Friday, November 02, 2007

Me and Jobso

It's rare that my "day job" as a software development manager and my avocation (and much lower paying gig) as a novelist collide, but they did last night at the signing at Kepler's for oPtion$: the secret life of steve jobs, a novel (and parody) by "Fake Steve Jobs" blogger Dan Lyons.

I don't own a single piece of Apple hardware or software, so would be the last person to be categorized as an Apple "fan boy," but I love Lyons' blog so I'll proudly label myself a FSJFB: Fake Steve Jobs Fan Boy.

Lyons drew an SRO crowd to Keplers, but the crafty folks from Valley Wag managed to promote themselves front row seats. Here is Owen Thomas getting ready to blog live from the event on an Apple laptop:

Now it so happens that my crafty wife managed to save us even better seats than the Valley Wag boys and girls. But since Lyons poked fun at the people who camped outside Apple stores to get the first iPhones, the less said about exactly how she did that the better.

Here's a pic of Lyons waiting in the wings before being introduced:

If he looks slightly nervous, it may be because Keplers recruited Steve Wozniak, whom Lyons has lampooned mercilessly on his blog, to introduce him. Here's Woz doing the actual introduction, which he did with surprising good grace:

And here are Jobso and Woz--together again:

Woz gave Lyons a black turtleneck so he could look more like the real Jobs, but Lyons says he's resisted all requests so far to don the cloth:

Lyons' talk was hilarious. Some random highlights:

  • He purposely introduces malapropisms into the blog ("Alea iacta est, as Napoleon said when he crossed the Rubicon") because enjoys having all the commenters swoop in to correct him. He says it usually takes only about five minutes before the first person writes in.
  • For you writerly types, Lyons was outed Brad Stone of the New York Times not by clever tracing of IP addresses or other technical black magic, but by Stone realizing that anyone shopping a book in New York would have made submissions to multiple houses. (oPtion$ is published by Da Capo Press.) Stone found an editor at Random House who was willing to share the submission and was able to triangulate on Lyons from the biographical material that accompanied it.
  • Lyons mention that he had written two other novels, Last Good Man and Dog Days, and made the mistake of saying that they were available on Amazon. He then realized it was a no-no to mention the "A word" in a brick and mortar store and apologized. Keplers staff gently chided him, but rather than letting go, he said, "Well, do you have them in stock?" A staff member shot back, "Are they still in print?" Lyons laughed and said, "No, they suck. They really suck." (Actually if you follow the links to Amazon, they look like they received some nice reviews.)
  • Lyons wasn't quite sure how to pronounce namaste, and learned all he knows about the term from Wikipedia. Here he is blessing the audience:
But Woz was having none of it:

I waited in line with the other fan boys to get my book signed and asked for a special siooma inscription:

My wife also snapped a picture of me with Jobso--you can see I selected a black turtleneck for the occasion:

Right after that, he asked me to run out and get him another mango smoothie. Apparently the one provided by Keplers had chunks in it ...

By the way, if you've devoured oPtion$ and are looking for another Silicon Valley novel, you might check out Vulture Capital by moi. Here's a review to give you a flavor (not mango).


At 8:40 PM, Blogger Drue Kataoka said...

Great post and nice photos! Yes FSJ always gets the crowds going online and off.


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