David Senra

March 14, 2022

To Pixar And Beyond: My Unlikely Journey with Steve Jobs to Make Entertainment History


My top 10 highlights from the book:

1. Steve had an almost permanent intensity about him, like he was always in top gear.

2. Steve once told me that the gestation of great products takes much longer than it appears. What seems to emerge from nowhere belies a long process of development, trials, and missteps.

3. Once Steve decided what he wanted in a negotiation, he developed something akin to a religious conviction about it. In his mind, if he didn't get what he wanted, nothing else would take its place, so he'd walk away. This made Steve an incredibly strong negotiator.

4. There was no part of Steve that bought into the idea of making products that might not have a shot at greatness.

5. Steve jobs had been Silicon Valley's most visible celebrity but that made it all the more glaring that he had not had a hit in a long time —a very long time.

6. I had not realized how dire Pixar's financial situation was. It had no cash, no reserves, and it depended for its funds on the whim of a person whose reputation for volatility was legendary.

7. "If nothing's worked, how did it survive this long?" Hillary wondered. "Steve's stubbornness," I replied. "I don't know any other investor who'd have stuck it out this long.”

8. Pixar remained an enigma. There was so much that was great about it, but there was an even greater number of red flags.

9. Pixar was embarked on a lonely courageous quest through terrain into which neither it, nor anyone else had ever ventured.

10. Home video was turning animated feature films into big business. Bigger than we had ever imagined. Look at the value of the major Hollywood studios and you'll see their library of films is really significant.

About David Senra

Learn from history's greatest founders. Every week I read a biography of an entrepreneur and tell you what I learned on Founders podcast