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)


  • http://oyetoons.deviantart.com 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.

    rip.

  • http://www.mikeadair.com Mike

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

  • Nick

    Thank You Steve.

  • http://www.stephenneary.blogspot.com 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.

  • http://mitchellsketch.blogspot.com/ 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…

  • http://mitchellsketch.blogspot.com/ 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.

    Thanks, Steve.

  • Donomator

    There have only been two people I’ve considered to be so important to the world, now both of them are gone (The other person was Walt Disney).

  • http://artnote.blog.com Stephen

    I read the news on my iPhone. It’s time to sit down and watch some Pixar films.

  • John

    1986! Pixar was founded in 1986!

  • Nik

    RIP Mr. Jobs.

    Thanks for all the insanely great technology and for believing in Pixar.

  • http://www.iuriaraujo.com Iuri Araújo

    Your mission was completed. Good work Jobs. =)

  • Graham

    “Pixar co-founder”

    I have to ask: Was he really? The studio started as a subdivision of Lucasfilm, then Jobs bought it years later.

    He can be credited for bringing it off the ground and making it a powerhouse, but can he really be considered a co-founder?

    • Oluseyi

      Yes, he can. The Lucasfilm subdivision was named “the Graphics Group”; Pixar came into existence with the 1986 purchase of the unit by Jobs.

    • Doug Nichols

      I think it’s pretty safe to say without Steve Jobs, Pixar wouldn’t exist today. It was also an extremely different company when he bought it. Savior? Re-founder? Pick your own favorite. Or better, make up a new word. He deserves one.

      Thanks, Steve. You were unique.

    • http://nebusresearch.wordpress.com Joseph Nebus

      I think if we grant William Durant credit for inventing General Motors (its parent companies had been around for years; one was even created as The Henry Ford Company), then giving Steve Jobs credit for founding Pixar is at least as sound.

  • http://nachosconcarne.cartoonsdammit.com/ Kitschensyngk

    Thank you for three Toy Story movies and the iPhone I have my music library stored on.

    I may be typing this on a PC laptop right now, but I probably wouldn’t even have that if not for him.

    RIP

  • http://braveandboldbackgroundpaint.blogspot.com/ William Joseph Dunn

    There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t use an Apple product. I can’t think of one animation studio that doesn’t use them and it’s probably impossible to calculate the amount of art and music that was produced on Apple computers at this point. Thanks for everything Steve.

  • James Madison

    Thank you, Steve.

  • http://www.dailygrail.com/ red pill junkie

    I’m very thankful to Jobs for the joy Pixar has brought into my life. I will be honoring his contribution to the animation art at tomorrow’s news briefs on The Daily Grail.

  • AaronSch

    I was greatly saddened by the news of Steve Jobs’ passing. The products and innovations he shepherded have touched so many lives that they are already taken for granted. Thank you and rest in peace.

  • Carolyn Bates

    Apple & Pixar! What an incredible legacy. I remember how I felt when I heard the news about Walt Disney’s passing and this loss is as palpable. R.I.P from your iCloud in the sky.

  • http://www.tomsito.com Tom Sito

    Pixar vets told me that between their leaving Lucas and the making of Toy Story, Pixar should have gone under on 8 different occasions, but for the support of Steve Jobs. Despite the success of shorts like Luxo Jr and commercials like Scrubbing Bubbles, at the end of the month, Steve would have to write a check to keep them afloat.

    Steve Jobs also fought to ensure Pixar’s name stayed at the front credits of Toy Story alongside Disney, and was not buried in the back credit roll behind the caterer. Jobs may not have understood animation then, but he knew brand-name recognition. If Pixar’s name is now on everyone’s lips, beyond their quality, part of the reason is the wisdom of Steve Jobs. R.I.P.

    • http://www.artware.mx Arturo

      But Pixar’s logo appears only at the end of the credits (in the first Toy Story)

      • Paul N

        The opening credits read:

        Walt Disney Pictures Present
        Toy Story
        A Pixar Production

        I think that’s what Tom meant.

    • http://www.segaltoons.com Steve Segal

      Tom knows what hes talking about. To everyone outside the animation community Pixar was a losing proposition. They lost money every year for a decade. Job’s faith kept it going. Job’s was a visionary and innovator and an inspiration; I was lucky to have some small contact with him, he will be greatly missed. (I think the Scrubbing Bubbles commercials were done by PDI, Pixar’s early commercials were Listerine and Life Savors).

  • http://www.hobsonanimation.com Kevin

    Thank you, Seven Jobs. You are what helped Pixar create “Toy Story” and countless other beautiful 3-D animated films.

    RIP

  • The Gee

    http://www.ted.com/talks/steve_jobs_how_to_live_before_you_die.html

    The third story.
    It may well not suit everyone. I could never know for certain. But, that it is a very big part of it.

    For some people it is passion. For others it is having a hell hound on your tail. At the least, I guess it is trying. Trying to make Good Things. To be Good. Authenticity, ingenuity, talent and ability and luck. Maybe a half a dozen other things or even less than that. It is probably different for everyone.

    The thing is that the third story (one of three) is also probably the most honest one. And I state that with no disrespect. It just comes across that way.

  • Toonio

    Only the good die young!

  • http://www.slaptoons.com Gavin

    I knew this day was coming and I knew that it would be sad. Steve Jobs was such a genius, a modern day Thomas Edison, or Leonardo Devinci. Apple will continue to be a great company, and make millions of people happy with Steve’s vision. If it wasn’t for Steve, I would be typing on a Brother electric typewriter as we speak. So sad to see him go, who knows what he would invent next?

    Thank you Apple, & thank you Pixar for your creativity.

    Thank God for Steve Jobs!

  • Mike B

    Somehow I feel like we only got to see the first half of Steve’s incredible vision and now we can only imagine what the second part might have been like.

    My prayers and best wishes for his family, friends, fellow Apple and Pixar workers.

    Rest in peace Steve.

  • http://richardsmithstudios.webs.com/ Richard

    Sad. Yesterday I watched “Monsters Inc.”.

  • Randy

    My two life visionaries – Steve Jobs and Walt Disney.

    My first little Tangerine iMac back in 1999 changed EVERYTHING I did or thought about computers and I never looked back at any Windows product after that.

    Apple literally changed my computer life, forever and for the better.

    RIP Steve. You will be missed and remembered.

    RK

  • 2011 Senior Citizen

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qva9nTdESoQ

    I’m a Mac user and have been for 6 years now. My job has always depended on Adobe software. My computer rules my working life on the job. I am also a Disney and Pixar fan. Without Apple’s development, I would never have gotten at this point in my career. I thank Steve Jobs for his leadership.

  • http://www.daryl-rhystaylor.co.uk DarylT

    I was shocked.
    It’s not fair.

    RIP Steve Jobs

  • http://thatssokraven.com/ Kelly Tindall

    I love Apple products, and I mourn the man that made them. Take it easy, Steve, you did good.

  • http://braveandboldbackgroundpaint.blogspot.com/ William Joseph Dunn

    Old comedians have a joke when one of their own dies. They say, “he’s not dead, he’s just unavailable”. I think another way to think of Mr Jobs passing is that “he is on another, more advanced operating system now”. Hopefully it’s the same OS that Hendrix and Telsa are located.

  • http://www.disneyshorts.org Patrick Malone

    I’m a Windows person who doesn’t like Apple computers that much. Sue me. Nevertheless, I don’t believe I would ever had been able to type this on a computer that I have at home that’s smaller than most stereo systems. He revolutionized the computer world in ways that we may never appreciate fully for a long time. Sadly, his type are few and far between.

    I read on another site that Jobs once said (and I’m paraphrasing) “It’s only people who are considered crazy because they think they can change the world that end up changing the world.” Thanks for being crazy, Steve. R.I.P.

  • http://kandjcomic.com/ John S

    The first computer I ever bought was a Powerbook 3400. I bought it so that I could write. I currently draw my comics on an iMac, and draw my storyboards for work on a 13″ Macbook Pro with a Cintiq. I’ve listened to music on an iPod since they were released. Jobs was instrumental in de-mystifying computers and making them so that those of us without a Phd could operate them. I’m a more effective creative person thanks to Jobs and his innovations. Thanks Steve. RIP.

  • Vixie

    To infinity, and beyond!

    He took us there, and we are all the better for the ride. While I am sad at the loss of such an amazing man at such a young age, I also must also applaud a life well lived.

    Well done

  • PeterJCasey

    I was shocked when I heard the news, I had no idea that Steve was sick. How is Pixar taking the news? How is Bill Gates taking the new too? I know him and Steve go way back.

  • Jorgen Klubien

    He was our hero. Without him… no Pixar stock for the employes.
    He was the coolest boss to have and we who interacted with him will forever feel more special because of it.
    I just feel sad for his family now, and then, let’s remember all of us; life is no guarantee… not even for the wealthiest or most blessed.