Accidental Empires, Chapter 10 — The Prophet

steve_jobs_appleACCIDENTAL EMPIRES

CHAPTER TEN

THE PROPHET

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 […]

Accidental Empires, Chapter 6 — Chairman Bill Leads the Happy Workers in Song

Young_Bill_Gates_4ACCIDENTAL EMPIRES

CHAPTER SIX

CHAIRMAN BILL LEADS THE
HAPPY WORKERS IN SONG

William H. Gates III stood in the checkout line at an all-night convenience store near his home in the Laurelhurst section of Seattle. It was about midnight, and he was holding a carton of butter pecan ice cream. The line inched forward, and eventually it was his turn to pay. He put some money on the counter, along with the ice cream, and then began to search his pockets.

“I’ve got a 50-cents-off coupon here somewhere,” he said, giving up on his pants pockets and moving up to search the pockets of his plaid shin.

The clerk waited, the ice […]

Accidental Empires, Part 8 (Chapter 2) — The Tyranny of the Normal Distribution

the_normal_curve

I don’t think posting pieces of chapters is working for any of us, so I’m changing the plan.

We have 16 chapters to go in the book so I’ll be posting in their entirety two chapters per week for the next eight weeks. The chapters will be posted late on Sunday and Wednesday nights so you will have several days to read and comment.

Down at the Specks Howard School of Blogging Technique they teach that this is blogging suicide because these chapters are up to 7000 words long! Blog readers are supposed to have short attention spans so I’ll supposedly lose readers by doing it this way. But I think Specks is wrong and […]

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 Amazon.com

This DVD won’t ship until October, but it is ready for preorder right now on Amazon.com 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?

[amazon_my_favorites design=”2″ width=”485″ title=”” market_place=”US” ASIN=”B008NA3HZY” […]