Today in Apple history: Pixar makes Steve Jobs a billionaire

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The start of Jobs' professional turnaround.
Photo: Ben Stanfield/Flickr CC

Nov29November 29, 1995: Capitalizing on the success of Toy Story, Pixar floats 6.9 million shares on the stock market. The IPO makes Steve Jobs, who
owns upward of 80 percent of the company, a billionaire for the first time.

After the windfall, one of the first people Jobs calls is his friend Larry Ellison, already a member of the billionaire’s club.

“Hello, Larry?” Jobs tells his friend on the phone. “I made it.”

Today in Apple history: Toy Story 2 arrives in theaters

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Toy Story 2 coincided with the start of Jobs' own career second act.
Photo: Pixar

Nov24November 24, 1999: Steve Jobs gets another feather in his cap when Toy Story 2, the sequel to the original 1995 Pixar hit, debuts in theaters — becoming the first animated sequel in history to gross more than the original.

While more a piece of Steve Jobs history than Apple history, the release of Toy Story 2 caps off a spectacular year for Apple’s CEO.

How this money man helped Steve Jobs turn Pixar into a powerhouse [Kahney’s Korner podcast]

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Lawrence Levy former Pixar CFO
Lawrence Levy, Pixar's former CFO and author of To Pixar and Beyond.
Photo: Lawrence Levy

In the early ’90s, Pixar was in the middle of creating its first movie, Toy Story, but the company was in disarray. It was bleeding cash and floundering around looking for a business model.

To help turn it around, Steve Jobs hired Lawrence Levy, a former corporate lawyer, to help figure out how to make Pixar a real business.

In this week’s episode of Kahney’s Korner, I talk to Levy about how exactly he and Jobs made Pixar into one of the most successful movie studios in history.

New book paints intimate portrait of Steve Jobs at work [Review]

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To Pixar and Beyond by Lawrence Levy
In To Pixar and Beyond, Lawrence Levy offers an insider look at Steve Jobs' early struggles at the animation studio.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

After his death, Steve Jobs became mythic. He’s remembered as an asshole and a technology seer: a Tony Stark-like figure who could uniquely divine the sci-fi future, conjuring magical products from whole cloth almost single-handedly.

He’s also seen as infallible: a business and technology genius with powers of divination beyond those of us mere mortals.

But To Pixar and Beyond, a new book by Lawrence Levy, the former CFO of Pixar, paints a very different picture.

Eddy Cue, Walter Isaacson to speak at Vanity Fair summit

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Eddy Cue
Will he be wearing an Hawaiian shirt?
Photo: CNBC

Eddy Cue is among a list of high-profile speakers that will feature at this year’s New Establishment Summit held by Vanity Fair. Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs’ biography, is also in the lineup, alongside Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Apple board member Bob Iger.

This is how Steve Jobs tricked people into working for him

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No one says 'no' to Steve Jobs.
Photo: Joi Ito/Flickr CC

Going into a big job interview can be an incredibly nerve-wracking experience, but when Steve Jobs is doing the questioning, the tension ramps up to an all-new level.

The Apple co-founder was notoriously difficult to work for, thanks to his intense demands. Being interviewed by Steve for a job was even worse, because as one former Pixar employee explains, the Apple CEO pretty much wouldn’t take “no” for an answer.

Pixar animators rave about iPad Pro test drive

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Pixar takes iPad Pro for a test drive.
Pixar takes iPad Pro for a test drive.
Photo: Michael B. Johnson/Twitter

Apple’s gigantic new tablet just got a huge endorsement from some of the best animators and graphic artists in the world.

Pixar’s animation team got an early hands-on look with the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil yesterday, and according to Pixar’s R&D pre-production architect, Michael Johnson, the palm rejection on the iPad Pro is so ‘perfect’ you’ll never have to worry about trying to draw while resting your hand on the device.

Steve Jobs’ business cards from Apple, Pixar and NeXT go up for auction

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Kate Winsley praised the Steve Jobs biopic and co-star Michael Fassbender.

Steve Jobs memorabilia collectors can now grab the holy trifecta of business cards while also doing a bit of good along the way.

Three of Jobs’ business cards from his days at Apple, Pixar and NeXT are up for auction, with proceeds going to The Marin School in California. Bidding started at $600 but it’s already up to $2,405.

Here’s a look at the cards you’ll win if you place the high bid: