Tag Archives: Steve Jobs

Feb. 22, 2015 Blumbers

Apple iCar

There are rumors that Apple, Amazon and Tesla are developing robocars. Frankly, this cannot happen soon enough. Traffic in Silicon Valley is so bad that drivers cannot text or talk on the phone. They should not even listen to the radio. Just keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel.

Here is a top ten list if Apple starts selling cars:

1. The stores are going to have to be bigger.

2. The car will require a special set of wrenches to open it.

3. There will be only one USB port to charge it.

4. You will have to buy a black vinyl cover for it to keep clean like Porsche’s from the 1990s.

5. If you are in an accident, you will have to exchange IP Addresses and call Apple Care.

6. The most expensive model will be gold plated. The cheapest model will be available in a range of colors.

7. It will be so thin most people will not be able to fit inside.

8. If the car is stolen Siri will lock the doors and drive to the nearest police station.

9. If you fall behind in your car payments, Siri will lock the doors and drive to the nearest police station.

10. Critics will still say Steve Jobs would have made a better one.

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Aug. 9, 2014 Doug Menuez Fearless Genius

On August 9, 2014 in Mountain View, the Computer History Museum exhibited “Fearless Genius: The Digital Revolution in Silicon Valley 1985-2000.” This collection is just a sample of the 250,000 images taken by photojournalist Doug Menuez taken during that period.

Thirty years ago, Steve Jobs was kicked out of Apple, an organization he had helped build. It did not stop him. He created Next computers. The genius of Steve Jobs was bringing out the genius of others and making the most of it. He recognized the talents of Doug Menuez from his images in newspapers and magazines. Jobs gave him complete access. He did not tell the photographer what cameras to use or who to take pictures of. The result was a series of remarkable historic images capturing the people who changed the world.

Menuez sees a bigger picture from all the little ones. There is a trend from open, inclusive cultures based on sharing to closed, exclusive cultures based on greed and exploitation. Organizations that used to meet in community college classrooms now meet in gated mansions. While this might create jobs in other countries, it does not help most people in America. Without middle class jobs there are few paths to success for the next Steve Jobs.

We owe a debt to people like Menuez who had the foresight to take these images. Imagine if you had an independent photojournalist who was willing to accurately document every important event in your organization. Of course, you would have credit their work and they could make money from the images in magazines etc. but the publicity and legacy it would promote would be worth it.

Real visionaries show us what they see. If history is written by the winners, it is also photographed. This exhibit is an inspiration to archive and display my own collection of Silicon Valley history.

Copyright 2014 DJ Cline All rights reserved.


Apr. 11, 2012 SVForum Creating Killer Products

On Wednesday, April 1, 2012 in Palo Alto at Cooley LLP, SVForum held its Main Event “Creating a Killer Product – Do you want to be Steve Blank or Steve Jobs?” Gregory Clark of Cooley LLP moderated panelists Joe Beninato of Tello, Jim Connor of Sand Hill Angels, Eph Lindenbaum of Advance Ventures and Richard Melmon of Bullpen Capital. They discussed the pros and cons of both approaches.

Steve Jobs and Steve Blank had different ways to create killer products. Guy Kawasaki said, “Steve Job’s idea of a customer focus group was his left brain talking to his right brain.” Steve Blank’s idea was the Customer Development Process used by many startups. Frankly if you are not a genius who can make giant leaps to a final product, you have to rely on process.

Copyright 2012 DJ Cline All rights reserved.


Steve Jobs

By Walter Isaacson

This is a hard review to write. There has been some discussion about if this is a good authorized biography. People seem to forget it will be the only authorized biography. I had an advanced copy but simply could not write a review three months ago. It is now January, the time of year when people went to San Francisco and saw Steve Jobs unveil new products. That will never happen again.

It is a warts and all biography. After reading it I wonder if Apple would hire anyone else who was this flawed. Would they hire someone with a history substance abuse? Someone with a severe eating disorder? Someone who smelled? Someone who would not acknowledge his own children? Someone who was upsetting to co-workers? Someone who parked in handicapped parking spaces? They would if they saw the most flawed people are the ones who work hardest to achieve perfection.

I’ve read a lot of science fiction and I could not help but wonder about how his life might have turned out differently. The possible permutations have an remarkable pattern. His biological father’s family was from Syria and his biological mother was a midwestern farm girl. Conversely, his adoptive father was a midwestern farm boy and his mother’s family was from Armenia.

What if his bio mother and father had kept the baby? What if they had stayed in Syria? Would he have been a demonstrator criticizing the government as you know he would? Would he have died last October in the streets of Homs?

What if his bio parents had stayed in America? Would he have grown up as the son of restaurant owner in Silicon Valley? Would he have gone into technology anyway?

Okay, here is a really wild one. What if Steve Wozniak’s parents had adopted Steve Jobs in 1955?

What if he had been killed in that robbery in the early 1970s while selling a black box? Is it interesting that he started and ended his career selling phone equipment? Was Jobs taking advantage of AT&T both times?

What if he had become a cult leader at that commune in Oregon instead of moving back to Silicon Valley? As you might have seen in the TV show Portlandia, there are some kooky cults south of Portland, although they probably operate out of office buildings today.

What if he had stayed at HP and persuaded them to build PCs in the 1970s? What if he had remained at Apple after 1985? What if he had not returned in 1997? What if he had died in 2004 instead of 2011?

We can speculate about what might have been if only to sharpen our skills to imagine what might yet happen. Individuals make a difference in history like pebbles in a stream. Together we change the course of time.

In the end, the question is how people are remembered. On the week Steve Jobs died, I was walking down University Avenue in Palo Alto. I was across the street from the Apple store. I stood in front of a Borders bookstore which had closed because it could not compete with Apple’s technology. Many years before that, the bookstore had been a movie theater, which was another medium that Apple had rendered obsolete. Did his technology destroy the media but not the messages?

Next to me was an Australian media mogul who was looking at all the colored Post-It notes of people mourning Steve Jobs. I wondered aloud, “Do you think your buildings will be covered in notes from well wishers when you die?” The post-modern Citizen Kane bowed his head, knowing that all things, good or bad, come to an end.

Here are some of the people that appear in this book.


Copyright 2012 DJ Cline All rights reserved.


Nov. 21, 2011 The New Yorker

Nov. 21, 2011 The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki wrote “Debt By Degrees” about student college loan debt that is so high, that young people will not be able to go into further debt by buying cars or houses, getting married or having children. “Two million college graduates are unemployed and millions more are underemployed.” We need to change the way we educate people and the way we pay for it.

Jane Kramer wrote “The Food At Our Feet” about Denmark’s Rene Redzepi. He is reviving foraging for food by identifying the best foods for his restaurant customers.

Thomas Mallon wrote “Never Happened.” about the counterfactual or alternative histories of Monica Ali, Michael Chabon, Nicholas DiChario, Philip K. Dick, Don DeLillo, Harlan Ellison, Niall Ferguson, Elizabeth Gaffney, William Gibson, Jeff Greenfield, Robert Harris, Samantha Hunt, Stephen King, Thomas Pynchon, Philip Roth, J.C. Squire, Bruce Sterling, and Harry Turtledove.

Malcolm Gladwell wrote “The Tweaker” about what made Apple CEO Steve Jobs so successful.

Jill Lepore wrote “Birthright” about the history and future of Planned Parenthood.

Copyright 2011 DJ Cline All rights reserved.