Twenty Years Later: No Longer Just a Hobby

Today turns out to be the twenty year anniversary of when George Lucas sold Pixar to Steve Jobs. In the post, “February 3, 1986: Divorce, Mogul Style,” Chris Seibold tells how Lucas decided to “see a smallish piece of his Lucas Film empire” to raise cash to settle his divorce. Given Lucas’ predicament, Steve Jobs was able to bring Lucas’ initial asking price of 30 million dollars to 10 million.

For years, the company Steve Jobs called a hobby was little but a serious money pit. Unexpectedly, Pixar became the source of the majority of Steve Jobs’ immense wealth after an extremely successful initial public offering. It was this month in 1986 that Steve first acquired the hobby that eventually paid off big.

On January 24 of this year, Disney announced paying $7.4 billion in stock to acquire Pixar. Jobs will be on Disney’s board of directors, and two executives from Pixar will head the new Pixar and Disney Animation Studios and lead the creative vision. See “Disney buys Pixar” at CNET for more.

The takeaway for my Web 2.0 readers? On the one hand, be careful of the decisions you make when you’re in financial need (eg. startups trying to cash-out). On the other, your hobby (eg. your “little web app”) may sometimes become much more than that, but only if you take it seriously.


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

Thomas Choy
February 5, 2006 at 10:06 am

Your takeaway paragraph is apt for aspiring entrepreneurs. For many of us, there’s always the greed versus fear paradox. I guess enjoying what you do best is the way to go.

February 7, 2006 at 1:27 am

Just knew that there must have happened something economically important at my birthday. Let’s see if I can once make it to Pixar :-)