’t operate out of fear.