Friday, June 20, 2008

I just finished The Pixar Touch by David A. Price, a book about the hardware/software/movie company.

It's quite a good book, well written, with a good amount of background and inside knowledge of the company. Before reading it, I had known that Pixar had failed as a hardware company, had some success as a software company and hit the big time with the first complete computer graphic animated movies but I didn't know that the animated movies were the goal the whole way; the hardware and software were just ways to make money off their computer graphics expertise until they could get someone to give them the chance to make animated features, and until the technology was ready.

The book also gives a lot of details about the ties between Pixar and Disney - a partnership that always made sense since a number of key players were ex-Disney employees and/or were inspired by the way Disney did animation.

Also, like other books like Insanely Great (about the creation of the Apple MacIntosh) or iWoz that feature him, this book makes it clear that working with or for Steve Jobs is basically a nightmare. He comes across as petulant, childish, a horrible manager and someone who is excellent at taking advantage of creative talent around him. From this book, he clearly didn't have a lot to do with Pixar's success other than funding them, even though he gets a lot of credit in the media.

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