Saturday, August 1, 2015
This is an issue I have thought a lot about over the years. Once, I was having lunch with the president of another movie studio, who told me that his biggest problem was not finding good people; it was finding good ideas. I remember being stunned when he said that - it seemed patently false to me, in part because I'd found the exact opposite to be true on Toy Story 2. I resolved to test whether what seemed a given to me was, in fact, a common belief. So for the next couple of years I made a habit, when giving talks, of posing the question to my audience: Which is more valuable, good ideas or good people? No matter whether I was talking to retired business executives or students, to high school principals or artists, when I asked for a show of hands, the audiences would be split 50-50. (Statisticians will tell you that when you get a perfect split like this, it doesn't mean that have know the right answer - it means they are all guessing, picking at random, as if flipping a coin.)
People think so little about this, in all these years, only one person in an audience has ever pointed out the false dichotomy. To me the answer should be obvious: Ideas come from people. Therefore, people are more important than ideas.
-Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming The Unseen Forces That Stand In The Way Of True Inspiration.