The Tao of Steve

The Tao of Steve

Steve Jobs: The Perfect Aaron Sorkin Character For Anyone But Aaron Sorkin

sorkin and jobs

Word broke today that Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing, A Few Good Men, The Social Network) is on the shortlist of those Sony is looking at to write the biopic of Steve Jobs. Surely, it could be like most of Sorkin’s screenplays often are a massive hit. To be kind, there’s just a hint of unfortunate awkwardness that could come into play with Aaron Sorkin at the helm. To be fair: Sorkin’s just not the right guy for this.  Read More

The Tao of Steve

Siri’s Knowledge Engine, Wolfram Alpha, Was Once Pegged As a Google Killer


Business Insider put up a post today introducing folks to Wolfram Alpha, the “mind-blowing intelligence service that powers Siri.” How quickly the kids forget!

Wolfram Alpha actually went live back in 2009, and roughly oh about 98.7 percent of the press at the time had some version of WOLFRAM ALPHA: GOOGLE KILLER WHA??!!!. That’s because Wolfram Alpha bypassed scanning keywords for natural language search.This was before Ashton Kutcher invested in Blekko, before Steve Ballmer even previewed Bing online. Read More

The Tao of Steve

‘Steve Jobs Sold Out,’ Says Performer Behind Powerful Drama of Apple’s History

Mr. Daisey.

Betabeat made the mistake of stopping by the Apple Store before work last week, forgetting it was the day the new iPhone 4S went on sale. The line stretched down 14th Street. A stream of glowing customers were exiting the store, new phones clutched in their hands. A photographer got down on one knee to shoot a happy British couple. A man in a tweed jacket agreed to speak with a television news crew about his purchase. Our plan to pick up a power cord didn’t seem likely to pan out.

As we walked back to the subway, we passed an Apple employee standing by a far door no had yet noticed. “You need a phone,” the guy whispered. “Full price, but you can cut the line.”

No one knows the lure of Apple products better than Mike Daisey. He is, in geek parlance, an Apple fanboy. “I belong to the Cult of Mac. I have been to the House of Jobs. I have felt the Tao of Steve.”

Mr. Daisey looks the part. He is fat, Chris Farley fat, with a face that emerges and recedes into his neck like an animal into its burrow. He tosses off casual references to long dead coding languages and various races from Lord of the Rings. Sometimes to relax, he claims, he goes home and field strips his Macbook Pro, cleans all 47 individual parts, and puts it back together.

But over the past 14 months, as he has traveled the country performing his one man show, The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, Mr. Daisey has become a pointed critic of Apple and its charismatic founder. Betabeat caught a sold out performance of his work at the Public Theater the evening after our trip to the Apple store. Read More

The Tao of Steve

The Steve Jobs Play Starting Previews Today Will Keep Its Acid Tongue


It took about a day of beatification after Steve Jobs death before the backlash started in. Well, less than a day in Gawker’s case. But playwright Mike Daisey is betting that the stasis is somewhere in between.

His controversial play, “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” begins previews today at the Public Theater, less than a week after Mr. Jobs’s death. Although some lines in the monologue have been changed to reflect his passing, as MarketWatch reports, it won’t be pulling any punches about what Mr. Daisey describes as Apple’s inhumane manufacturing, based on his trip to the Foxconn plant, the site of multiple worker suicides, in Shenzhen, China. Read More

The Tao of Steve

Time Magazine Literally Stops the Presses to Honor Steve Jobs, With Help From His Biographer


Time magazine was almost finished closing its latest issue, which will hit stands Friday, when the news of Steve Jobs’ death broke. So for the first time in what AdWeek says may have been three decades, the magazine stopped the presses. Mr. Jobs’ image now graces the front cover for the eighth and perhaps final time. Its entire ‘feature well’ will also be devoted to covering his legacy.

Businessweek and Newsweek also have special issues planned, the former an ad-free tribute.‘s striking black homepage is also still ad-fee–featuring only an image of Mr. Jobs and quotes mourning his passing–just as it did last night. But Time‘s issue is of particular note because it will feature an essay from Walter Issacson, Mr. Jobs’ biographer, who just had his deadline pushed up by Simon & Schuster.

Mr. Issacson’s essay is behind a paywall, but has excerpted the part where he describes the day Mr. Jobs first tried to pitch him on writing his life’s story. Read More

The Tao of Steve

Simon & Schuster Bumps Up the Release Date for Its Steve Jobs Biography (Again), As Pre-Orders Soar


This morning, Simon & Schuster announced it would be moving up the release date of its authorized Steve Jobs biography from November 21st to October 24th, reports the Associated Press. The book, which changed its title from “iSteve: The Book of Jobs” to the more timeless “Steve Jobs,” is currently number one on Amazon’s best-seller’s list and number three on Barnes & Noble’s website. Read More

The Tao of Steve

Steve Jobs Has Passed Away

The man and his muse

Legendary Apple founder Steve Jobs died tonight after a long battle with cancer. I wrote an article when he stepped down as CEO that I think gets at a little piece of what made him so incredible. It’s below, along with the video of Mr. Jobs giving a 2005 commencement speech at Stanford, offering some of his most poignant thoughts on life and death. Read More

The Tao of Steve

This GroupMe Intern Might Be Steve Jobs’ Biggest Fan, At Least According to His Haircut


Now that Steve Jobs has passed the torch to Tim Cook, the tech world is beside itself with nostalgia. But GroupMe intern Allen Paltrow’s Day-I-Met-Steve-Jobs story wins for most adorable. On his Tumblr, the computer science student at Princeton and self-professed “fan boy” tells the story of how he got invited to the opening of the 5th Avenue Cube. It was, as he says, “Probably the coolest thing that happened to me between the ages 6 and 12.”

Mr. Paltrow, you see, was in the habit of shaving the Apple logo into the back of his head to commemorate every OS launch. Thanks to Brew PR maven Brooke Hammerling, his dreams came true. Read More

The Tao of Steve

Steve Jobs and the Value of Saying No

The man and his muse.

“I wanted to come and just have chat this morning,” says Steve Jobs, seated onstage for the closing keynote of Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference back in 1997. Mr. Jobs, who officially stepped down from his post last night, had just begun his second tenure as Apple’s CEO. The company’s stock had been dipping below $20 a share for much of that year, and it was clear to Mr. Jobs that someone needed to light a fire under the developers who helped support the Apple ecosystem.

“We get to spend 45 minutes or so together and I want to talk about whatever you want to talk about,” Mr. Jobs told the crowd. Coming from a legendary CEO, known for having things his way, it was a disarmingly humble and open stance. “I have opinions on most things,” he said, drawing a laugh from the crowd. “So I figured if you want to just start asking some questions, we’ll go to some good places.” It’s a turn of phrase that reminds one Mr. Jobs is in fact a Buddhist, raised in the apricot orchards of Silicon Valley.

But the first question was about OpenDoc, a piece of software Apple had just discontinued, and from there, Jobs transformed, becoming the confrontational yet charming executive whose reality distortion field drew standing ovations from developers and journalists alike. “I know some of  you spent a lot time working on something that we put a bullet in the head of. I apologize. I feel your pain. But Apple suffered for several years from lousy engineering management, I have to say it.” Read More