I’m in Portland at a meeting with Sony executives and influential people from the media. The President of Sony is here, the heads of the Sony Alpha category, even the two engineers responsible for auto-focus and sensor technology. Guy Kawasaki is here. If you have heard of the words, “Apple” and “Macintosh” together, it’s largely because of Guy. I’ve admired him forever. Tonight we had dinner together, and when I was describing someone’s intense management style, he said, “Sounds like Steve Jobs”. As I was always curious as to how John Sculley was as CEO of Apple, I got to ask Guy all about him, and Steve. As I’m sitting here typing on my Macbook Pro, I’m just getting used to the idea that I’ve been hanging out with the guy responsible for the success of this product.
I also got to hang out with the engineers that design the sensor technology and autofocus for the Sony Alpha cameras. How weird is it to be able to say thanks (directly) to the men responsible for making the most ground-breaking digital cameras entering the market. It was so fun to hear from the guy who designed the autofocus algos how he assigned the priority between the locking flexible spot focusing vs. face tracking vs subject tracking and Eye AF.
I am on this new theme of important people having no egos. The President of Sony held the door open for me as we left the room. When I met (in person) with Tara Kole, I described to her how I was flying back down to meet Ori Armur (Movie producer for The Fast and Furious, plus many other films) because he was extremely busy filming “Passengers” with Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt. He’s leaving the set to meet me as he is excited about me as a writer. Tara told me that Passengers was years in the making, and she told me the entire back history of how Keanu Reeves was supposed to do it, then couldn’t, then a director popped out. All of this was to get me prepared for this kind of thing to happen to my movie.
If you’ll recall, last week or so I got to ask Randall Frakes about Titanic, what James Cameron is up to lately, and what he thought when Leonardo came in for the part in Titanic. Or how originally Arnold was supposed to also spy on his daughter in “True Lies”. I get to ask what Steve Jobs was like from the guy who was in charge of marketing the Mac.
Whenever I meet a president or say, a Beatle the first thing I think is, wow. This is a good robot of Ringo, or Paul, or Ronald Reagan. Probably because when I first visited Disneyland as a kid I was pretty blown away by “Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln” and also – because we do not see public figures in 3d unless they are in person. It’s always on print or on a screen. So normally I think that the celebrity is a robot or something. And then they hang out with you and are the normal people. Normal like when Rod Laver made me a sandwich when I was playing doubles against him, Roy Emerson and Rod’s nephew. Right? I just watched Rod Laver win Wimbledon, and here is is asking me if I want mayo or mustard.
About every other day, no matter where I am in the world, nice people come up and ask for a selfie with me. There is nothing but good energy in this. There’s no need to search for a deeper meaning than just how simple that is. Maybe it means I am famous, maybe it means nothing, most of all, why would this matter? Right?
What matters to me is that I can be around people who are influencers. I get to hang around people who can make cameras change. Or help create the movies you see on Saturday nights with a tub of popcorn. Or take down big utility companies. It’s not the person’s status or fame that makes me excited to hang around – it is their ability to create change. Influential people can make things happen, and I am in the “let’s make things happen” club!