Steve Jobs – The man behind the success of John Alan Lasseter and Jony Ive

Posted by Varun Sharma on August 18, 2020

Steve Jobs

His story is a paradigm of entrepreneurial visionary creation: Steve Jobs co-founded the company- Apple in his parents’ garage in the year 1976, was sacked in 1985, resurrected to save it from severe bankruptcy in 1997, and until the day he died, in October 2011, he had established it into becoming the world’s most profitable business. He managed to help transform several sectors along the way: animated movies, music, personal computing, retail stores, digital publishing, tablet computing, and phones.

With a successful venture into Pixar’s computer animation, Toy Story was produced as such a high-quality film that industry powerhouse Disney decided to pick the company. Steve Jobs’ last invention was the iPad, a portable device to replace the Desktop. Jobs needed a device to increase cognitive computing capacity for all the information in the world accessible on a smaller screen.

Steve Jobs, John Alan Lasseter & Pixar

Pixar Animation Studios

When Steve Jobs decided to purchase Pixar in 1986, a talented animator named John Lasseter had to rope in Jobs for an animated short film. This was Lasseter’s first formal encounter with his new boss. Jobs only had a suggestion—”make it great. “The short film, Tin Toy, ended up winning the very first Academy Award ever granted to computer animation and laid the standard as to what eventually became Toy Story. Lasseter, who has become the chief creative director at Walt Disney Animation Studios (and Frozen’s exec producer), claimed it was the most in-depth guidance he’s ever got.

The company’s biggest achievement began in 1991 after Disney announced an investment in producing and releasing Pixar’s first motion picture. Initially more interested in NeXT’s prospects, Jobs immediately entered into negotiations and helped work out a three-movie contract for 12.5 percent of box office revenue. While Lasseter and the design team progressed on what would become Toy Story, Jobs recruited CFO Lawrence Levy to hammer through the mechanics of preparing the firm for a public offering.

In an interview with Steve Jobs in 1996, Lasseter said-  “What Pixar does it so extraordinary that we have taken a look at this new technology- computer animation and we don’t look at it as a way to replace any of the creativity or any of the art of filmmaking we still we look at it as these are just not great new expensive pencils you know that’s what it says is this artist using these computers as a young artist at Disney use a piece of paper and a pencil and because the focus of what we do is still where it’s most important and that’s with the story and the characters I think toy story is a success not because it’s computer-generated, it is a success because it has characters of Buzz Light year and Woody and in the storyline that really has captivated audience.”

Jobs scheduled an IPO date following the release of Toy Story during Thanksgiving in 1995, linking the company’s future to the global box office performance of its first sizable endeavor. It turned to be a profitable game, as the convergence of Pixar ‘s technological wonders, a heart-warming movie, and Tom Hanks and Tim Allen’s voices steered Toy Story to an incredible $30 million opening weekend (on the way to a $365 million international revenue). Days later, following its first trade day, Pixar closed at $39 a share, the once-struggling business soon priced at $1.5 billion.

John Alan Lasseter has three golden rules to make a great film.

 Tell a compelling story, unpredictable components that keep the audience on the edge of their seat.

 Populate the story with really appealing and memorable characters and put that story in those characters in a believable world, believable for the story.

 Do not go realistic; one should not be interested in reproducing reality.

Jobs acknowledged creativity, originality, and inventiveness was the result of unexpected gatherings. He believed, “You run into someone and ask what they’re doing. Then you realize the connections, and soon you’re cooking up all sorts of ideas.” The atrium of the Pixar building laid the groundwork for unplanned encounters. Official structures need to establish connections with sparks to fly and facilitate wondrous spontaneity.

The success of Apple Design

Jony Ive Apple

“What I love about the creative process, and this may sound naive, but it is this idea that one day there is no idea, and no solution, but the next day there is an idea. I find that incredibly exciting and conceptually actually remarkable.”                                                                                                                     – Jony Ive

Jobs had only just decided to return to Apple in 1997 and intended to reignite the company’s groundbreaking and inventive soul. He needed the design to be at the center of this regeneration. Because Apple was a tech corporation at that point, anyone might have anticipated Jobs to have been searching for an experienced machine designer — someone among the industry’s most regarded.

Well, he did not. Ive had been an independent design consultant in London before he joined Apple. His business, Tangerine, became engaged in the planning and designing of household products (for instance, Tangerine had been an advisor for Ideal Standard, then a dominant figure in the plumbing and bathroom industry). The young designer relocated to Apple in the year 1992, but his projects prior to 1997 just weren’t particularly successful. Hence, choosing him as senior vice president of industrial design at that point seemed like an arbitrary decision. Steve believed in looking into the future and not the past while collaborating with innovators. In hindsight, this turned out to be a brilliant decision. Jobs did not hire someone to create and design another beige box.

The very first product designed under Ive’s supervision was the iMac G3, which was launched in 1998. It was hailed as among the most innovative desktop computers ever launched, with a design layout that was completely unique to the sector: a pleasant shell in translucent reflective plastic and an ovoid design that defied the prevailing model of unpopular beige frames.

The gadgets designed by Apple under the guidance of Ive, with all their simplicity and elegance, have reiterated that design is all about fantastic people creating incredible stuff. By launching these smartphones or tablets and computers on a scale of splendor, they are enshrining the elitism of intricate design.

Steve Jobs excelled in the production of compact systems that smashed computing performance hurdles. Jobs’ interest was extended to both big and minor problems. Several other CEOs are fantastic creative geniuses, while some believe that God is in the detail. Jobs contribute to the legion of the true pioneers, inventors, and visionaries of America (and the world), alongside Nikola Tesla, Walt Disney, and Thomas Edison. Neither of these people was a paragon of virtue, but even after their identities are lost, history will recall how they implemented their ingenuity to technology, business, and engineering.