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Geek Trivia: What was Steve Jobs's original business plan for Pixar?

Steve Jobs bought Pixar with no intention of making it a major animation house -- he had an entirely different business plan in mind.

The late Steve Jobs is rightfully recognized as a tireless innovator with an unflinching vision of how his company, his products, and even his world should work. Most people associate that vision with the computer maker that Jobs co-founded, Apple, but he had nearly as much influence over his other major business success -- Pixar.

Steve Jobs owned Pixar for 20 years, from the moment it ceased to be a division of George Lucas's cinematic empire until the day Pixar was bought out by the Walt Disney Company.

(In the process, Jobs actually acquired more shares of Disney than he owned of Apple, and his 138 million Disney shares were worth about seven times more than his 5.4 million Apple slices. Jobs died the single largest shareholder of Disney stock.)

During Jobs's tenure at the helm, Pixar became indisputably the premier computer animation house on earth, and arguably the most successful animation studio -- computer or otherwise -- in the world.

Perhaps the reason Jobs doesn't get as much credit for his success at the head of Pixar is that, for all his business acumen, it was the creative staff headed by John Lasseter that deserves as much if not more accolades for Pixar's animation domination. Having the likes of Brad Bird, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton, and Lee Unkrich around certainly didn't hurt, either.

Still, the most compelling reason for overlooking Jobs's role at Pixar is likely that, when Jobs bought Pixar, he had no intention of making it a major animation house. In fact, Jobs had an entirely different business plan in mind when he acquired Pixar in 1986.

WHAT WAS STEVE JOBS'S ORIGINAL BUSINESS PLAN FOR PIXAR?

Get the answer.

About

Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger -- amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can a...

5 comments
lucien86
lucien86

Hey I'm English and Scunthorpe IS a small - medium sized British town. Near the seaside, grotty, and very industrial with several steel smelters. Lovely Views.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

That's "the Troll's mirror" in English, and is a reference to the tale the Ice Queen by H.C. Andersen. Troldspejlet was a groundbreaking danish public TV show for geekeries of all kinds, putting geek interests in the cool zone since 1989. The short was genius. It functioned as such, and if it showcased the capabilities of the PIC machine, it showcased the potential for computer animated movies even more. Proof of concept.

maj37
maj37

You make it sound like Pixar was something else and Jobs tried to turn it into a H/W company. From your descriptions a H/W company is all that Jobs bought so his business plan wasn't any differant than what the plan was before he bought it.

Jay Garmon
Jay Garmon

...by continuing to fund Lasseter's animation group even when Pixar was hemorrhaging money. Good thing, too.

scndtnr
scndtnr

...or was "goof" just a slip?

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