Daniel Lyons

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For other people named Daniel Lyons, see Daniel Lyons (disambiguation).
Daniel Lyons
Lyons holding up an Apple turtleneck for size
Born 1960 (age 55–56)
Alma mater University of Michigan
Occupation Columnist

Daniel Lyons (born 1960) is an American writer. He was a senior editor at Forbes magazine and a writer at Newsweek before becoming editor of ReadWrite. In March 2013 he left ReadWrite to accept a position at HubSpot.[1]

Lyons is the author of a book of short stories, The Last Good Man (1993); a novel, Dog Days (1998); and a fictional biography, Options: The Secret Life of Steve Jobs, a Parody (2007). Under the pseudonym "Fake Steve Jobs," he also wrote The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs, a popular blog and parody of Apple CEO Steve Jobs. He wrote the script for the May 2015 episode of HBO's Silicon Valley (TV series), "White Hat/Black Hat"[2] while on a 14-week break from HubSpot in 2014.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Lyons was born in Massachusetts. He received his MFA from the University of Michigan in 1992.

Career and blogging[edit]

Work as technology analyst[edit]

Lyons was a senior editor at Forbes magazine, covering enterprise computing and consumer electronics. He was also the author of the Forbes cover article, "Attack of the Blogs", where he wrote that blogs "are the prized platform of an online lynch mob spouting liberty but spewing lies, libel and invective," claiming that Groklaw was primarily created "to bash software maker SCO Group in its Linux patent lawsuit against IBM, producing laughably biased, pro-IBM coverage."[4]

Between 2003 and 2007 Lyons covered the SCO cases against IBM and against Linux. He published articles such as "What SCO Wants, SCO Gets," where he stated that "like many religious folk, the Linux-loving crunchies in the open-source movement are a) convinced of their own righteousness, and b) sure the whole world, including judges, will agree. They should wake up."[5][6][7]

In 2007 Lyons admitted to being "Snowed By SCO": "For four years, I've been covering a lawsuit for Forbes.com, and my early predictions on this case have turned out to be so profoundly wrong that I am writing this mea culpa ... In March 2003, SCO sued IBM claiming that IBM took code from Unix—for which SCO claimed to own copyrights—and put that code into Linux, which is distributed free. Last month a judge ruled that SCO does not, in fact, own the Unix copyrights. That blows SCO's case against IBM out of the water. SCO, of Lindon, Utah, is seeking bankruptcy protection."[8] "

Fake Steve Jobs[edit]

Lyons began blogging as "Fake Steve Jobs" in 2006. He was able to maintain anonymity for just under one year, despite speculation. Before the identity of Fake Steve Jobs was revealed by New York Times technology correspondent Brad Stone on August 5, 2007,[9] The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs was referenced by numerous online and print media such as Engadget,[10] BusinessWeek,[11] Forbes,[12] Der Spiegel,[13] El Mundo[14] and CNET.[15] Fake Steve Jobs ranked 37th in a Business 2.0 article entitled "50 Who Matter Now."

Previous guesses as to the blog's author included Leander Kahney of Wired (particularly at some of Fake Steve Jobs's Briticisms),[16] Eric Savitz of Barron's Magazine,[17] John Paczkowski of All Things Digital,[18] and Andy Ihnatko of the Chicago Sun-Times.[19] Another suggestion was that Jack Miller, the webmaster/blogger of the "As the Apple Turns" website, which was seemingly abandoned in 2006, but which is still live, could possibly be Fake Steve Jobs.[20]

At the Wall Street Journal's "D: All Things Digital" technology conference, the real Steve Jobs was quoted as saying, "I have read a few of the Fake Steve Jobs things recently and I think they’re pretty funny."[21] During a later joint interview, Bill Gates quipped that he was not Fake Steve Jobs.[22]

In October 2007 Lyons released the book Options: The Secret Life of Steve Jobs, a Parody, under the pseudonym "Fake Steve Jobs". Although based largely upon previous material published on The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs blog, the book creates a more cohesive narrative focusing especially on the stock options backdating scandal looming over Steve Jobs in late 2006 and early 2007.

On July 9, 2008, Lyons announced on the Fake Steve blog[23] that he would be launching a new site under his own name and discontinuing writing in a faux-Jobs style. He later announced his decision to place the Fake Steve blog on indefinite hiatus was out of respect for the real Steve Jobs' health:

"I began hearing a few months ago that Steve Jobs was very sick. I wasn't sure if these rumors were true or not. Then I saw how he looked at [the Worldwide Developers Conference in early June, 2008] and it was like having the wind knocked out of me. I just couldn't carry on."[24]

The blog was continued in 2009 after news broke that Jobs had recovered from a liver transplant,[25] but then suspended again in January 2011 when Jobs took a second leave of absence for health reasons.[26] After Jobs' death in October 2011, Fake Steve Jobs posted a farewell poem, and has not been active since.[27]


  1. ^ Why I Hired the Fake Steve Jobs, HubSpot Blog
  2. ^ http://pando.com/2015/06/01/after-years-of-bad-blogging-and-pr-hackery-dan-lyons-improbably-writes-one-of-silicon-valleys-best-episodes-yet/
  3. ^ http://www.betaboston.com/news/2014/09/30/hubspots-dan-lyons-has-the-best-job-not-in-silicon-valley/
  4. ^ Lyons, Daniel (2005-11-14), "Attack of the Blogs", Forbes 
  5. ^ Lyons, Daniel (06.18.03), "What SCO Wants, SCO Gets", Forbes  Check date values in: |date=, |year= / |date= mismatch (help)
  6. ^ Lyons, Daniel (08.04.04), "SCO's 'Smoking Gun' Versus IBM", Forbes  Check date values in: |date=, |year= / |date= mismatch (help)
  7. ^ Lyons, Daniel (2005-01-21), "SCO Scores", Forbes 
  8. ^ Lyons, Daniel (09.19.07), "Snowed By SCO", Forbes  Check date values in: |date=, |year= / |date= mismatch (help)
  9. ^ A Mystery Solved: ‘Fake Steve’ Is an Editor
  10. ^ Real interview with Fake Steve Jobs, Engadget
  11. ^ In Search of the Real Fake Steve Jobs, BusinessWeek
  12. ^ Who Is Fake Steve Jobs?, Forbes
  13. ^ Fake-Jobs und wie er die Apple-Welt sieht, Der Spiegel
  14. ^ Los dos Steve Jobs, El Mundo
  15. ^ The Fake Steve Jobs is..., CNET News.com
  16. ^ Exclusive: The unmasking of Fake Steve Jobs, Valleywag
  17. ^ Fake Steve Jobs, Valleywag
  18. ^ Rumormonger: Steve Jobs, meet Steve Jobs, Valleywag
  19. ^ Fake Steve Jobs: Andy Ihnatko, faux Apple CEO?, Valleywag
  20. ^ Was Fake Steve Really Jack Miller Of AtAT?
  21. ^ Jobs on YouTube Weirdness, Windows Love and “Fake Steve”, The Wall Street Journal
  22. ^ D Transcript: Gates, Jobs Reminisce, Wall Street Journal
  23. ^ 'Fake Steve'
  24. ^ The Real Dan Lyons on Fake Steve Jobs (and why he left)
  25. ^ "Welcome back, Fake Steve | Technology | guardian.co.uk". Guardian. 2009-06-24. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  26. ^ Leave Steve Alone!, Newsweek
  27. ^ http://www.fakesteve.net/

External links[edit]