Accidental Empires, Chapter 10 — The Prophet

steve_jobs_appleACCIDENTAL EMPIRES



The most dangerous man in Silicon Valley sits alone on many weekday mornings, drinking coffee at II Fornaio, an Italian restaurant on Cowper Street in Palo Alto. He’s not the richest guy around or the smartest, but under a haircut that looks as if someone put a bowl on his head and trimmed around the edges, Steve Jobs holds an idea that keeps some grown men and women of the Valley awake at night. Unlike these insomniacs, Jobs isn’t in this business for the money, and that’s what makes him dangerous.

I wish, sometimes, that I could say this personal computer stuff is just […]

Apple’s challenges require leaving Steve Jobs behind

new_apple_campusThis is the second of two columns about the future of Apple. My last column looked at Apple’s immediate challenges in the iPhone business, while this one looks at the company’s mid-to-long term prospects and how best to face them. The underlying question is whether Apple has peaked as a company, but I think the more proper way to put it is how must Apple change in order to continue to grow?

Even as some analysts are downgrading Apple based on reported cancellation of component orders, saner heads have been crunching the numbers and realized that Apple still has a heck of an iPhone business. So if you are a trader I […]

Steve Jobs came within a song of going to the Moon

This week marks a year since the death of Steve Jobs — a year that has changed my life in many ways with at least two of those ways yet to be announced. The anniversary seems to be an excuse for anyone with a byline who knew or even bumped into Steve to throw out a reminiscence or two and I’m not immune to that disease. So here’s the story of when I tried to get Steve and Apple to back my Moon Shot.

Longtime readers will remember that I’ve been trying since 2007 to mount a private unmanned mission to the Moon, though five years in it feels sometimes like I could have walked there […]

Steve Jobs — The Lost Interview available for preorder on

This DVD won’t ship until October, but it is ready for preorder right now on and might make a good Christmas gift for someone.

Additional material on the DVD not available anywhere else include a commentary audio track and my 2005 NeRDTV video interview with original Mac system programmer Andy Hertzfeld in which he talks about his Apple experiences and recounts the hilarious story of what happened when Steve Jobs apologized to Bill Gates for telling me that Microsoft had no taste. This 65 minute interview with Andy has never before been available in full resolution and is well worth having in its own right.

But then what do I know?

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Steve Jobs — The Lost Interview is on iTunes, but don’t tell anyone

My little film about Steve Jobs has finally made it to iTunes (now on Amazon and YouTube as well!) as a $3.99 rental, but you wouldn’t know it. Deeming the film “too controversial,” Apple has it on the site but they aren’t promoting it and won’t. The topic is “too sensitive” you see. It isn’t even listed in the iTunes new releases. You have to search for it. But it’s there.

Maybe I’m not even supposed to tell you.

Of course there is nothing controversial or insensitive about this movie, which everyone including the critics seems to like. It’s a different look at an interesting guy and some people seem to take […]