The Critical Path #119: Creativity and Engineering

Predictions of the iPhone Portfolio, big screen phones and what they are good for, and a tentative review of Ed Catmull’s “Creativity, Inc”

5by5 | The Critical Path #119: Creativity and Engineering.

  • Jonathan Sugai

    A useful model for understanding values and human behavior is detailed in The Values Factor by Dr. John Demartini. Demartini’s Values model based on Axiology, assisted me in understanding Creativity Inc. A worthy read.

  • AJL

    My reading of the book is that it really describes an experiment where empathy is allowed to be a disruptive agent in the process of creativity. And Pixar demonstrates that if empathy is part of the creative process the usual limits do not apply.

  • stefnagel

    Am I the only one who becomes very uncomfortable when Moisés grabs the wheel? I don’t subscribe to get his take on tech. Bought Creatvity. It’s not the Second Coming. Good read tho’.

    • I found it a terrible read and very nearly the Second Coming.

      • stefnagel

        Only a bad read if you expected something more than a memoir. Otherwise it’s a thoughtfully presented recollection.

        I worked as a manager at a nonprofit publishing for decades. Respecting, recruiting, and directing the talents of staff was mother’s milk.

        Drucker loved that about nonprofits: their creativity, their commitment to change.

    • graphex

      ‘Uncomfortable” is a nicer word for it, but thankfully the + channel button on my steering wheel jumps ahead 30 seconds.

  • Gary Brockie


    Thanks for pointing out that Engineering is a creative endeavor. It may rarely cross into the region of art but, at its core Engineering is taking your education in math and Science adding your intuition to solve problems in the real world.

    For 34 years I worked as an Electronic Engineer and almost half of that time I designed Printed Wiring Assemblies both the electronics, and the board layout. I almost like board layout better than the circuit design. For me it was the same sort of satisfaction that one gets in working out a crossword puzzle.

    The best sort of program to work on is an EDM (Engineering Development Model). This is where a system requirements are specified but, the first design is not expected to be a production run configuration. This is a great way to try new and breaking technologies without committing to a less than practical end product for your customer. It’s good to push the envelope once in a while.

    Creativity is also a great reason why there are so many startups in Silicon Valley. Many engineers who feel their ideas are ignored can always leave the company that they are with, and start their own company. I’m sure that this keeps Apple and Google execs up at night. It’s not just about the money.

    BTW just watched American Experience Silicon Valley on the PBS feed on my Apple TV two days ago. This was part of the reason that culture evolved the way that it did. I think that the program will still be available for streaming for a couple of more days. Also the American Experience on Henry Ford is interesting.