Fake Steve Jobs: Have You Heard Of oPtion$?

    October 29, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

The Secret Life of Steve Jobs endured the bitter challenge of the SEC probing Apple for impropriety, while negative energy spilled around the faux CEO. How’s a genius supposed to instill the world with a childlike sense of wonder under these conditions?

Fake Steve Jobs: Have You Heard Of oPtion$?
Fake Steve Jobs: Have You Heard Of oPtion$?

Forbes senior editor Dan Lyons By hanging out with Nippon worshipper and fellow tech titan Larry Ellison, spooning with Sting, cruising with Bono, and firing people, of course. It’s all part of a day’s work in the three act play that is Options, the novel by Fake Steve’s alter ego, Forbes senior editor Dan Lyons.

The novel stems from the exploding popularity of Fake Steve’s blog, The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs. Once an under the radar blog churning away in relative silence, it began attracting a higher profile audience, thanks to the ersatz CEO’s witticisms and scathing observations of the tech industry at large.

The real Steve Jobs, as well as Bill Gates (affectionately known as ‘Beastmaster Bill’ on the FSJ blog), both count among its readership. After interest in the blog hit a high note, Options began taking form, but not before New York Times reporter Brad Stone outed its anonymous author.

Throughout the fun 248-page romp, in which the more tech-inclined should recognize the real people behind some of the fake names, FSJ throws tantrums, works his Zen mastery on slavering Apple fanboys, and ponders the deeper meaning of the iPhone’s inner workings.

But real life intrudes, as vicious investigators for the feds, and a traitor in Apple’s midst, seek to undo Apple’s, and Fake Steve’s, resurgence as a tech industry titan. Improperly backdated stock options and the celebrity status of Apple’s leader have the forces of government allied against him.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs Can he outlast the probe, the betrayal, and a frightening loss of confidence, to get the iPhone to the Apple faithful? You think you know the answer to this, based on real world events, but until you’ve read every word you really don’t.

As a bonus for our readers, we were able to secure some answers from FSJ about the book, himself, and people in his life. Enjoy this exclusive Q&A session with the legendary inventor of the friggin’ iPhone (and iPod) – have you heard of it?

1) The black turtlenecks you wear – humble article of well-made clothing, or a divine right conveyed upon you by the higher power that inspires gadgets like the iPod and the iPhone?

The former. I view my outfit as a form of monk’s robes. The idea is to abolish vanity and express my humility so that I can focus completely on my art. All I want to do is create beautiful objects. That is the only thing I want to think about. Not trivial things like clothing.

2) Which situation would you rather see happen to former US Attorney Kevin V. Ryan: a slow devouring by an endless supply of fire ants, or being subjected to hours of video of Woz and Kathy Griffin in flagrante delicto?

The former. I’ve seen the Woz videos and I swear to you, nobody deserves to see that, not even Kevin Ryan.

3) Hypothetical solution: Richard M. Stallman is drowning. What do you throw to him, and does it matter if what you throw to him instills a childlike wonder in horrified onlookers?

I would throw him a 24-inch iMac. It won’t save him but at least he’ll get to see what a real computer looks like before he goes under.

4) In oPtion$, you noted your management style uses fear and tantrums to get results. How many interns need to be in tears before you reach a higher level of consciousness for the day?

Half a dozen is an average day for me. Anything less than that and I get so antsy that I start firing executives. That’s why we’ve got so many interns at Apple. Phil Schiller calls them cannon fodder. Or, actually, "cannon foddah," because he’s from Boston. Phil has more interns than anyone, purely for sacrificial purposes. He keeps them lined up outside his office like captives on the steps of the great temple of Tenochtitlan.

5) You coined the acronym, Siooma. Why hasn’t this been added to the Oxford English Dictionary yet?

Have you ever dealt with anyone in the book publishing business? One word: Slooooow. It will be there eventually. Give them time.