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

Part memoir, part business primer, Lawrence Levy's To Pixar and Beyond chronicles the author's time as CFO of Pixar and his journey with Steve Jobs as they helped transform an obscure computer graphics company into one of the most innovative film studios of today. Levy had never heard of Pixar when Jobs called, nor had he met Jobs, but both charmed him; he became a witness to an absorbing and unlikely success story in the entertainment world.

To Pixar and Beyond is mostly focused on Pixar as it makes Toy Story and prepares for an IPO. Levy is an affable guide who writes with clarity about otherwise Byzantine business maneuverings and obscure contractual legalese. The book could have used more of Levy's detailed explanations of how an IPO works or how Pixar tried to wrangle out of its onerous relationship with Disney, because these are the strongest and most fascinating sections. Levy also writes insightfully about how Pixar and John Lasseter fought to maintain their distinctive corporate culture and not fall into the trap of complacency and stagnation, which can plague many companies dealing with newfound success.

Levy doesn't offer anything revelatory about Steve Jobs, nor is the rise of Pixar exactly obscure news. Yet his account of the inner workings of the company, and the personalities that shaped it into what it has become, is an informative and engaging read. --David Martin, freelance writer

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