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


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]


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.

Could Tim Cook’s New Made-In-USA Mac Actually Be An Apple TV? [Rumor]


Apple's biggest manufacturing partner making preparations to turn this thing into a reality.
Apple's biggest manufacturing partner making preparations to turn this thing into a reality.

On Tuesday I went to a party at San Francisco’s Cafe Du Nord to celebrate the launch of Fuze For Mac, a nifty cloud-based videoconferencing tool from FuzeBox.

I heard several interesting things about Steve Jobs and some intriguing Apple TV rumors. One of the rumors made me think that Tim Cook’s new Mac — the one that is going to be made in the U.S.A. — might actually be a big-screen Apple TV.

Here’s what I heard:

  • The software was developed at the behest of Steve Jobs himself, who persuaded FuzeBox to make the software not just for the Mac, but for an upcoming Apple TV.
  • Steve Jobs gave the company a special dev lab on Apple’s campus.
  • According to FuzeBox’s CEO, the upcoming Apple TV has a 60-inch screen. It has no inputs whatsoever, except an AC power cord. No wires. You can’t plug in a cable box or a game console. Nothing.
  • It does have Gigabit wireless Wi-Fi and gesture controls, equivalent to Microsoft’s Kinect accessory for the Xbox.
  • And finally, the story of how FuzeBox got an ultra rare meeting with Steve Jobs is worth telling — details below.

Now, I’m the first to admit that not all of this adds up. I got it from Jeff Cavins, FuzeBox’s CEO, who told a good tale, especially after I’d had a couple of pints. While I was fascinated and entertained, it didn’t get to pin him down on details. The party was loud and crowded, and we were constantly interrupted. So mostly for entertainment purposes, this is what he said:

I Installed Steve Jobs’ Trampoline [Me & Steve Stories]



Me & Steve Stories — Some of the best stories about Steve Jobs are the personal, intimate ones. We’re collecting them here and will run as many new stories as we can find. If you have a story about Steve you’d like to share, please send us your submissions.

In September, 2004, KC Bradshaw was working as a trampoline installer, which is how he got to meet Steve Jobs in person and leave with a very special souvenir.

Awesome Recollections of Steve Jobs, By His Neighbor


Steve Jobs' house in Palo Alto. Image courtesy of MacMagazine: http://macmagazine.com.br/2009/06/14/exclusivo-macmagazine-visita-jackling-house-garagem-da-apple-e-casa-de-steve-jobs/

Writer Lisen Stromberg lives in Palo Alto, just down the street from Steve Jobs. She has an awesome and touching post about Jobs as a neighbor who waves and says hello.