A National Treasure Uncovered


Steve Jobs continues to make news from the hereafter. The story I am about to tell you is true, even though it sounds totally made up.

The original mouse from the Lisa computer has been found. This is the one that Jobs actually used 30 years ago. The mouse was buried in a time capsule by organizers of the 1983 Aspen International Design Conference.

Jobs donated the mouse for the time capsule — called the “Aspen Time Tube” — after using it to give a presentation at the conference, The event’s organizers wanted to reopen the 13-foot-long steel tube in 2000. One small problem . No one could find the exact location of the buried treasure because of new landscaping in the area. See it all on the video.

The capsule was actually rediscovered six months ago. A crew from the National Geographic Channel show Diggers brought it to the surface. Tune in on February 25th at 10pm, the NatGeo channel, for the full details

Thank you guys.

Jobs-less

iSteve, Funny or Die’s biopic of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, was just released online. The nearly 80-minute comedy is a parody of the biopic film genre. The script was written in three days and shot in five.

Don’t be impressed. I am trying to find something I like about it. I have included the trailer below and the link to the 80-minute movie is embedded on top of it.

Continue reading

Silicon Valley is Broadway Bound

There are a number of regional musicals that are all about two of the most famous Internet pioneers, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Eliot and I were asked to invest in a few of them. None of the scripts we read thrilled us. It was difficult to get excited about musicals that depict the lives of nerds who became billionaires.

We think this is a fascinating subject that just doesn’t translate to song and dance. Maybe we are wrong. You can judge for yourself. The one show that has a shot at making it to Broadway is “Nerds,” a musical comedy that is currently playing at the A.J Theater in Raleigh, NC. It runs to February 3rd. It stars Darren Ritchie, Stanley Bahorek, Leslie Kritzer, and Diana DeGarmo.

We hope one of the musicals is as good as “The Social Network,” the story of Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook. While many people feel the movie was pure fiction, at least it gave you a flavor of what took place to build a social media platform that has become a national sensation. The story of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates certainly deserves the same chance.

My Idea For The Yacht Jobs Built

We all knew it was coming, but we are never really prepared to see the creation of something new from a person no longer with us, especially if that individual is Steve Jobs. His new 260 foot super-yacht is nothing less than a vision of beauty, but the first pictures of it, in my opinion, still look like a cold memorial for a helpless soul who was struck down at the height of his greatness. Call me “morbid,” but that is just how I feel about it. Watch the video that shows the unveiling of the vessel Jobs named Venus.

Jobs commissioned its construction in 2007. He worked on it with French product designer Philippe Starck. We all know Starck as the minimalist designer of The Delano Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, the Paramount and Hudson Hotels in New York, the Mondrian Hotel in Los Angeles and the Clift hotel in San Francisco. Together they designed a luxury motor yacht to look like a floating Apple store. The vessel is presently docked where it was built, in a shipyard in Aalsmeer, the Netherlands, just south of Amsterdam.

Just as you guessed, the yacht has all of the designs that made Apple products so distinguishable. It is sleek and sexy. Look at the crisp white lines, polished metal and tons of glass. Starck recently told the press that he is very proud of Venus. “It reflected Jobs’ expectation and vision.” The super-yacht has a long white hull with a row of circular portholes just above the water line and two glass-walled cabins on the top deck, one on top of the other. The cabin windows are large panes, almost floor to ceiling,and the main living area has windows 40 feet long and 10 feet high glass.

Jobs was very concerned about the completion of the yacht. He didn’t want to leave his widow the task of finishing it. It is interesting to note that most of his life Jobs lived without the frills of a rich person. He got more pleasure from the act of creating rather than the creation itself. That is why I think the Venus should be gifted as an educational facility for the tech community. You’ve heard of a “semester at sea?” The Venus could be a floating school that offers seminars, tech instructional classes, research, and mentoring in every phase of entrepreneurism and creativity.

I don’t want to see the Venus listed on Vacations-To-Go or used for private events when the Jobs family and friends are not using it. I want to see the Venus alive every day of the year giving life to some form of innovation that will continue to speak volumes of what Jobs was all about. You can read more about the Venus in Jobs’ biography written by Walter Isaacson.

My Idea For The Yacht That Jobs Built

We all knew it was coming, but we are never really prepared to see the creation of something new from a person no longer with us, especially if that individual is Steve Jobs. His new 260 foot super-yacht is nothing less than a vision of beauty, but the first pictures of it, in my opinion, still look like a cold memorial for a helpless soul who was struck down at the height of his greatness. Call me “morbid,” but that is just how I feel about it. Watch the video that shows the unveiling of the vessel Jobs named Venus.

Jobs commissioned its construction in 2007. He worked on it with French product designer Philippe Starck. We all know Starck as the minimalist designer of The Delano Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, the Paramount and Hudson Hotels in New York, the Mondrian Hotel in Los Angeles and the Clift hotel in San Francisco. Together they designed a luxury motor yacht to look like a floating Apple store. The vessel is presently docked where it was built, in a shipyard in Aalsmeer, the Netherlands, just south of Amsterdam.

Just as you guessed, the yacht has all of the designs that made Apple products so distinguishable. It is sleek and sexy. Look at the crisp white lines, polished metal and tons of glass. Starck recently told the press that he is very proud of Venus. “It reflected Jobs’ expectation and vision.” The super-yacht has a long white hull with a row of circular portholes just above the water line and two glass-walled cabins on the top deck, one on top of the other. The cabin windows are large panes, almost floor to ceiling,and the main living area has windows 40 feet long and 10 feet high glass. windows.

Jobs was very concerned about the completion of the yacht. He didn’t want to leave his widow the task of finishing it. It is interesting to note that most of his life Jobs lived without the frills of a rich person. He got more pleasure from the act of creating rather than the creation itself. That is why I think the Venus should be gifted as an educational facility for the tech community. You’ve heard of a “semester at sea?” The Venus could be a floating school that offers seminars, tech instructional classes, research, and mentoring in every phase of entrepreneurism and creativity.

I don’t want to see the Venus listed on Vacations-To-Go or used for private events when the Jobs family and friends are not using it. I want to see the Venus alive every day of the year giving life to some form of innovation that will continue to speak volumes of what Jobs was all about. You can read more about the Venus in Jobs’ biography written by Walter Isaacson.

18-To-55

One of the most embarrassing things about getting older is that the number of your age doesn’t count anymore.

The first time I got “the sting” was 10 years ago. I was sitting in a meeting with my client, his sales force, my account executives and the company’s ad agency, when they started to talk about the target audience for the new TV set they were introducing. My client stood up and announced that the new product was aimed at the 18-to-55 age bracket.

I wanted to crawl under the table. I felt like the odd-man-out. I was just 55 at the time and within a split second, a dinosaur. My body stiffened up and there was a tingly sensation running through my skin. I felt like everyone was staring at me. I was no longer a respectable member of society. Why should my staff listen to me if I was just put out to pasture? They were still in the targeted age bracket and considered citizens of substance.

I sat there for the next hour of the meeting, but didn’t hear a thing. I thought to myself; I had more money than anyone else in the room, my credit card was always available to buy, and this was the time in my life that I had the disposable income to be selfish. Yet, I was no longer part of the club. Someone else determined that old fogies were not worth their time.

The next day I called my client and told him how I felt. He didn’t know what to say other than this is what focus groups told him and of course, the marketing plan was geared towards me because I was so young at heart. Ouch, ouch, ouch! I decided that it wasn’t worth fighting with this guy, because he was just a suit hired to fill the title on his business card.

I do, however, mention this to every entrepreneur I meet in the tech business, to make them aware that this is no longer acceptable. I warn them that if they continue to treat my age group with disrespect, I was going to put a voodoo spell on them. Whether they agree or not, most of them comply.

I forgot about this issue until I went to buy a gadget that was supposedly going to teach me to play the piano. I was so excited! I always wanted to play the piano, but never had the patience nor the time to learn. iTutor Piano was going to change all that. It touts itself as the ultimate piano teaching tool for iPad, iPod and iPhone. All I had to do was connect one of them to the gadget, download the free iTutor Piano app and start playing immediately.

Wow wee, I could pretend I was Alicia Keyes or Norah Jones. If I was Norah Jones, maybe Steve Jobs would love me. Oh yeah, he is dead. That is not going to happen. Anyway, both gals are pretty spectacular so I could have a lot of fun anyway. I can carry the 25-note keyboard with me anywhere, turn on the app and play away. There is even a Piano Guy who appears on the screen demonstrating how to play while the actual keys on iTutor Piano light up, showing me where to place my hands.

I was taking out my credit card to buy iTutor from an online shopping site that once again gave me that warning that this was not a product for me, 18-55, so I stopped. Who is this scatter-brain that came up with this nonsense?

Looking For The Next Steve Jobs

Will.i.am

Simon Cowell

Steve Jobs

It was only a matter of time. I am surprised it took this long. I even thought of it myself, but I don’t have millions of dollars to make it happen. It takes the likes of Simon Cowell and Will.i.am to back this sort of a thing. Looking for The Next Steve Jobs is like Looking for Mr. Goodbar. Does he really exist?

The duo of Simon and Will.i.am are working on a project called the ”X Factor for Tech.” The details are very sketchy at this point but basically it will be the same kind of format that has proven to be successful for singers and dancers: teams of producers screen the entries, the on-screen TV judges select the ones they want to present on stage, the audience then decides on the finalists and then the grand prize winner.

The big question for ”X Factor for Tech” is their particular format. Will there be a final winner for each show that gets a sum of money for a startup, or will it take a year to get to the grand finale? How serious are they in finding the next Steve Jobs? Personally, I think that is just a euphemism for finding inventors who are game changers like Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Four Square, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Steve Case of AOL, and Jeff Bezos of Amazon.

Unlike the entertainment business, there is just a limited number of geniuses. Most of the time when you hear a new and interesting concept, it first sounds like a winner. Then as time goes by, the concept starts developing warts that the money people don’t want to address and the inventor doesn’t know how to cure on his or her own.

If you ever watch Shark Tank, a TV show format with a similar objective as what I think “X Factor for Tech” will be about, you start to understand why the Sharks only give money to those who can stand on their own. They can’t be nursemaids to the idea people. Too many inventors/creators need money but they also need guidance. They know nothing about marketing, accounting, legal requirements, hiring, firing, meeting deadlines, or even sales. The minute the Sharks find out that the person standing before them is an empty suit, he or she gets turned down.

The same thing will happen on “X Factor for Tech.” Simon and Will.i.am are not about to give money for an idea that will go no place fast, so it is going to be interesting to see how they cultivate the inventor. The same thing holds true with American Idol, The X Factor and all of the other entertainment shows. Half of the grand winners cut a record or two but you never hear from them again.

That is show business. This is the tech business. The ultimate Steve Jobs didn’t just appear one day. He was created after decades of trying to make things happen and then deciding that he had enough substance to lead. Very few on earth ever feel like that other than the impostors. There are tons of them. It is going to be interesting to see if these two music moguls will be able to spot that.