I miss Fake Steve like crazy. I’m not sure the FSJ blog (2006-2010ish) will count as interwebs literature for my grandchildren but I lived on that site for a few years and read every post several times. I thought FSJ perfectly captured the top of the Apple curve and he paid a much deeper tribute to Jobs than the official hagiography by Isaacson. How can you read FSJ’s farewell comments to Steve and not see how personally invested Fake Steve was in Real Steve?
One of the things I’ve come to like about Dan Lyons was that he doesn’t seem to be a real journalist — he’s more like a class clown, that smart bored kid in class who tortured a bad teacher. As Fake Steve he had an ideal platform for outing phonies — Steven J. Vaughn-Nichols comes immediately to mind. And he could see right through under-qualified posers like Jonathan Schwartz (My LIttle Pony!). But even outside the safe haven of anonymity he had no trouble slugging it out on live TV with a pompous fake like Jim Goldman – an episode that apparently proved that the Real Dan Lyons wasn’t cut out for grown up work and which certainly cost Jim Goldman his job. Lyons’ lack of “editorial distance” showed up as personal attacks, yes, but even when he wrote his own mea culpas he didn’t spare himself. He just gets personal by default, and I love it.
So I’m waiting for that personal Dan Lyons to show up again, although I’m sure there’s a mortgage to blame somewhere. He moved on from Forbes / FSJ to ReadWrite and tried managing people and a publication for a bit, but that didn’t seem like a good fit to me, despite various spins on his exit.
And now Fake Steve is at Hubspot — a marketing software company? A somewhat odd move IMVHO. And now they have him writing blog posts (here and here) that look like Buzzfeed formula “lists” for grownups? Arrrgghh.. As the fake mobster in the Clouseau movies would say, “something is cuckoostska around here!”
Oy vey, I’m ready for the next caper, something very personal and a little unsafe..