Pixar, Steve Jobs, Lassiter discussed on The Brink

The Brink


So obviously honestly I was referring to a very specific person with that angel investor and that would be steve jobs and he paid five million dollars to George Lucas for Pixar. Yeah and then he spent another five million dollars to help fund the company to get it really situated At this time jobs is actually going through his own transition. This was during the period where he had been effectively forced out of apple or he had quit depending on who you ask yeah. Yeah and And so he had gone onto found a different company called next and he decided to To swoop in and generally he was going to be hands off he was going to leave the running of the company to Cap Mall and to Smith GonNa keep going but he did have majority stake in the company. Yeah absolutely he. Owned seventy percent of the shares is a private company publicly traded but seventy percent of the shares of the company the and the Pixar employees owned the other thirty percent that will be important later in our episodes. Yeah he also decided that he he wanted to really set. Pixar are up to be a computer hardware company. So all of that imaging stuff they were looking at Unless the animation studio side and we all know how that went and then chilly yes so this was. This was largely a practical kind of determination. The idea that computer animation was not quite At the level of sophistication where you could make say a feature length film they. You had people like lassiter who wanted to do it. There are a lot of people at Pixar who wanted to do it but they had all determined Germond. That as technology stood at that moment it just wasn't really possible. Yeah but I mean. They didn't give up animation entirely. Lassiter still made shorts which were then used as kind kinda just Maga sales pitch sales pitch the pixar system exactly this way. Yeah you you want to know what's possible with this computer here some animation that we designed using this computer so it's kind of like a demo. But you know obviously obviously last year being last year he wasn't going to just. Do you know a bouncing ball or something that would play a part of it especially in the first one and that would be luck so junior where we got the little lampy guy that you see jump on the eye on the Pixar and smashes the I. It's now the I exactly Klay. I said I I but Yeah Alexa Junior. That's they. They would later go back in and sort of remastered that but then became one of the early pitch films that they would use and also really kind of helped set pick SARS kind of aesthetic and tone like. There's a sort of cheeky humor that tends to be in Pixar film and that was that was evident even as early as Nineteen eighty-six when they designed this in short. Yeah it also got nominated for an academy award. Yes it did not win that Academy Award but it was nominated and then in nineteen eighty eighty ages two years later They got another Academy Award Nomination for Best Animated Short Film and that film was called Tin. Toy T. HE I N. Yeah Not T. E. N. T. I N. Toy And a little a little tin soldier and Thou did win the Academy Award. It's also another adorable rebel film. That got remastered later on and it would become the inspiration for a future. Pixar mega blockbuster hit yes In nineteen eighty nine. We got another short from Pixar. Yeah knickknack this is another one that got remastered and rereleased actually as whether shorts that would come before a pixar feature league film. I don't think I've actually seen this was a little snow globe with the snowman in it and he's desperately trying to get over to A. It's like A. It's like a little a little souvenir veneer charge key that you would buy at you know Hawaii or so. Oh Yeah I do. Remember that. He S got little. Yeah and so the whole thing is the snowman's desperately trying to get over to this hula girl. He's fallen level. Yeah so that was another super adorable short in that was Win some other very important. -portant people to the future of Pixar would join the company. This was nineteen eighty nine. That's when Peter Doctor and or Pete Doctor I should say and Andrew Stanton joined the company. Yeah so they're making all. These animated shorts are getting lots of praise for them. Yeah but the business side of things is still struggling. Struggling yeah They were not selling enough pixar image computers to pay off the costs of running business and according to a lot a lot of different stories over the years Steve Jobs collectively poured in about fifty million dollars of his own money to keep player and I would say the. The average person doesn't even know that Steve Jobs was involved. Yeah Pixar out. If you followed it early on you would have heard about him being on the board of directors and things like that but yeah he was very much the reason why the company was still if it had not been for Steve Jobs. Pouring money into Pixar it would not have survived. Yeah well it looks like they may not have at that point because they started getting layoffs downsizing and at the same time Steve Jobs is also struggling with his company. Next next was not doing well either. Next head created a very high end educational computer ran for like five thousand dollars a computer so very expensive and no big surprise here. That meant that there weren't that many customers because not a lot of people are rated the drop five g's on a computer and Even though people thought that thing the elements of the operating system are really really innovative. So Oh jobs was having this issue where he's got one failing business and then another one that is he's just constantly pouring money and he sees is the potential there but the question is. Can you write it out long enough for that potential payoff. Well he kinda didn't he kinda didn't so he sold off computer hardware division of Pixar everything that he had set them up to do the imaging and such decided to get rid of it. Yeah that was the part where he said all right. We're going to focus on the computer intimation side but we're going to not worry about producing actual computers anymore and a company called Viacom Systems purchased the Computer Hardware Business Unit Eh Pixar for just two million dollars. That's not a huge turn on investment there and Viacom and turn would end up going into bankruptcy just a year later so oh it was not. It was not the the the the shot in the arm. The Vikings needed not to be confused with Viacom. Yes No This is Viacom V. I.. com that's not the same as the cable company so the Hardware Divisions Gone so the animation division just flourish rush. No no not quite they still not you ruining my happy ending Jonathan. Well he's gotTa have gotta have the low point enact to who before you can have the happy ending three all right. Continue on all right. So here's the low point in act. Two picks are still wasn't making money and this led to another round of layoffs. An in half of Pixar was fired. A fifty percent of the employees were let go One of those was Co founder. Alvie Ray Smith who may have actually just left on his own after The changes any went on to co found another company called Altamira Software Corporation which was later acquired by Microsoft He would stick around with Microsoft until nineteen ninety nine and retire. So He's out of our story and Steve Jobs was not done. He knew that something big major was going to have to a change soon and to do that. He felt he needed to have absolute control of the company. But here's the problem yet. A majority stake in the company. But thirty percent of those shares didn't belong to him they belong to the employee's Yes so he shut the company down. Yep He he effectively sadly in the Pixar picture pixar was no more he closed. The company is is this one of those like Bernstein Bernstein issues where we think Pixar exists. But it's actually another reality Jonathan. We'll have.

Coming up next