One other question, what was Jobs motivation for buying Pixar? As you said, the technology was becoming standard so why this particular company?
Because Pixar was hot; getting a lot of industry buzz; and Jobs had nothing going for him after the Next Computer debacle.
One more example of Steve's "formula for success"...hitch a ride on somebody else's star.
That approach gives you the best of both worlds. If it works out (like Pixar), you claim credit for having THE VISION!!!
And if it bombs (as was the case with Next Computer), you just blame the designers, the engineers, the programmers, the press - and everybody else - while ignoring the fact that your arrogant and bizarre marketing program*, coupled with your surly attitude, was mostly to blame for its demise.
*No joke. My company tried
to buy a Next machine in 1990.
We had seen an ad (I think it was in the WSJ), did some in-depth research, and decided this was something we needed to get in on the ground floor of.
There were only something like three places within 200 miles of us that carried them, but fortunately for us, one of them was local.
We showed up at the closest (BusinessLand) with check in hand
only to learn you couldn't just go in and buy one of these boxes - you had to "talk to their Next specialist first." A more correct phrase would have been "be interviewed."
This designated Next Computer Sales Associate
chatted a bit, blandly accepted our praise for the product, and then asked us what we intended to use our Next machine for. At the time, we were heavily into Macintosh/Adobe/Quark (sales, support, service and consulting) so we figured it was a natural for our business. We told him mostly R&D for graphic applications and electronic publishing along with possible use as a development platform for applications programming.
Apparently, that wasn't a correct answer. Because we were then told there were "only a limited number of Next machines available." And furthermore, that our company didn't "fit the profile of the organizations Next is trying to attract to this product." After that, we were basically bid "good day."
I might have thought it was just a fluke with that particular store until we ran into almost the exact same treatment at another. Like the first, they weren't the slightest bit interested in selling us a Next machine. The only real difference between the two stores came when my partner Bill casually remarked how "Mac-like" he thought the interface was. In response, we got hit with a half-shouted tirade from a salesman who told us (at length) how he was "sick and tired of people comparing Next to Macintosh." We walked out without being asked after about five minutes of listening to this guy.
Later on, we found out they were primarily interested in selling Next to universities, colleges, federal agencies and big name corporations - along with an occasional celebrity or two. Ordinary businesses and people need not apply. So as you can see, Steve Jobs' fondness for Snob Affinity Marketing
was rearing its ugly head as early as 1990.