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The Real Future of Technology

10:25am Friday, 09/19/2008
Topic: Keynote
Location: Special Events Hall


Photo of Gordie Mazur

Gordie Mazur

The Lavin Agency

For over a year, the true identity of Fake Steve Jobs was the Internet’s best-kept secret. The business world and Silicon Valley were buzzing with speculation and rumour, even parlour games: who, exactly, was behind “The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs,” the scathingly hilarious, deceptively insightful, and wildly popular blog “written” by Apple’s genius CEO?

In grand style, The New York Times finally outed Fake Steve Jobs: it’s Daniel Lyons, who was then a popular tech columnist at Forbes who has since moved up to Newsweek. At his blog, fakesteve.blogspot.com, Lyons has captured the Zeitgeist, from perhaps the one place it is clearest—the point of view of Steve Jobs. In the tradition of Jonathan Swift and The Onion, he uses a pitch-perfect satirical style to deliver trenchant social commentary, reflecting on everything from the Cult of Steve and the rise of Apple (“Dude, I invented the friggin’ iPhone. Have you heard of it?”) to the ubiquitous influence of the tech industry on our everyday lives.

In his new book, Options: The Secret Life of Steve Jobs, Lyons writes an epic takedown of Silicon Valley, Hollywood and Washington, D.C., as viewed by a central character, Steve Jobs, who exists, to his immense self-satisfaction, at the crossroads of all three worlds. “Just as Tom Wolfe skewered Wall Street in the ’80s, Fake Steve Jobs lights a mini-Bonfire in Silicon Valley with Options,” Entertainment Weekly writes in an A- review. “The narrator of this dead-tree account is so textured and real that even his most idle thoughts amuse.”

Daniel Lyons is a columnist at Newsweek. His articles have also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, GQ, and The Boston Globe, and he is the author of two previous novels, The Last Good Man and Dog Days. Lyons also taught at the University of Michigan and the University of Toledo.