Don't Forget Jobs Also Gave Us Pixar
While Steve Jobs will forever be associated with Apple, his influence on the entertainment business will likely be regarded by history to have been as consequential as his influence on the personal computer business. It goes without saying that Apple's iPod and the iTunes store transformed the way music was played and collected. But equally significant was his transformation of George Lucas's digital division, which Jobs bought in 1986, into Pixar Studios, the movie industry's premiere digital animation studio -- one that has never produced a flop. In a statement on Wednesday, Pixar chiefs John Lasseter and Ed Catmull gave Jobs full credit for the studio's success. "He saw the potential of what Pixar could be before the rest of us, and beyond what anyone ever imagined," they said. "The one thing he always said was to simply 'make it great.' He is why Pixar turned out the way we did." In 2006, Jobs sold Pixar to The Walt Disney Co. for $7.4 billion in stock, making him Disney's largest individual shareholder, with a seat on its board. At the time, Disney chief Robert Iger was much criticized for the deal. On Wednesday, he said, "Steve was such an 'original,' with a thoroughly creative, imaginative mind that defined an era. Despite all he accomplished, it feels like he was just getting started." Jobs was no silent member of the Disney board. He used his influence to secure some of the first online movie and TV deals from Disney's film units and its ABC-TV and Disney Channel for the iTunes store. A spellbinder in front of the cameras, his presentation of Apple products continue to be viewed on YouTube. And a post on the video site by Stanford University of Jobs's 2005 commencement address has been viewed nearly seven million times. On Wednesday, one of his rivals, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, summed up "In a society that has seen incredible technological innovation during our lifetimes, Steve may be the one true icon whose legacy will be remembered for a thousand years."