During the time when he had been ousted as CEO by Apple’s board (a job to which he returned in 1997), Jobs bought the Pixar computer-animation studio from George Lucas for $10 million. After it had produced “Toy Story,” the first computer-animated feature film, Jobs sold the company to Disney for $7.4 billion.
Jobs was not the easiest boss to work for. “My job is to not be easy on people,” he once said, summing up his management philosophy. “My job is to make them better.”
The devices that Jobs and the Apple designers came up with year after year had a sensuousness to them that attracted millions of customers, many of whom waited for days outside stores so they could be among the first to buy – as if they were waiting for tickets to the last Beatles concert.
For years now, iPhone and iPod owners have fiddled with their devices (sometime mindlessly) as if they were worry beads. As a Buddhist who once joined an ashram, Jobs no doubt was amused to learn that when the iPhone was launched in 2007 it was dubbed the “Jesus phone” for its seemingly miraculous features – cellphone, e-mail, Internet, camera, photo album, digital recorder, GPS, and apps too numerous to count – in a device so compact you could slip it into the back pocket of your jeans.
As news broke of his passing, mourners gathered at Apple stores around the world, placing flowers and candles. And from around the world, the tributes to Jobs came in, including one from another college dropout.