Ed Catmull Quotes
Total quotes (15)
Total quotes (15)
The truth is, as challenges emerge, mistakes will always be made, and our work is never done. We will always have problems, many of which are hidden from our view; we must work to uncover them and assess our own role in them, even if doing so means making ourselves uncomfortable; when we then come across a problem, we must marshal all our energies to solve it.
Most of us walk around thinking that our view is best— probably because it is the only one we really know. You'd think the fact that we all have major misunderstandings with people at times—squabbles over what was said or what was meant— would clue us in to the reality that so incredibly much is hidden from us. But, no. We have to learn, over and over again, that the perceptions and experiences of others are vastly different than our own. In a creative environment, those differences can be assets. But when we don't acknowledge and honor them, they can erode, rather than enrich, our creative work.
It isn't enough to pick a path — you must go down it. By doing so, you see things you couldn't possibly see when you started out; you may not like what you see, some of it may be confusing, but at least you will have, as we like to say, 'explored the neighborhood.' The key point here is that even if you decide you're in the wrong place, there is still time to head toward the right place. And all the thinking you've done that led you down that alley was not wasted. Even if most of what you've seen doesn't fit your needs, you inevitably take away ideas that will prove useful. Relatedly, if there are parts of the neighborhood you like but that don't seem helpful in the quest you're on, you will remember those parts and possibly use them later.
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 half know the right answer— it means that they are all guessing , picking at random ideas... Why are we confused about this? Because too many of us think of ideas as being singular, as if they float in the ether, fully formed and independent of the people who wrestle with them. Ideas, though, are not singular. They are forged through tens of thousands of decisions, often made by dozens of people.