At one point the members of the Pixar animation team were trying

At one point the members of the Pixar animation team were trying to convince Intel

to let them make some of its commercials, and Jobs became impatient. During a

meeting, in the midst of berating an Intel marketing director, he picked up the phone

 

and called CEO Andy Grove directly. Grove, still playing mentor, tried to teach Jobs

a lesson: He supported his Intel manager. “I stuck by my employee,” he recalled.

“Steve doesn’t like to be treated like a supplier.”

Grove also played mentor when Jobs proposed that Pixar give Intel suggestions on

how to improve the capacity of its processors to render 3-D graphics. When the

engineers at Intel accepted the offer, Jobs sent an email back saying Pixar would

need to be paid for its advice. Intel’s chief engineer replied, “We have not entered

into any financial arrangement in exchange for good ideas for our microprocessors

in the past and have no intention for the future.” Jobs forwarded the answer to

Grove, saying that he found the engineer’s response to be “extremely arrogant,

given Intel’s dismal showing in understanding computer graphics.” Grove sent Jobs

a blistering reply, saying that sharing ideas is “what friendly companies and friends

do for each other.” Grove added that he had often freely shared ideas with Jobs in

the past and that Jobs should not be so mercenary. Jobs relented. “I have many

faults, but one of them is not ingratitude,” he responded. “Therefore, I have changed

my position 180 degrees—we will freely help. Thanks for the clearer perspective.”

Pixar was able to create some powerful software products aimed at average consumers,

or at least those average consumers who shared Jobs’s passion for designing things.

Jobs still hoped that the ability to make super-realistic 3-D images at home would become

part of the desktop publishing craze. Pixar’s Showplace, for example, allowed users to

change the shadings on the 3-D objects they created so that they could display them

from various angles with appropriate shadows. Jobs thought it was incredibly compelling,

but most consumers were content to live without it. It was a case where his passions misled

him: The software had so many amazing features that it lacked the simplicity Jobs usually

demanded. Pixar couldn’t compete with Adobe, which was making

 

software that was less

sophisticated but

far less complicated

and expensive.

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