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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Steve Jobs & Larry Ellison "data exhaust"

I've been using a "top secret" Twitter analytical tool to "grok" the historical musings around Steve Jobs. Quite a few people are looking for patterns between Steve and other contemporary "great men" of technology, from birth dates to education to family status. My feeling is that Steve could go down in history as the Leonardo Da Vinci of our time, but few of us really have a sense of history as it is happening. So I will not presume to make a historical pronouncement, other than to say that both Steve Jobs (who I did not know personally) and Larry Ellison (with whom I had a close association over six years) did seem to have a sense of history even as they were making it.

In the mid 1980s, Larry Ellison's house in Atherton, CA backed up to Steve Jobs' home. The two weren't particularly friendly. In fact, Larry was greatly irritated that Steve's peacocks kept crapping in his back yard. Those who follow current tree-trimming disputes between Larry and his San Francisco neighbors might get a sense that you don't want to irritate your neighbor if he happens to be Larry Ellison. Somehow though, unlike parties in the current real estate conflict, Larry and Steve became best friends. Over the years since, they've each taken their divots out of the historical landscape, perhaps even mentoring each other along the way.

Consider the historical "data exhaust" contrails left by these two men. Steve Jobs literally invented several major industries as he changed our lives. Larry Ellison became one of the richest men in the world by projecting his intellect through Oracle. He won The America's Cup. I've chronicled all of these things. But how will history summarize his life when Larry Ellison breathes his last?

Forgetting the public personae and self-promoted apocryphal legends, Larry Ellison is a profoundly sensitive and caring individual. This so-called "bad boy" tycoon once didn't come to work for a week after his cat died. I can only imagine the anguish he's feeling at the loss of his friend, since I watched my own friend—Judge Pat Brian—also lose his fight with pancreatic cancer. My own humble nod to Pat Brian has been to dedicate my latest novel to his memory (my literary agent is currently trying to find a NYC publisher for Daddy's Little Felons). Given Larry's resources and his genius, I predict his remembrance of Steve Jobs will be somewhat more spectacular.

So what do my predictive analytics forecast for the head of my Cyber Privateering Fantasy League leader? First, I believe Larry will eventually own an NBA-championship basketball team. Secondly, I predict that Larry will win an academy award as a movie producer. Of course, recognizing his own mortality, he could achieve that goal through his son David, who is executive producer of the next Tom Cruse mission impossible movie. Finally, just as the fictional Iron Man Tony Stark (whose character I am convinced was modeled after Larry), I predict that Ellison will somehow take the reins and eventually strut down the halls of Congress proclaiming that he has "…successfully privatized world peace." And somewhere in that dialogue, Larry will most certainly find a way to memorialize his best friend Steve Jobs.

Sit back, grab some popcorn and your favorite soft drink, and enjoy the real…History Channel.

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Implementation suggestions for THE MORGAN DOCTRINE are most welcome. What are the "Got'chas!"? What questions would some future Cyber Privateering Czar have to answer about this in a Senate confirmation hearing?