July 9, 2009

Best Google OS Analysis? The Real Dan Lyon's Fake Steve Jobs

by tolles at 9:43 AM

The recent news about Google's new Chrome OS was a great case study in why Steven Berlin Johnson was right about the state of the tech news business.

We had Google with their own blog post, being chased by Miguel Helft & Ashlee Vance at the New York Times (who cheekily self reported that they drove the announcement early, breaking the story after hours), followed closely by MG "Machine Gun" Siegler scooping Michael Arrington (I kid) with what was clearly the best piece of early coverage, and best headline, with the whole list being scorekept by Gabe Rivera's Techmeme.

Then, you had the masses and masses and masses of coverage.

But, take it from a guy who worked at Sun, Netscape and AOL for over ten years, and someone who was Eric Schmidt's only sales guy at the Sun's Office of the CTO for a while -- the BEST analysis of the whole shebang? The best point by point deconstruction of the Google OS announcement? Well, hand it to Danny Sullivan (the number one search analyst with a bullet) to point it out to me -- Fake Steve Jobs.

No question.

Freed from having to be a "journalist", Dan Lyons (the man behind Fake Steve Jobs) can't help himself -- he nails it. And the key here? Hyperbole and humor. The list of issues in this blog post is THE REAL LIST OF ISSUES.

Lots of people made the point about Google's focus -- but check out this bad boy:

Point five: What the fuck is going on inside Google? How much more out of control and undisciplined can this place get? How many new goddamn operating systems are they going to create? They've already got Android, and nobody wants it. Now they're going to make yet another operating system, this time out of a browser that nobody wants. What's next? A Gmail-based operating system? A YouTube-based operating system? Honestly, Google, is there anyone in charge over there? Is there anyone who knows how to criticize anything in that fucked up little Montessori preschool of yours? I mean I guess it's nice that you all get to spend 20 percent of your time dreaming up useless shit, and I guess you have to use the Montessori method and tell everyone that whatever little piece of shit they've created is just so wonderful and perfect and beautiful -- but really, as I've told Eric before, that doesn't mean you have to release everything these bozos dream up. There's a word for this. It's called "no." Have you heard of it?

The humor makes the point better than the "real" analysis out there.

Or what about Chrome's current marketshare?

Point four: You also may not have noticed, but nobody uses Chrome. I mean think about it. Do you know anyone who uses Chrome? Really? And you know why nobody uses Chrome? Because Chrome is shit. Just utter, utter shit. I mean they've got all these big brains at Google and you'd think they could make a decent fucking browser. Jesus, the freetards at Mozilla can do it. But not Google. Nope. They gave it their big best effort and what did they come up with? Chrome. It's a joke. I mean, literally, we laugh about it, except when Eric is around. But as soon as he leaves the room we all go "Chrome!" and just burst out laughing.

Seriously. It's the best thing I've read about the whole project.

So what's the bigger point here? Like Jon Stewart, when Dan Lyons starts to rock in his Fake Steve Jobs role, he actually gets to the truth in ways that all the other journalists *want* to, and ends up making his point *better* than if he had to actually use the tone and tenor of a "real" news site.

Similarly, MG's use of the Atomic friggin' bomb on his TechCrunch Post really made the point a lot better about the importance of this than the reporting from a really really good NY Times reporter, Miguel Helft. The NY Times guys cracked the story, and drove those guys at Google to put out their blog post ahead of schedule -- brilliant. But then they're trapped by the leaden prison of reporting "all the news fit to print".

And everyone else said the same thing twenty minutes later

I suppose we should be happy about the range and quality of the coverage here. In this new world, you have to be able to tell the real from the fake -- and I trust those guys at the Times, (and MG for that matter) to tell me what they know to be true.

But I'm putting Fake Steve Jobs on my list of people to read when I want to understand what's going on. Nice job, Dan.