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More stuff with Steve Jobs on them

8 Oct 2010 | in Steve Jobs trivia

There’s so much stuff bearing Steve Jobs on them these days that I’m thinking about launching my own online store. The new ones this week are:

A “psychedelic” portrait based on the 1984 red-tie-and-red-apple picture

and

A weird leather iPad case based on the 2006 hand-on-bearded-chin picture.


Steve, a star for today’s teenagers

7 Oct 2010 | in Steve Jobs news

Steve v. MarkTechCrunch reports the results of a survey by Junior Achievement about entrepreneurs.

Junior Achievement surveyed 1,000 teens in the United States by telephone to get an idea of which entrepreneurs they admire most. Nearly a quarter of respondents named Jobs as the most admired entrepreneur, albeit down from 35% in the 2009 survey.

Even with Facebook at more than half a billion users, and the movie The Social Network taking the world by storm, Mark Zuckerberg only received 9% of votes for most admired entrepreneur, tying with skateboarding legend Tony Hawk.

Although it’s obvious to almost everybody, I’m still stunned by how mainstream Apple and Steve have become. The same thought came to my mind a couple of days ago. I was sitting at Starbucks in Paris, enjoying my morning latte. Next to me was a group of 5 teenage boys (probably in high school) They were talking about a parody of Steve Jobs that was broadcast on the most famous French satirical TV show (it’s a puppet show) last week. The piece showed Steve selling common objects by just putting an i in front of their name.

One of the boys said: “They’r exaggerating. We don’t buy anything Apple makes. It’s just that they make great stuff…”. He was identifying himself as part of that crowd ready to buy anything Apple. When I was their age, I was the only one in junior high who even knew the name of more than one Apple product. The PC was the norm and Macs were seen as expensive, weird-looking computers that were too slow and had no software. As for Steve Jobs, no one knew who he was – they only knew Bill Gates. I’m talking about 2000-2002 here.

Wow. Things really change fast in this world. I wonder what people will say of Apple and Steve ten years from today.


Steve Jobs makes two public appearances

6 Oct 2010 | in Steve Jobs news

The old time where Steve Jobs would make public appearances several times a month are back!!! Yippie yeah!

Yesterday (October 5), he appeared twice in public: in the morning, at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, attending the ceremony for the creation of the nation’s first living donor registry for kidney transplants. And in the evening again, at the AT&T Wireless Hall of Fame, where Stan Sigman was inducted. He was CEO of AT&T when Steve introduced the first iPhone.

At the Children's Hospital with the Governator

With Stan Sigman yesterday night

It’s interesting to see how Steve seems to embrace this cause of organ donations. He was known for not giving to any charity before that near-death experience happened to him.

As a side note, I have to get used to journalists/bloggers doing a bad job and never checking their sources. I have seen on several news sites, including mainstream ones, pictures of his speech from last March mixed up with this story in a very confusing way.


Has NeXT changed Steve Jobs?

6 Oct 2010 | in Management, Steve Jobs history

Steve Jobs and the NeXT Big ThingRandall E Stross wrote an article three days ago in the New York Times, that you hear a good deal about in most of the Apple blogosphere. Its title: “What Steve Jobs learned in the Wilderness“. I’ll add my two cents worth, as usual.

First, a word on Randall. The guy knows what he’s talking about, since, as he points out in the article, he wrote Steve Jobs and the NeXT Big Thing over 15 years ago. I read the book some time ago and liked it a lot. It’s a great resource on the obscure NeXT period (one I love, as you know or will soon know if you keep coming back to this blog). What Mr. Stross doesn’t brag about, understandingly, is that his main point in the book was that Steve Jobs was basically a fluke with no management skills and vision on the industry whatsoever. He thought that not only NeXT but also Pixar, where his wife worked, both proved it. Hmm.

Now about the article itself. Quite frankly, I have mixed feelings about it. It’s true that Steve was kind of humbled by his failure at NeXT. But, unlike what the article says, I don’t believe that this newfound humbleness has remained with him all these years. I agree more with Alan Deutschman’s theory in The Second Coming of Steve Jobs that once success came back, Steve Jobs’ “mellowness” was quick to disappear. I especially disagree with Randall Stross’ statement:

In this period, Mr. Jobs did not do much delegating. Almost every aspect of the machine — including the finish on interior screws — was his domain. (…) Mr. Jobs had learned from Next not to try to do everything himself.

This shows quite a lack of understanding of how Apple is run. Last time I checked, Steve delayed the launch of the iPad until he could find the appropriate word to describe it (namely, “magical”), chooses the music that’s used in every Apple commercial — and, yes, still cares a great deal about screws. Just listen to the keynotes or promotional videos for the iPhone or the Macbook Pro, how they insist on the number of screws (or the lack thereof) in the machines, with the very same words that were used by Steve when he launched the NeXT Station… in 1991.

As I’ve pointed out before, the main difference between Steve’s failures in the 1990s and his successes in the 2000s is not Steve himself. It’s… LUCK. And a market finally ready for his vision.


The lowdown on Steve Jobs’ future Woodside home

4 Oct 2010 | in Steve Jobs news, Steve Jobs personality

OK, so for about two whole weeks, the WWWW (Whole World Wide Web) has been a-buzzing about the supposedly exclusive plans that Gizmodo unveiled of Steve’s future home in Woodside. Now that the story is a little more behind us, I thought I’d recap and use the occasion to come back on the whole Woodside affair, that’s been going on for years.

1. Context

As most of you know, Steve has owned a mansion in Woodside since 1984. He bought it with the money he made at Apple after the company’s IPO in 1980. The mansion — 14,540 sq.— was built in the 1920s by a copper magnate, Daniel Jackling, hence its nickname “the Jackling house”. It is located in the exclusive neighborhood of Woodside, not too far from Larry Ellison’s Japanese estate. Steve lived in it when he was a bachelor, roughly from 1984 to the early or mid-1990s (shortly after his marriage with Laurene). You can see pictures of Steve inside his mansion on all about Steve Jobs (I chose one of my favorites here).

Steve in Woodside in 1985

Steve in Woodside in September 1985, the day he announced he was quitting Apple.Note the mansion on the right, which looks really nice.

One thing you will note is that most of the rooms are devoid of furniture. As a matter of fact, the only room that was fully furbished inside the mansion was the kitchen — not that Steve was a great cook, he hired a couple who cooked for him.

Understandably, Laurene refused to live in this empty mansion, and had Steve and their new family move to a less reclusive — and slightly more furnished — house in Palo Alto. The Woodside mansion has been abandoned since then. (more…)


Pictures of the expansion of Pixar’s campus

1 Oct 2010 | in Steve Jobs news

The best Pixar online resource I know of (if you know a better one, let me know in comments) reports new pictures of the expansion of the Pixar campus in Emeryville.

Pixar expansion construction photos (Sept. 2010)

I am writing on this because it gives me the occasion to go back on three things:

  1. I was a little skeptical in 2006, when the Pixar/Disney merger occurred, that Pixar would lose its identity. Apparently, it’s not the case — not only are the movies still great, but the company still enjoys the paradise-like environment of its genius-filled Emeryville campus, far from the bean counters of Burbank. I think it’s a powerful statement of independence. For the record, Steve himself could not force the then-small Pixar team to move to the South Bay in the early 1990s. They refused because being away from him gave them greater freedom to work on what they chose to. History proved them right.
  2. The “fence-gate”, so to speak. Perhaps you don’t know, or don’t remember, but this expansion was first blocked by the neighbors of the Emeryville campus. They complained that Pixar lived in its own world, isolated from the city community by the huge fence surrounding their campus. Tom Carlisle, in charge of Pixar’s facilities, made Pixar’s case pretty simply: ““If the city takes away our fence, we will not stay in Emeryville.” I am quoting the guy because he’s known Steve for a long time. He was in charge of NeXT’s headquarters back in the 1990s, as you can see on the pic on the right.
  3. Pixar’s campus is great, but what about Apple’s planned new campus? Gee, it takes even longer than the future Woodside home to appear 😉 (more on that soon btw). So far, no sign of progress whatsoever. Apple has moved to the former HP offices that they were supposed to tear down, well, for four years… My opinion: Steve doesn’t have enough time to concentrate on both new Apple products and a perfect new campus. Not to mention his own home. This will take years, perhaps construction will not even start before he’s retired.

I’d also like to point out again that this blog is really about Steve Jobs, not Apple. Pixar, though less important, is Steve’s other company, and deserves to be mentioned on this blog just as much. Who doesn’t love Pixar anyway?


Who will succeed to Steve Jobs?

30 Sep 2010 | in Management, Steve Jobs history

Interesting article I stumbled upon today, from a Jon Korbin on EzineMark.com. It deals with what I think is one of the most controversial issues for Apple in the future: the succession of Steve Jobs.

The 2-part article starts with a highly dithyrambic description of Steve’s role at Apple, one even your fellow webmaster would not dare write. Excerpt:

He has erected temples to Apple’s greatness in major cities around the world whose awesome presence evokes imagery of high priests and virgins surrounded by platinum chalices spilling over with grapes on the vine.

My attention was caught by the following two points in the article — they reflect my two main concerns about a Steve-less Apple. First, the control that only Steve can have a huge corporation like Apple.

His intimidating sense of control has afforded him the kind of command over this ever-growing audience that seldom belongs to individuals who don’t draw their power from Government or God.

The author is referring to Apple fanboys like us. But this is not the issue. The issue is about Apple itself. (more…)


Pathetic website: Where’s Jobs

29 Sep 2010 | in Steve Jobs trivia

I have nothing against Steve Jobs humor – I was an avid reader of Fake Steve when he was an active, satirist blogger. But I think we’ve crossed the line of pointlessness with Where’s Jobs, a website where people submit fake pictures on which they’ve added teeny-tiny pictures of Steve Jobs (à la Where’s Waldo). See for yourself.


29 Sep 2010 | in Updates

Jobs House Gallery gizmodo.com/5650062//galle… via @gizmodo


The iPod ninja

27 Sep 2010 | in Steve Jobs trivia

Scoopertino (“unreal Apple news”) made a funny parody in reaction to the fake story about Steve at the Kyoto airport:

Steve Jobs ninja stars revealed to be iPod prototypes.

Check out the product design 😉