Fake Steve Jobs Real Silicon Valley
One of the most interesting books Ive read in a long time is Dan Lyons Fake Steve Jobs book. Many of us in the valley were followers of the Fake Steve Jobs blog and a number of us, including me, were thought to be the author. Im not that good. In the Blog, Dan captured the spirit of Steve Jobs and by reading the Blog it was almost like you were reading Steve Jobs mind. Others have tried this, but the only one that has consistently been believable, funny, and thought provoking is The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs.
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The book is a masterpiece of insight. Dan has taken many of the reported behaviors of a lot of executives in technology and woven them into a parody of Steve Jobs, Apple, the Silicon Valley, and the Technology market in general. If, in reading this book, you doubt what he is talking about is possible you clearly dont follow technology closely. For instance there was a tech CEO a few years ago who used to like to hire Pizza Delivery boys and chase them with his restored Sherman Tank (which eventually crashed against a very large tree), he also used to dress up as a nun and go bar hopping in some of the seedier parts of the city. And this is only one of the untold stories in technology.
Good parody is both humorous and gives you an enlightened perspective into events, and people that you otherwise wouldnt have. This book, to my eye, is good parody. If youve ever wondered what it would be like to have more money then you could ever think of spending this is a good way to see how the other half lives, and why the grass can be anything but green on the other side of the fence.
Ive known a lot of very wealthy people in my career as an analyst, and have seen some die early before experiencing some of the best parts of life or really enjoying their wealth. Ive observed massive pettiness and downright childish meanness in their behaviors, and realized that far too many think of themselves very poorly and live in constant fear. Granted you dont have to end up this way but far too often fast wealth results in really nasty behavior and, after reading this book, youll look at a lot of these wealthy self-absorbed CEOs differently.
If the cost of wealth is the destruction of your life and those close to you, the lesson buried in this book is that that this cost is too high. As is working closely with people like this, something that many more of us should constantly remember.
How Blu-Ray Committed Suicide or the Tech Version of the Naked Emperor
On paper Blu-Ray was a failure on day one. Unfortunately the details of this paper werent apparent to those of us following technology until after the offering had launched. Blu-Ray is the cause of low attach rates between HD TVs and HD movie players. It has dropped Sony from uncatchable first place in console gaming to a distant 3rd, and it has almost assured that when the market does move to HD media it wont benefit Japan or optical drive manufacturers but someone else.
Had the industry supporters of this particularly the now fired head of Sonys Playstation Group known this they would have run, literally, screaming from this technology.