The palpable absence of Steve Jobs at D

Steven Levy reflects upon Steve’s absence at this year’s AllThingsD conference, the first without him since last October:

“After all, the D conference was the only non-Apple event where the late Apple CEO deigned to appear. He was on stage for six of the previous nine iterations, including a legendary co-appearance with Bill Gates in 2007. You can even argue that this is the conference that Steve built: A key reason that the then-unfamiliar contender for the hotly competitive conference dollar became a must-attend event was the announcement of Jobs’ presence….it seems that almost every session has some reminder of the man who isn’t here.”

I didn’t consider that D was the only non-Apple event that Jobs would regularly attend, but it’s true. With all respect to Tim Cook, I’ll say that Steve’s absence will be obvious for a long time.


Two stories from Ken Segall’s book Insanely Simple are making the rounds today. One has Steve Jobs considering an ad-supported version of Mac OS 9. The other features an idea to treat the one millionth iMac customer to a Willy Wonka-style tour of the Cupertino campus.

I’m sure Steve thought up all kinds of crazy shit. Jonny Ive even said that he occasionally told Steve, “That’s a whacky idea.”  When you’re spitballing ideas, you toss out every idea you can think of. The vast majority are garbage. Remember that when reading stories like this. Was Steve really going to dress up like Willy Wonka? Maybe. But probably not.

Director Andrew Stanton dedicated “John Carter” to Steve Jobs

John Carter is the latest film from Disney, and director Andrew Stanton has dedicated it to Steve Jobs. During the closing credits, a card reads, “Dedicated to the Memory of Steve Jobs, an Inspiration to Us All.”

Pixar fans will recognize the name Andrew Stanton. According to IMDB, he was a writer on Toy Story 3, the BURN-E short, WALL·E, Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc., Toy Story 2, A Bug’s Life and Toy Story. He also directed WALL•E and Finding Nemo, and co-directed A Bug’s Life.

While doing press for John Carter, Stanton was asked about the dedication. Slashfilm has published his response.

“We just happened to be, sadly, the first production up that was Disney that wanted to give [a dedication]. And I personally wanted to. I talked to John [Lassater] about it because I didn’t want to steal any thunder from Pixar’s dedication because that’s really the real family member for Steve. But it felt right just cause I didn’t want too much time to pass without giving him some sort of permanent acknowledgement. And I talked to his wife.

It was kind of eerie because on the set I would get asked all the time, from all these people, ‘What Pixar was like?’ And it was fascinating to talk to all these movie people that knew all the films, but some of them didn’t even know Pixar was in San Francisco. It was funny. They knew of us, they knew of these movies and knew there was something different but they didn’t get it to the point [where they knew] where we were and stuff. And it would be such a long explanation to them about, trying to tell them why it ran differently and why the movie came out the way they did, that I ended up just simplifying my answer down to ‘Steve. Steve’s why.’

And I did really realize how much, because I was now living it. I was now pregnant with the dysfunction of Hollywood to make this movie and how this all works, the good and the bad, and it was amazing to see how much he had firewalled us from. Like we knew he had, but he had truly firewalled us and protected us from all the bad influences of the outside world and we had just been raised in this little eden in San Francisco and had no clue how bad it could be. And so I really have to give so much more credit to him than I ever was, even though I always was, of how much he was a major factor for Pixar.”


Virgin America honors Steve Jobs with ‘Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish’ on airplane

Virgin America has added “Stay hungry, stay foolish” to the side of its Airbus A320 with the tail number N845VA. According to MacRumors, Virgin America chose the name as the result of an internal contest. The phrase comes from the commencement address Steve gave at Stanford Universityin 2005:

“On the back cover of [the Whole Earth Catalog’s] final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: ‘Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.’ It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.”

As MacRumors notes, Virgin America is the only airline based in Silicon Valley.

And I thought the day I got to fly in this was cool.

Steve Jobs action figure officially out of production


“I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate that the original intention for creating this figurine was driven by a fan’s admiration of Steve. We respect copyright and trademark rights and therefore indicated on our site that we were not providing any Mac, iPhone and iPad models with the figurine…Unfortunately, we have received immense pressure from the lawyers of Apple and Steve Jobs’s family. Regardless of the pressure, I am still Steve’s fan, I fully respect Steve and his family and it is definitely not my wish or intention that they be upset.”

I’m not sure why I feel glad about this. I don’t believe Steve’s likeness was copyrighted, but I do think it would be difficult for his family and friends to see such a realistic depiction of their recently departed friend/relative on store shelves.

Steve Jobs Moment of Silence

The Steve Jobs Moment of Silence from Moment of Silence Inc.® on Vimeo.

This is interesting. The Steve Jobs Moment of Silence is an audio file you buy from iTunes for $0.99. When played on your iPhone or iPad, it offers eight seconds of silence, representing the eight years that Steve fought pancreatic cancer. Proceeds are donated to several pancreatic cancer research organizations, like The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and The Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.

[Via Creative Bits]

Apple threatens legal action over Steve Jobs action figure

The Telegraph:

“The 12-inch figurine, which comes complete with Jobs’s trademark blue jeans, sneakers and black turtleneck sweater, was created by Chinese company In Icons and was set for release in February. But ‘their efforts have reportedly met with’ a legal challenge with Apple allegedly threatening to sue the toy maker unless they cease trading.”

I never understood how In Icons imagined it’d get away with selling the doll in the first place.

Similarities between Steve Jobs and Charles Eames

Om Malik has drawn a parallel this morning that I hadn’t thought of before: the similarities between Steve Jobs and Charles Eames. Charles and his wife Ray helped define Mid-Century modern design. They designed furniture, made films, painted and managed corporate messaging. Both Charles and Ray were visionaries, and I’ve admired their work for a long time (I have a vintage molded plastic rocker that’s a prized possession).

Om suggests that Jobs fans should watch the Eames documentary with Steve in mind:

“And when you are watching the documentary, recall little details from the Jobs book and think about the similarities between the Eames and Steve. They both were very clear in distinguishing what is design and what is style. And more importantly both made simplicity their mantra. The New York Times’ A.O. Scott observes that ‘Like Walt Disney — and like Steve Jobs — Charles Eames did not share credit.'”

It’s a compelling idea, and I’ll try it out. I encourage you to do the same. You can watch the Eames documentary for free at (Flash required).

Behind the scenes of Apple’s Think Different campaign

Forbes has published a compelling history of Apple’s Think Different advertising campaign. Written by  Rob Siltanen, then creative director and managing partner at TBWA/Chiat/Day (Siltanen is currently the chairman and chief creative officer at Siltanen & Partners), the article offers new details on the campaign that redefined Apple after Steve’s return.

For instance, Jobs liked the idea of a Dead Poets Society-like feel combined with images of famous thinkers, despite initial hesitation that it might seem “too egotistical.” However, Siltanen says, Jobs hated the TV spot, even when it was nearly finished:

“We played the spot once, and when it finished, Jobs said, ‘It sucks! I hate it! It’s advertising agency ****! I thought you were going to write something like ‘Dead Poets Society!’ This is crap!’

Clow said something like, ‘Well, I take it you don’t want to see it again.’ And Steve continued to go on a rant about how we should get the writers from Dead Poets Society’ or some ‘real writers’ to write something.”

It’s a compelling article that was no doubt inspired by Isaacson’s wildly popular biography.

[Via MacRumors]