Fake Steve Tells the Truth

[Fake Steve Jobs](http://www.fakesteve.net/) is a bit off my usual path, but thanks to one of those odd trails of links, I ended up at Dan Lyons’ ventriloquist act. FSJ is good for poking fun at Steve, but he is also good at poking fun at the larger tech industry. In his most recent post, he does an amazing job of not only pillorying AT&T for complaining about, of all things, pesky users who actually want to use their phones for crazy things like making phone calls and the 3G network for wacky things like moving data around, but also of pillorying corporate America in general which really does seem to have fallen into something of a malaise in the MBA era. (The re-thinking of the MBA by no less than its home, the Harvard Business School, is something for another time.)

Here’s the best two paragraphs from his [pretend dialogue with AT&T](http://www.fakesteve.net/2009/12/a-not-so-brief-chat-with-randall-stephenson-of-att.html):

> While I’m ranting, let me ask you something, Randall. At the risk of sounding like Glenn Beck Jr. — what the fuck has gone wrong with our country? Used to be, we were innovators. We were leaders. We were builders. We were engineers. We were the best and brightest. We were the kind of guys who, if they were running the biggest mobile network in the U.S., would say it’s not enough to be the biggest, we also want to be the best, and once they got to be the best, they’d say, How can we get even better? What can we do to be the best in the whole fucking world? What can we do that would blow people’s fucking minds? They wouldn’t have sat around wondering about ways to fuck over people who loved their product. But then something happened. Guys like you took over the phone company and all you cared about was milking profit and paying off assholes in Congress to fuck over anyone who came along with a better idea, because even though it might be great for consumers it would mean you and your lazy pals would have to get off your asses and start working again in order to keep up.

> And not just you. Look at Big Three automakers. Same deal. Lazy, fat, slow, stupid, from the top to the bottom — everyone focused on just getting what they can in the short run and who cares what kind of piece of shit product we’re putting out. Then somehow along the way the evil motherfuckers on Wall Street got involved and became everyone’s enabler, devoting all their energy and brainpower to breaking things up and parceling them out and selling them off in pieces and then putting them back together again, and it was all about taking all this great shit that our predecessors had built and “unlocking value” which really meant finding ways to leech out whatever bit of money they could get in the short run and let the future be damned. It was all just one big swindle, and the only kind of engineering that matters anymore is financial engineering.

Tell it, Fake Steve Jobs. Tell it.

Leave a Reply