Fake Steve Jobs is Dead, Long Live Fake Steve Jobs

Posted by bryanzug - 2007/08/06

My favorite anonymous blogger of all time has been unmasked. Yesterday the New York Times revealed that Fake Steve Jobs, author of the witty and sarcastically insightful Secret Diary of Steve Jobs, is actually Daniel Lyons, a senior editor at Forbes magazine.

Scoble points to a cool insight from Scott Karp over at Publishing 2.0 on lessons to be learned by the whole thing —

Fake Steve proves that big media companies have the talent in house — they just can’t get out of their own way to experiment with disruptive innovations.

Couldn’t agree more, and to take it a bit further, I think there really is a place for anonymous posting sometimes.

The first time I ever began to appreciate the idea that there could be a place for anonymous internet posting was back in 2000 — when I participated in a lively online community for the first time. We got into a fun experiment where a pastor friend of mine used an anonymous character on a public church bulletin board to “spur on” some folks in his congregation.

It was the first time that I saw someone in a reserved organization say things that needed to be said with an over the top sarcastic wit that signaled through the noise.

It went well beyond the “nice” conversations you were “supposed” to have at church, and, funny enough, it captured a lot of attention (especially in a sub-culture where hyperbole seems to have been dropped from everyone’s literary toolkit).

The more I think about these experiences the more that I firmly believe that, while there are clearly dangers of anonymous postings (where people do not own their words), there are also clearly situations where anonymity can breed a level of honesty that can be, shall we say, quite fruitful at times.

FSB is dead — Long live FSB.


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  1. While the real Steve Jobs must be relieved, the competition in Redmond can be added to the list of the upset. The usually reticent Bill Gates already had some not-so-namaste things to say about the whole Daniel Lyons affair.

    Comment by Jeff — August 6, 2007 #

  2. Money quote from Bill: “of course none of this fake blog business would have happened in the first place if people had adopted MS Passport”

    Money quote from digginestdogg’s comment: “It not theft if one declares they are fake as FSJ has from the beginning–we all knew from day one he was not the real Steve Jobs. However, when one appears on television claiming the Mac is hacked daily, an utter falsehood, and presents it as fact, that’s outright lying. But I am not at all surprised you don’t understand the difference given your personal habitual “looseness” with the truth. FSJ is called parody–look it up–even your whacked Windows dictionary probably gets it right.”

    Comment by Perry Azevedo — August 23, 2007 #

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