New Book Reveals How Steve Jobs Morphed Pixar Studios Into a Winner

Left to Right: Ed Catmull, Steve Jobs, Bob Iger and John Lasseter; Image via AP

Ed Catmull, president of Pixar Animation and Disney Animation has a new book coming out next week titled Creativity, Inc., and in it he details how Steve Jobs was able to help inspire great things to come out of the Oscar-winning studio.

Below is a book excerpt published on Gizmodo which sheds light on what Pixar meant to Jobs:

His experience with Pixar was part of this change. Steve aspired to create utilitarian things that also brought joy; it was his way of making the world a better place. That was part of why Pixar made him so proud—because he felt the world was better for the films we made. He used to say regularly that as brilliant as Apple products were, eventually they all ended up in landfills.

Pixar movies, on the other hand, would live forever. He believed, as I do, that because they dig for deeper truths, our movies will endure, and he found beauty in that idea. John talks about “the nobility of entertaining people.” Steve understood this mission to his core, particularly toward the end of his life, and—knowing that entertaining wasn’t his primary skill set—he felt lucky to have been involved in it.

Pixar was created in 1986 with major funding by Steve Jobs, who became the company’s majority shareholder. Disney later acquired Pixar for $7.4 billion in stock in 2006, turning Jobs into the Disney’s largest shareholder with a 7.7 percent stake, which now belongs in a trust led by his wife Laurene.

In Walter Isaacson’s biography on Steve Jobs, Catmull explained how when it came to building Pixar’s new campus, the late Apple co-founder obsessed over every detail—and for good reason:

“Steve had this firm belief that the right kind of building can do great things for a culture.”

The new Pixar building was commissioned by Peter Bohlin, the architect of Apple Stores. Jobs controlled so much over the design and planning Catmull described it as “The Pixar building was Steve’s own movie.”

Pixar renamed its main building after Steve Jobs in the fall of 2012 to honour the late Apple CEO and last year dedicated a campus tree as well.

Creativity, Inc. is available for pre-order from Amazon, set for release on April 8.

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