Jobs is best known as being the co-founder of Apple and the man who spurred the company to greatness but he co-founded Pixar Animation Studios, another company that’s both highly successful and widely admired for the quality animated movies that it produces. In a new book that’s slated to be released next week, Pixar president and co-founder Ed Catmull, gives an inside look at Pixar and what made the company so successful. An early excerpt describe Steve Jobs and his influence on the company has been published at Gizmodo, giving an inside look at Jobs’ later years.
Although Jobs is often described as obsessed with perfection and relentlessly tough on his employees, Catmull notes that he underwent a significant transformation as he matured, becoming sensitive to other people’s feelings and their “value as contributors to the creative process” during his last two decades of life. Catmull attributes some of that personality shift to Jobs’ experiences at Pixar, a company that he was particularly proud of because of the lasting impact its films had on the world. Jobs believed that movies endure because they “dig for deeper truths” and later in life, he fully embraced the “nobility of entertaining people.” The following was mentioned regarding the matter:
His experience with Pixar was part of this change. Steve aspired to create utilitarian things that also brought joy; it was his way of making the world a better place. That was part of why Pixar made him so proud—because he felt the world was better for the films we made. He used to say regularly that as brilliant as Apple products were, eventually they all ended up in landfills.
While he never lost his intensity, we watched him develop the ability to listen. More and more, he could express empathy and caring and patience. He became truly wise. The change in him was real, and it was deep.
Some people have said that he got mellower with age, but I don't think that's an adequate description of what happened; it sounds too passive, as if he just was letting more go. Steve's transformation was an active one. He continued to engage; he just changed the way he went about it.