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.

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