Newspaper outs ‘Fake Steve Jobs’

Not being an Apple polisher, personally, I've never understood the worship shown the real Steve Jobs.

"Fake Steve Jobs," though? He's the most entertaining CEO in America, with apologies to that unintentional barrel of laughs who runs Oracle and the fact that "Fake Steve" is well, fake.

He's also been outed, unfortunately.

As of this morning, and because of those spoil-sports at the New York Times, Fake Steve - as he's been known for more than a year now to fans the "Secret Diary of Steve Jobs" - is known to be a writer at Forbes Magazine.

From the Times article this morning:

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, Daniel Lyons, a senior editor at Forbes magazine who lives near Boston, has been quietly enjoying the attention.

"I'm stunned that it's taken this long," said Mr. Lyons, 46, when a reporter interrupted his vacation in Maine on Sunday to ask him about Fake Steve. "I have not been that good at keeping it a secret. I've been sort of waiting for this call for months."

Whether it was pooh-poohing the combustibility of iPhone batteries or busting the chops of that Gates fellow, Fake Steve was a breath of fresh air in a business world where execs are afraid speak their minds about anything more controversial than lunch. The attempt to identify Fake Steve had become a bit of a parlor game among tech watchers and the media, with things getting nasty at times, especially between the bloggers at Valleywag and Fake Steve.

Mr. Lyons said he invented the Fake Steve character last year, when a small group of chief executives turned bloggers attracted some media attention. He noticed that they rarely spoke candidly. "I thought, wouldn't it be funny if a C.E.O. kept a blog that really told you what he thought? That was the gist of it."

Fake Steve this morning discusses the news of his outing exactly as one has come to expect from Fake Steve, aside perhaps from a gracious tip of the cap to Times writer Brad Stone.

You did the sleuthing. You put the pieces of the puzzle together. You went through my trash, hacked into my computer, and put listening devices in my home. Now you've ruined the mystery of Fake Steve, robbing thousands of people around the world of their sense of childlike wonder. Hope you feel good about yourself, you mangina. One bright side is that at least I was busted by the Times and not Valleywag. I really, really enjoyed seeing those guys keep guessing wrong. For six months Dr. Evil and Mr. Bigglesworth put their big brains together and couldn't come up with the answer. Guy from the Times did it in a week. So much for the trope about smarty-pants bloggers disrupting old media. Brilliant. My only regret is that we didn't get a chance to see Bigglesworth take a few more swings and misses.

Good news in all of this for Fake Steve fans: The blog will live on at Forbes - albeit with less intrigue - at its author has a book coming out written in the voice of The Man.

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