Techies under the age of 30 have only seen Apple on top of the world, creating such life-defining tech as the iPod, iPhone, and the iPad. But there are two important things you should know: at one point Apple was on the verge of bankruptcy. And maybe more important, to insiders Steve Jobs was a very controversial leader. Brilliant, but a slavedriver.
Most of the best Apple stories don't get talked about. But we found the guy who could give us the inside scoop, and not just the pretty stuff. Introducing Dan Lyons.
At one time, Dan Lyons was the internet's best-kept-secret. He was the anonymous author of the Fake Steve Jobs blog. His blog posts included "Nintendo is trying to send cyborgs into the past to kill my parents," "Just for the record, I am not running around New York in a top hat," and "An open letter to the people of the world." Dan is also a popular tech editor at Newsweek, he was a senior editor at Forbes, his articles have appeared in The New York TImes Magazine, GQ, and The Boston Globe, and he is the author of two novels.
Dan's got the goods on Apple. Here are his nine funniest and/or most offensive Apple stories.
Steve Jobs wanted uniforms at Apple
Did you know Steve Jobs wanted Apple employees to wear uniforms? He was impressed with Sony chairman Akio Morita's explanation of why Sony employees at the company's factories wore uniforms, that it had become a way of "bonding" workers to the company. So Steve had a famous designer create some! Here's what happened when he presented the idea to his staff. (0:34)
A history of Apple in 90 seconds
Apple wasn't always an uber wealthy company. In fact, it was so bad at one point that Michael Dell said publicly the board should shut down Apple and give the money back to the stockholders. Steve Jobs responded in classic SJ style, with this iconic statement. (1:35)
Just how big is Apple? You seriously don't know.
You don't know how big Apple is. You think you do, but you're wrong. Take our word for it. We were blown away by these comparisons. (0:59)
Dan's Apple comparisons. Not for the faint of heart.
What do Tony Soprano and Disneyland have in common with Apple? Fearless Dan gives us these memorable descriptions of what Apple is really like. (0:44)
Apple fans are crazy
Part of what makes Apple great is the loyalty of its fan base. In Dan's words, "Can you imagine having a brand so powerful that idiots stand would out on the street to have that brand attached to them?" Here's more... (0:43)
"Only men do this."
Who camps out on the street for an Apple event? Dan has a theory. (0:49)
The church of Apple
How did Apple become a religion with users? There are more parallels than you might think. (0:47)
Analysis of an Apple Fan
"How do we get people to kiss us after we sell them something ridiculously expensive?" Here's Dan's analysis of an Apple fan. (0:44)
Every time you buy a Dell, a baby seal dies
In case Dan hasn't offended you yet... he takes on Dell, Microsoft, and baby seals. (0:50)
More Apple stories
Want more? Here's a full presentation by Dan. We've included a soundbite timeline below so you can navigate the stories.
0:00 - Steve Jobs was amazingly great. Also amazingly weird.
1:36 - Insanely great, or just insane? The lunatic culture of the world's most successful companies.
2:20 - The story behind the fake Steve Jobs blog
3:27 - Apple's 2011 growth is worth 1 1/2 Googles
4:51 - A history of Apple in 90 seconds
6:52 - The uniform story
8:08 - Dan's Apple comparisons
9:12 - The fans
11:12 - The church of Apple
14:34 - How do we get our fans to do this?
15:50 - Every time you buy a Dell a baby seal dies
17:08 - The story of the fake Steve Jobs blog
22:20 - To sum it up...
Run time is 23:10
Click here for "4 stories about Steve Jobs that will surprise you."
Images via public domain and Shutterstock.
What you should read next...
Exclusive stories from Steve Jobs' biographer Walter Isaacson including why Steve hated the original title of his biography, "iSteve: The Book of Jobs," what took place in Steve's final conversation with Bill Gates, and how the feud with Adobe began.