Skip to main content

Steve Jobs' Time with Pixar

Image result for toy story

My recent reading includes BECOMING STEVE JOBS by Brent Schlender and Rich Tetzeli.

I am struck by the following passage, from a discussion of Jobs' time with Pixar. A power struggle had forced him out at Apple, and Pixar was his corporate Elba. Or one of them.

The first-person pronoun "I" in this book generally refers to Brent Schlender, due to the long personal relationship with Jobs.. That said, I'll let the following speak for itself.

When people list the many industries that Steve is said to have revolutionized, they often include the movies, since Pixar brought a whole new art form to the big screen. I'm not of that mind. John Lasseter and Ed Carmull are the men who brought 3-D computer graphics to the movies, and revived the art of animated storytelling.

That said, Steve did play a  critical role in Pixar's success. His influence was constrained, because Carmull and Lasseter were the ones shaping Pixar, not he. But that constraint, ironically, freed him up to do what only he could do best, and he did it brilliantly....These are the years where his negotiating style gained a new subtlety -- without losing its ballsy brashness. This is when he first started understanding the meaning of teamwork as something that's far more complicated than simply rallying small groups -- without losing his capacity to lead and inspire. And this is where he started to develop patience -- without losing any of his memorable, and motivating, edge.


Popular posts from this blog

England as a Raft?

In a lecture delivered in 1880, William James asked rhetorically, "Would England ... be the drifting raft she is now in European affairs if a Frederic the Great had inherited her throne instead of a Victoria, and if Messrs Bentham, Mill, Cobden, and Bright had all been born in Prussia?"

Beneath that, in a collection of such lectures later published under James' direction, was placed the footnote, "The reader will remember when this was written."

The suggestion of the bit about Bentham, Mill, etc. is that the utilitarians as a school helped render England ineffective as a European power, a drifting raft.

The footnote was added in 1897. So either James is suggesting that the baleful influence of Bentham, Mill etc wore off in the meantime or that he had over-estimated it.

Let's unpack this a bit.  What was happening in the period before 1880 that made England seem a drifting raft in European affairs, to a friendly though foreign observer (to the older brother…

Cancer Breakthrough

Hopeful news in recent days about an old and dear desideratum: a cure for cancer. Or at least for a cancer, and a nasty one at that.

The news comes about because investors in GlaxoSmithKline are greedy for profits, and has already inspired a bit of deregulation to boot. 

The FDA has paved the road for a speedy review of a new BCMA drug for multiple myeloma, essentially cancer of the bone marrow. This means that the US govt has removed some of the hurdles that would otherwise (by decision of the same govt) face a company trying to proceed with these trials expeditiously. 

This has been done because the Phase I clinical trial results have been very promising. The report I've seen indicates that details of these results will be shared with the world on Dec. 11 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology. 

The European Medicines Agency has also given priority treatment to the drug in question. 

GSK's website identifies the drug at issue as "GSK2857916," althou…

Francesco Orsi

I thought briefly that I had found a contemporary philosopher whose views on ethics and meta-ethics checked all four key boxes. An ally all down the line.

The four, as regular readers of this blog may remember, are: cognitivism, intuitionism, consequentialism, pluralism. These represent the views that, respectively: some ethical judgments constitute knowledge; one important source for this knowledge consists of quasi-sensory non-inferential primary recognitions ("intuitions"); the right is logically dependent upon the good; and there exists an irreducible plurality of good.

Francesco Orsi seemed to believe all of these propositions. Here's his website and a link to one relevant paper:

What was better: Orsi is a young man. Born in 1980. A damned child! Has no memories of the age of disco!

So I emailed him asking if I was right that he believed all of those things. His answer: three out of …