Mike had a single VIP pass to the keynote yesterday; he ended up sitting directly behind Al Gore. He leads a charmed life like that. He IMed me and I asked him to tell Mr. Gore how much I admire his politics. (If this loses us any customers, so be it.)
He later gave Al (I think it's OK if I call him Al now) his business card and offered him a free copy of Delicious Library. Before our customers revolt, I'd like to say that if any of you win a presidential election, we'll give you a free license, too. (Hear that, Clinton? I'm talking to you, buddy.)
On the escalator out he was beside Robin Williams. No, not Robin Williams the author of Mac books (who was also there), but Robin Williams the voice of the genie. Of course, being Mike, he chatted him up and offered him a free license, as well. (And, uh, if any of you make a movie with Matt Damon, you also get a free license. I'm talking to you, Gwenneth.)
So Robin sends a friend of his by our booth, who turns out to have a program on the Sirius satellite radio network. The friend (I'm afraid Mike didn't tell me the guy's name; no disrespect intended Mr. Satellite Friend) asks Mike to appear on his radio program the next day (that being today), which Mike did.
BOY, I'M SO GLAD I DECIDED TO STAY HOME. NOTHING GOING ON AT THIS CONFERENCE. SO BORING.
I don't know if Mike gave him a free license as well, but, for the last time, if any of you have a satellite radio program, you get a free license, also.
I called Mike later in the day, and he's at some bar (yes, he's 18 -- I don't know) at a book-signing party thrown by "Andy... somebody... some Mac guy... " I'm like, "Uh, Andy Stone, of Stone Design? He's an old friend, and he likes to throw parties" Mike: "No, he's like, some old Mac guy, writing about the early days." "Andy HERTZFELD?" Mike:"Oh, yah, that sounds right."
Now, you can't blame him, because he wasn't BORN in 1984, but, still, at this point I'm REALLY MAD THAT I DID NOT GO.
Mike's all, "Yah, a lot of the original Mac guys are here, and they're just handing out the book, so I got it signed by all the original Mac engineers."
At this point I AM COMPLETELY BESIDE MYSELF THAT I AM NOT AT THIS STINKING PRIVATE PARTY WITH ALL THE ORIGINAL MAC ENGINEERS LIKE I HAVE DREAMED ABOUT ALL MY LIFE.
Mike's all, "Yah, I just talked to Steve Wozniak -- he's a really nice guy. He's over at the bar."
Now, I should explain that Steve Wozniak has always been my hero. Although many people feel I'm more like Steve Jobs in terms of personality, Woz is the most amazing engineer who ever lived, and I literally learned to code by reading his hand-tuned monitor ROM listings for the original Apple //. I said one sentence to Mr. Wozniak when I was 14 and I went to see him give a talk at a computer show in Canada, and he acknowledged me, and I've treasured that moment my whole life.
At this point, I'm going to bust. "Hey, Mike, can you just hand your cell phone to Mr. Wozniak? Seriously?" (I figure Woz would know how to use a a Sidekick since he, uh, HELPED INVENTED THEM.) I hear Mike, distantly, saying to someone, "This is kind of weird, but could you talk to my business partner on the phone?"
[This is a paraphrase, but I've caught the sense of the conversation...]
"Hello, this is Steve... Who is this?"
Me: "Hi Mr. Wozniak; my name's Wil Shipley and I'm the CEO of Delicious Monster..."
"Oh, yes, I just bought your product a couple days ago, it's great. You must have seen."
Me: "I just heard. Thank you so much. You also bought licenses of OmniWeb when it first came out, and that meant a lot to us."
"Oh, yes, my son likes the Mac. He's smarter than me, so he's the boss."
Me: "I just wanted to tell you, I learned programming from you, even though you don't know it."
"Oh, that's great! That's what we were trying to do. [name forgotten, early Apple employee] and I were trying to use the Apple as a way to train the next generation of programmers."
Me: "Well, it worked. I know you get this a lot, but you've always been my hero, and I can't tell you what it means for someone I respect so much to buy a product I've made.
"Well, that's great. You know, I buy your stuff, Apple makes the code, we enable you to write the next generation of software, and we build on each other's work. [...]"
Me: "Well, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me, Mr. Wozniak."
[Ok, this is completely true, he then says:]
"Well, I wish you were here!"
Today, I'm assuming Halle Berry came by the booth and told Mike how she wanted to have his children. It only makes sense.