Thursday, October 6, 2011

Dear Steve Jobs: Thank You!

Dear Steve Jobs,

Apparently at the ripe young age of 2, I was able to start up an Apple iie with no assistance from my parents.

This fascination with computers was a theme that started then and continues to this day.

I recall when I was 4, 5, or 6 watching my older brothers playing Lode Runner on this old Apple iie and messing around with extremely rudimentary spreadsheets. What the heck was a spreadsheet meant for?

Then we got our first Macintosh some years later. Carmen Sandiago, Chuck Yeager's Air Combat, Prince of Persia, Sim City filled our lives for many years of game playing.

I was, in fact, a computer nerd :)

But Steve, what you did by rescuing John Lasseter and what made up Pixar at the time from the clutches of George Lucas set forth indirectly a new industry that was to benefit me in the future.

Yes, if it wasn't for Steve Jobs buying Pixar from George Lucas' ILM division for $5 million (he later sold it to Disney for $7.4 Billion), I might be doing something COMPLETELY different right now.

Using your innovative spirit allowed John Lasseter, Ed Catmull, and Alvy Ray Smith explore how to turn this primitive technology into an art, ultimately creating the film "Toy Story" which completely spawned the new 3D Animation business.

Because of them, other competition showed up to this booming scene with Dreamworks and my company, Blue Sky Studios trying to get a piece of the action.

So Steve, THANK YOU for helping spawn my industry because without you, I might not have my awesome job right now!

Best Regards,


Side note: When my company was on the chopping block about to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy back in the late 90's, Steve Jobs came by to see what we were all about. He passed, as he already had Pixar which was currently owning the industry. Fortunately 20th Century Fox stepped in, bought us out and financed us through our first film, "Ice Age", which premiered in March of 2002. The rest is history. I showed up fresh out of college at the age of 22 (everyone thought I was 19) and I have been here ever since, about to hit my 6th year on the job.


  1. I remember playing many of those same games. I can't even begin to count the number of hours spent playing Carmen San Diego and Oregon Trail. If it weren't for Jobs, I would have never learned the satisfaction of killing 2000lbs of buffalo but only being able to carry 100lbs. :)

    It is crazy to think of all of the industries and products that have been a direct influence of Jobs innovative thinking.

  2. Nice post! Yes, you could hit the option, escape and delete key and reboot. Don't forget you learned to model because of the intuitive nature of Mac programming.

  3. This post is awesome. It's crazy how much one man can change so many lives with his ideas. When I first went off to college I originally went for computer animation but changed gears when Disney's animation department moved out to Cali. I had no desire to move out there so I switched major's to digital media and ran with it. I'll never forget working on a G3 & 4 and thinking how amazing those computers were and now just look at what computers can do now!!!

  4. It's crazy to see how much Steve Jobs has affected our lives in many different ways! I'm glad you're around to give us awesome flicks!

  5. Umm... I totally didn't realize we are the same age. All this time I figured you were older (youobviously sound so mature). So since you are "older" in my mind now I feel like an old fogey too. At least you are doing cool things, but we've already discussed that.

  6. Thanks for the movies! I love Ironman by Thirty's comment. I did the same thing on Oregon Trail!

  7. Love reading the games you list above, I remember playing all of those too, haha

    I'm glad that Steve Jobs personally helped you by buying Pixar! That guy had the magic tough.

    And I'm glad the 49ers could beat the Eagles then, since you don't like that team, haha I'm starting to realize that the Eagles might have amazing individual players, but their offensive line and their linebackers are not the best - so Vick gets huge pressure in his face, and the Eagles can't seem to stop the run. It's early but that team might be in trouble this year...

  8. Steve Jobs is the most aptly named person since Thomas Crapper, the inventor of -- wait for it --

    ...the mocha frappe. Or was it the shitter? I guess the world will never know.

    Still, VP Joe Biden probably said it best. "It's all about three letters: J-O-B-S."

  9. And thanks to triathlon you still look 22.

    Great letter.

  10. What about Oregon Trail?!?! Hahah that was the beginning of my medical terminology: cholera, diphtheria, TB.... ;)


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