Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

Pixar co-founder Steve Jobs passed away this afternoon. He was 56.

I am typing this on an old Powerbook G4, and moderating comments on my iPhone. For all his visionary leadership, which you’ll be reading about everywhere else in the next few days, it’s important to remember it was Steve Jobs who had enough faith in the future of computer graphics to save Pixar by buying it from George Lucas in 1986. It was Jobs who fought for the first Pixar feature film and maintained the working relationship with Disney – despite difficult times with Michael Eisner – which led to the historic acquisition of Pixar by Disney in 2006. As Disney’s largest stockholder, Jobs was a member of its Board of Directors, and had installed Ed Catmull as President of Pixar and Disney Animation, and named John Lasseter to Chief Creative Officer.

Pixar, of course, is the leader in computer animated feature films. Apple is the number one computer maker in the United States. Jobs was an innovator, a visionary and yes, an artist. He allowed Pixar to flourish and develop the creative atmosphere that allowed the greatest animated features (so far) of the 21st Century to exist.

Thank you, Mr. Jobs. Rest In Peace.

(Photo above: Ed Catmull, Steve Jobs, Robert Iger, John Lasseter in 2006)

  • Seni Oyewole

    Rest in peace, Mr. Jobs. Thanks for revolutionizing technology.

  • A Long Time Observer

    After I turned to CNN and was smacked by the news, I shouted so loudly I got the dog overexcited. I was optimistic (worst case scenario) he had years, but I had no idea he would die in a month. I feel for his family tonight.

    So glad he saw potential in something someone else didn’t [PIXAR]. That kind of thinking? Same as an ANIMATOR.

  • Jay Sabicer

    From my facebook post:

    Apart from my own volition and the encouragement of my family, Steve Jobs had made the greatest impact in my life. Without his persistent focus on his vision of a personal computer that anyone, ANYONE could use, it’s likely that without him, the majority of us would be still pushing pencils, using typewriters and fax machines today. My path as an artist most likely would have gone a different way, if at all.

    He was one of the few people of his generation that radically changed how the entire world works, plays and communicates. And if that wasn’t enough, he did it with style.

    He now stands alongside the immortals in humanity’s collective consciousness, with Ford, Tesla, Picasso, Edison, Lennon, Disney, Einstein, Henson and all the others who have transformed the human race. I mourn his loss, along with the countless others who have him to thank for transforming their lives.

    Thank you Steve, for allowing me to “think different”–even though that isn’t grammatically correct, I’m sure the English teachers working on their laptop computers and/or iPads will give you a pass.

    • OtherDan

      I’m sure that “Think Different” was a very deliberate choice. Because he was a “private person”, it seems most of the clues about what was actually in Job’s mind are found in his choices. We know he was meticulous and calculating. When I try to decipher that particular marketing choice, I think the questions are: ‘Think how?’, or ‘Think what?’. If it had been “Think Differently”, I think it would be saying ‘how’ to think. But, I think he meant to answer the question of ‘what’ to think. It’s a singular yet ambiguous answer to that question.

  • eeteed

    so sad.

    so unfair.


  • Mike

    A real leader. So rare these days. He’ll be missed.

  • Nick

    Thank You Steve.

  • pizzaforeveryone

    very sad. I know for a fact–if not for the chubby little iMac I cut movies with in middle school, I would not be working in animation today. he’s helped democratize filmmaking for individuals, meanwhile founding a company exemplifying the pinnacle of collaboration.

  • Brian Mitchell

    There’s so few innovators that really make a difference in the world. Steve Jobs was one of the few.
    I don’t know if its’ just me, but why does it seem that people like this leave this earth way too soon?

    • Paul N

      It’s not just you…

  • Brian Mitchell

    There’s many leaders…and many will be forgotten.
    Steve Jobs won’t be.

  • Steve Gattuso

    If for nothing else, his unwavering faith in Pixar is reason enough to give him a fond farewell.