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


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Waterbury Girl on November 8, 2007 at 3:43 pm

    Good story!


  2. Posted by Steve on November 11, 2007 at 4:57 am

    K-Squared, I want to apologize for teasing you so much when you asked your question. Please don’t hold it against me. I hope you enjoyed the evening as much as I did. –D.


  3. D–, no apology necessary. It was all in good fun and I was laughing the whole time I was being roasted. You were absolutely hysterical. Thanks for a fabulous evening! ~K


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