Re: Pixar will miss Jobs like a fish misses a suntan
Now don't get me wrong-- I am by no means a Steve Jobs fan or apologist. In fact, I can't stand Apple products and have owned computers from just about every other company except Apple over the years because of it, including some from some of the more exotic companies such as Sun, SGI, and even DEC VAXstations. With that said, I don't think that you are giving Steve Jobs credit where credit is due. Did Steve Jobs found Pixar? I would argue against it. Did Steve Jobs create any of Pixar's software? No. Did Steve Jobs try to turn Pixar into a hardware business to sell Pixar Image Computers, almost to the detriment of the company? Yes. However, guess what Steve Jobs also didn't do-- he didn't run Pixar into the ground.
Now, at first this may not seem like all that big of a deal. A CEO of a company shouldn't be running their company into the ground after all. But now take a step back and look at the state of the technology industry today, where you have Steve Ballmer and his personal little "Wormtongue" Steven Sinofsky doing everything that they possibly can to run Microsoft into the ground, and how Léo Apotheker nearly ran Hewlett-Packard into the ground, and how Stephen Elop is trying to run Nokia into the ground, and how the last half-dozen or so CEO's of Yahoo! each brought Yahoo! a little closer to death, etc. Sadly, somewhere over the years the ability to not run a company into the ground has become an exceptional and rare skill for a corporate CEO.
As much as I hate to say it, sometimes knowing when to leave well enough alone at a company can be just as important as directing a company for a CEO, and Steve Jobs seemed to know when to leave well enough alone at Pixar. (Either that, or Steve Jobs was just so busy running NeXT, Inc. into the ground during the 90's that Pixar escaped his attention long enough to become successful despite him! LOL!). Either way, Pixar ended up flourishing while Steve Jobs was at the helm of the company, so you have to at least give him some credit for that. If it was another Steve (such as of the Ballmer, Sinofsky, or Elop variety) that ended up buying Pixar from George Lucas all of those years ago, Pixar might have ended up as nothing more than another little technical footnote in the history of the CG industry, such as Dave Poole's revolutionary company, Foonly, Inc., before it.