I just read Fake Steve Jobs' new book "Options: The Secret Life of Steve Jobs." Here's my verdict: it's really, really funny. Indeed, it reminds me of some of Christopher Buckley's best work (Thank You for Smoking and God Is My Broker).
Many of you know the blog by Fake Steve Jobs (who in real life is Daniel Lyons, a Forbes editor). The book is in a similar vein but much funnier and obviously more developed. The narrative deals with a year in the life of Fake Steve Jobs. The centerpiece is the options backdating investigation by the Feds into Apple and Jobs himself. But there are Fake Steve's insights into management philosophy, engineering, love, drug use, product development, and being a creative genius (just like Mozart!).
The Fake Steve Jobs character is a riot. I have no idea how close this character is to the Real Steve Jobs, but FSJ seems to conform to the many myths, bizarre stories, and stereotypes a number of us in the Valley have about the Real Steve. [I met the Real Steve Jobs several times in the early 1980s when he was Apple's Chairman, once in his office and again when he spoke at a conference I produced. He was cordial to me, but his "reality distortion field" was already fully developed then.]
Fake Steve's supporting cast is impressive: Larry Ellison, Bono, and Al Gore. They all seem like "letchtards." And then there are others: Hillary Clinton, the "Googletards," Arnold, John Doerr, and a couple of characters who greatly resemble Andy Grove and Tom Perkins.
Here's a sample from the book and it describes Fake Steve's new product development philosophy:
"Anyone can make a phone, just like anyone can make a computer. But that's not good enough for Apple. Part of what makes us different—and, yes, better—is the way we create products.
For example, we don't start with the product itself. We start with the ads. We'll spend months on advertisements alone. This is the reverse of how most companies do it. Everybody else starts with the product, and it's only when it's done do they go, "Oh wait, we need some ads, don't we?" Which is why most advertising sucks, because it's an afterthought.
Not here. At Apple, advertising a a pre-thought. If we can't come up with a good ad, we probably won't do the product. Once we've got the ad campaign, then we start work on the product. But we don't start with the technology. We start with the design . . . . "
Options: a good fun read! Check it out.