Apple CEO Steve Jobs record at Pixar shows that he is capable of doing much better than he is currently at Apple.
A report criticizes Jobs for not being able to figure out how to convert market dominance on the music side into increased market share on the computer side.
The New York Times (free registration required) describes the history of Jobs involvement with Pixar, and explains how he turned that company around to produce five films.
Jobs bought the computer graphics division of Lucasfilm, with its four-processor computer designed for displaying graphics, in 1986. The computer could be used for creating very short animations, but nothing longer. Jobs initially thought to market the $122,000 machine to radiologists, providing three-dimensional displays of CAT scans, explains the New York Times.
By 1991 Pixar was producing animated television commercials and selling graphics software that it had developed in-house. Times were tough and the company had to lay off almost half of its 77 employees.
Then Pixar decided to make an hour-long television special and pitched the idea to Disney. Disney offered to finance a full-length movie – Toy Story.
"From this point on, Jobs had a brilliant vision of how Pixar could become a great animation studio itself," writes the New York Times.