Posts Tagged ‘FSJ’


Dear Fake Steve,

I finally get it.

I know how much you think I hate your book, but now I don't. I'm on a flight to Dallas (I hate Texas, although I have no justification for it), sitting in first class, sipping my second rum and coke after the warm towel and dinner, and I finally get the humor.

I've tried to explain to you that I didn't like it because I'm too close to it. I see these people in every day life. I get caught up on some of the "facts" being wrong. And I forget that this is fiction. It is written from the view point of what the valley and the people look like from the perspective of a stranger. And I forget that I'm a stranger in this world myself.

I'm a girl from Maine who dressed up, put on makeup, did her hair, and is sitting in first class pretending that she belongs. Giggling appropriately when the steward flirts with me, trying unsuccessfully to keep up with the drinkers, making small talk with the businessman beside me about his Sony Reader. I told him I like to read my books old school. He doesn't find me charming and entertaining. I get better results in coach.

The point is I made the mistake that many engineers in the valley make. I think that I'm part of it. Just like republican farmers who think they too will be rich some day, I think that just because I see some of these people at lunch, or run into them in the lobby that I am magically part of their world. I'm not. I'm as much of a poser in the valley as I am on this flight. I may have been Cinderella while living in CT, but I'm nobody here.

I see the humor now. I see how ridiculous their lives seem. I see how you make them larger than life, bringing them close to the borders of reality just long enough to suck me back into the absurd. I'm not meant to like the characters. I'm not supposed to be able to relate to them at all. I'm just supposed to laugh at how over-the-top you depict them.

I'm laughing now reading it. Probably the only smile in first class. It just took getting away from the valley to be able to see the forest for the trees.

I hope you accept my apology for my previous harsh criticism.


The Real Guy Kawasaki interviews The Fake Steve Jobs

I’m embarrassed to admit that I went to this event. Embarrassed mainly because I don’t want you to think that I’m an FSJ stalker. Truly, I’m just lazy. Friday when I met Dan Lyons (FSJ), he didn’t have any books with him. I really wanted a signed copy, so he told me to mail him one. I have stuff in my apartment that I’ve been meaning to mail for three weeks now. It was never going to happen.

This weekend I noticed that today he was going to be at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View for an interview with Guy Kawasaki, who, as a former Apple employee, is legendary in his own right. I figured that might be easier than buying a book and going to the post office. (Yes, I could have just sent it directly from Amazon. Don’t ruin the story, ‘k?)

I told a couple of people at work that I was going, and then there were four of us. We arrived a little early to make sure that we got in. There had been 800 respondents and only 400 seats. We also thought we could tour the museum beforehand, but found out it wasn’t really open. We met another guy who had come to the same conclusions. So we camped out in the front row with our laptops, phones, and a Mac OS X programming book and just kept working. We seriously looked like an advertisement.

I convinced the people putting up the Reserved signs on the seats that we had registered and were “special guests.” We’d really only pseudo-registered, and weren’t particularly “special.” People started filling in. There were definitely a couple hundred people in the room after the pizza and soda were consumed.

And then it began. Between Guy and Dan, the room was almost in tears from the laugher that ensued for the next ninety minutes. Seriously Dan, if you had been any funnier, I think I would have peed my pants. They ripped on everything and everyone, including moi. We even had a surprise guest— Brad Stone from the NYTimes. Brad is the one who outed Dan back in August, so he told the story of how he had figured it all out.

Then there was audience participation time. I made the mistake of asking a question. You all know me. I can speak in front of a thousand people, but I don’t ask questions in front of hundreds of people. This time, I just couldn’t help it.

I raised my hand. Dan looked at me and shook his head no. I spoke anyways. “Do you think it is good journalism to quote anonymous comments from your own anonymous blog in your Forbes articles?” The explanation started out innocent enough. That particular article was an op-ed piece. He was using that quote as an example of the tone. Then it started. He pointed out that I was just bitter because he was comparing Steve Jobs to Big Brother and that I didn’t like the photo. All true.

Then Dan started digging into me. “What, did you have one journalism class in college and think you know everything now? Weren’t you the one reading the Cocoa book before the talk? Didn’t you write OS X? Why do you need a book?” The he made fun of us secretly inviting him to dinner last friday and how we had sent one person to retrieve him from the book signing and covertly bring him to Tommys.

Okay. I know. I deserved it. My face was bright red by now. I’ve never been put on the spot like that. I haven’t felt that nervous in a long time. I know, I’m a masochist. In between the next question, he pointed at me and mouth the words “You’re dead.” He meant it in the nicest way of course. The battle had ended. I had lost. But I was pleased that I had attempted to fight at all. A new step in the cure for my shyness.

I have my book now. It reads,

Thank you for questioning my journalistic integrity in public. Namaste. Fake Steve