Dan Lyons enthralled the worlds of business, media, and Silicon Valley with his wildly popular, lovingly hilarious and insightful blog, The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs. Writing in the voice of Apple’s genius CEO, Lyons pioneered a vivid, entertaining new form of journalism that blended fiction, comedy, and news in what some called an online version of The Daily Show. On stage, Dan is witty, engaging and fast on his feet, garnering rave reviews from audiences.
Lyons had a great run as a technology journalist, serving as the Technology Editor of Newsweek, a technology columnist at Forbes, and Editor-in-Chief of ReadWrite, one of the world’s top tech news sites. But while writing his Fake Steve blog he started to see that media was entering a new world where old boundaries were fading away, and where traditional companies would not be able to survive.
Can you imagine what it’s like to be the tech writer at a place like Newsweek, cheering on the new technologies that are destroying the company that pays your salary? Awkward doesn’t begin to describe it. The good news, however, was that even as newspapers and magazines crumble, a new form of media business has been rising from the ashes, as companies across every industry (Nissan, Intel, Microsoft) are building their own news organizations. Journalists, ironically, are in more demand than ever before — just not at newspapers!
In 2013, Lyons joined the revolution by taking a role at HubSpot, a software company in Cambridge that is leading the shift toward company-generated media. As a Marketing Fellow at HubSpot, Lyons is writing and speaking about the massive disruption that is taking place in the media business, and how this disruption is reshaping the world of marketing, advertising and brand evangelism. “The rise of mobile devices, wearable computing and social software platforms is creating a new mass medium, one that will displace television as the dominant medium of our age,” Lyons says. “Everything is being reinvented. We’re creating new forms of journalism, new forms of entertainment, new ways for brands to connect with consumers.”
Dan is an expert on consumer tech (Apple, Google, social media, mobile computing) as well as esoteric topics like fusion energy and supercomputers. He is fascinated by artificial intelligence, robotics and the Singularity movement. He was featured in recent Discovery Channel documentary about the Singularity, and has appeared as a guest on CNBC, MSNBC, CNN, BBC, Bloomberg TV, Fox Business News and National Public Radio.
In addition to his work as a journalist, Lyons has published three works of fiction and dabbled in screenwriting for television. His book, Options: The Secret Life of Steve Jobs, was a sharp satire about Silicon Valley, published in 2007 to critical acclaim. His previous books are Dog Days (a novel) and The Last Good Man (short stories). As a fiction writer Dan has been the recipient of both a prestigious National Endowment for the Arts Literary Fellowship and the somewhat notorious Playboy College Fiction Prize. He also was named one of the “Fabulous 52″ in the 1996 Best Young American Novelists competition sponsored by Granta.
What Would Steve Do? The 8 Simple Secrets to Apple’s Success
Over the past 15 years Apple has gone from being nearly bankrupt to being the biggest company in the world, with a market value exceeding half a trillion dollars. How did they do it? Dan Lyons, author of the critically acclaimed book, Options: The Secret Life of Steve Jobs, and one of the world’s top experts on all things Apple, explains the simple principles that enabled Steve Jobs to lead Apple through the most amazing comeback in corporate history. In this talk, Lyons tells an engaging tale that captures the spirit of Steve Jobs and leaves his audience with eight rules that can be applied in any organization or industry. Why did Steve Jobs shun focus groups and trust its own taste instead? How does Apple evoke such strong responses from its fans and get thousands of people to line up outside Apple stores, turning each new product release into a kind of cultural event? Who was the little-known mentor who guided Steve Jobs in the early years of Apple and created the three words that have guided Apple’s marketing philosophy since its origins? Why does Apple dare to take risks while its competitors play it safe? How is that other companies sell products, while Apple sells an experience? What drove Steve Jobs to be such a fanatical perfectionist? Lyons spent five years writing the world’s most popular Apple-centric blog, “The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs,” and hopes that the legacy of Steve Jobs will inspire a new generation of innovators and risk-takers who will dare to “think different.”
The Social-Mobile Revolution: The New Mass Medium That Is Changing the Way We Work, Shop, Learn and Do Business
By 2013 there will be 1 billion smartphones on the planet, and by the end of this decade that number may soar to 5 billion. What happens when almost everyone on the planet is constantly connected to the Internet, and to each other, via social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+? What’s being created is a new mass medium that changes virtually everything about our society. This new platform, with its ubiquitous, constant, peer-to-peer connections, is disrupting established industries, forcing us to rethink the definition of friendship and privacy, and utterly reinventing the way we entertain ourselves. Games like Farmville and Mafia Wars may be inane but people are devoting huge amounts of time and spending billions of dollars playing them. Apps like Foursquare are turning life itself into a kind of real-time video game. Sites like YouTube and Facebook have become performance spaces, almost a new kind of TV where everyone can be part of the show. In this entertaining and insightful talk, Dan Lyons explores the profound social implications and huge opportunities created by this new medium, and wonders, Are we ready for this?
Selling to Cyborgs: How Business Must Adapt to the World of Google Glass and Constant Connection
Can you imagine being surrounded by intelligent sensors and interacting with them as easily as you talk with the people around you? Can you imagine being connected to the Internet so intimately and so constantly that you become part of it? Can you imagine glasses that connect you to a supercomputer and augment your intelligence so profoundly that you won’t want to live without them? This world is just around the corner, and the Internet itself is going through a massive evolutionary leap into what author and technology expert Dan Lyons calls “the immersive Internet.” It’s a world where voice commands and gestures replace keyboards, where wearable computers and the “Internet of things” embed intelligence into everything around us, giving us profound new power to control our environment. In this thought-provoking talk, Lyons describes the emerging products in this space (Leap Motion’s 3D controller, Google’s Project Glass, Nest’s “learning thermostat,” the nascent “no user interface” movement, voice technology from Apple, Google and Nuance) and explores implications both profound and practical. Will all this technology change what it means to be human? Will it widen the “digital divide” between technology haves and have-nots? How will companies market to consumers who are empowered with so much information and computing power? How will we “sell to cyborgs”? This dazzling view of the future will leave your audience informed, inspired — and maybe a little bit freaked out.