The iPhone: Smoke & Mirrors and The Golden Path To Success

The Smartphone That Almost Wasn't

Smartphone, Apple, Cellphone, Iphone, Mobile, Phone

Used by permission from OpenClipart-Vectors via Pixabay


15 Years Ago, History Was Made

Steve Jobs

"Steve Jobs" by acaben is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0


The Apple iPhone.  You know it and love it.  Unless you are an Android-lover, in which case you probably also like doing laundry, licking boots, voting Kermit The Frog for President, and are secretly praying for an Mmmbop reunion tour.

All 2 Android users just unsubscribed.

15 years ago Earth was introduced to it for the first time.  iPhone.  Revolutionary.  Magical.  Like any Mac product, financially attainable once you have sensibly chosen to forego food and heat for three weeks.  But  If memory serves, I was going to buy the ring and propose to my wife in September of 2010...but doggonit, a new iPhone was coming out.

Love can wait.

With iPhone came portable music.  Streaming videos.  The App Store.  Angry Birds.  Flappy Bird.  Other Birds.  Audubon Bird Guide.  Flip The Birdie.  I promise this is not last week's blog about birds.  iMessage.  Siri.  Navigation.  Jesus probably even had one.  Steve Jobs billed iPhone as "A widescreen iPod with touch controls. A revolutionary mobile phone. And a breakthrough Internet communications device."  The extended Marvel cut of Jobs' presentation also states a fourth sensational draw in that it can prevent the IRS from finding you if you keep it in the freezer.  This is why we always buy iPhones and freezers.

Now, now, Androiders, please do not pop your cerebral gasket.  I am well aware that some things were done by Android first, and that you hold the franchise on things like navigation.  Swipe keyboards.  Customization.  Expandable storage.  Exploding phones.

iPhone has become Americana.  It has become indispensable to our daily lives.  When we leave the house, we hear our friends, family members, or significant others call out, “Got your keys? Got your wallet?  Got your iPhone?”  And in 2020, we added “Got your mask?”  In 2022 I am told legislation is on board to add “Got your dinglehopper?”


Smoke & Mirrors

Smoke, Mirror, Nature, People, Hand, Grass

Used by permission from StockSnap via Pixabay


If you have never heard the story, I am about to regale you.  By "story" I mean "scandal."  By "scandal" I mean "lies and deceit."  By "lies and deceit" I mean "A Manner of Skillfully Relaying Details So As To Make Me Buy It Because I Did."  If you have never seen Steve Jobs’ iPhone 1 keynote, watch it below.  It is impressive, like Dolly Parton.

Oh I bought the original iPhone: hook, line and sinker, and have been hook, line and sinkered ever since.  Shut up and take my money, Apple. iPhone has truly revolutionized my life, and it is my greatest possession.  I mean my wedding ring is.  My wedding ring.  My WEDDING RING, honey.  Phew!  But I mean it.  I have THE best relationship with my iPhone.  I mean my wife.

To my knowledge, I have never missed a purchase on a new iPhone release.  Whatever your smartphone preference, these fancy new contraptions have rocked our world and allowed us to carry the very Internet in our very pocket.  As a result, we all wear much larger pants because, shoot!  All that bitcoin (there are bits everywhere!), pornography (there is more than enough for everyone!) and cat videos (are there really this many cats living today???) really eat up space!

Welcome back after clicking that porn link.  We know who you are.  Just stay put; the authorities are on their way over.

But if you have not heard the story, Steve Jobs’ presentation was on the verge of collapse for nearly the entire 90 minutes he was on stage.

The original first-gen iPhone was fickle.  Crash-prone.  Unstable.  In order for Steve to make a perfect, “winning” presentation, he needed to follow a set course of action and a so-called “golden path” in order to avoid a crash.  He could check email and then visit a website in Safari, but if he did those two steps in reverse, millions of innocent children would be vaporized in an instant, leaving all adults everywhere to figure out how in the world to stop Baby Shark from playing.

I jest. The truth is that the original iPhone would simply crash if he proceeded in reverse.  He needed to follow an exact path or risk the presentation becoming a laughingstock: something people would justifiably ridicule, like Goldendoodles.  It was all smoke and mirrors and well-played wizardry to conceal some very serious operational flaws.  In the end, mercifully, he made it through.  And eventually all the bugs were exterminated prior to the June 2007 release, or God forbid we might actually have to engage with other humans on a bus.  We might even still be on Motorola RAZRs.  (You know you had one.)

As the story goes, the engineers behind the iPhone were so nervous that they were drinking shots after each demo segment that Jobs miraculously pulled off.  Then they spent the rest of the day drinking.  This is why I repeatedly apply for work at Apple in the engineering department.  You should too, so that we can all sing "Wagon Wheel" until 3am.

So there you have it!  Other long lines have followed suit and grown much longer since its release:

  • the Samsung Galaxy line
  • the Huawei line
  • the HTC line
  • the Google Pixel line
  • the Unemployment line

We are now presented with more fully functional smartphone options per year than Queen Amidala has wardrobe changes in The Phantom Menace, which, along with Carrot Top, is a thing I like to pretend does not exist.  But the iPhone started it all.  It was The First, and it ushered in a whole new mobile-friendly, glorious and beautiful era of bitcoin, cat videos, and porn.

It was not universally supported at first, however!  Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer initially poo-poo'd it.  Blackberry CEO Jim Balsillie said "We'll be fine."  Neither company mass-produces phones anymore, and both CEO's can be found as quality burger-flippers at your local McDonald's.  As of 2017, Google now de-indexes sites that are not mobile friendly.  54.4% of all web traffic came from mobile devices in the fourth quarter of 2021.  The iPhone truly revolutionized the phone…but it did not stop there.  It truly revolutionized life.

I even part my hair on the left now.


What’s Your Golden Path To Avoid A Crash?

Apple, Steve Jobs, Quotes, Scrabble, Business, Ceo

Used by permission from Firmbee via Pixabay


As the new year continues to tick off days, we all collectively continue to progress through resolutions made or desired.  I have not begun my exercise regimen yet, but that is only because I have recently entered the Fitness Protection Program, whereby I am protected from the guilt of not exercising.  I will eventually start on the date that I have set, I promise.  As of right now, my date is off the calendar.  And this time, I’ll keep it off.

In voiceovers, do you have a preferred smartphone?  How has it helped you in business?

More importantly, are you innovative?  What magic do you employ to succeed? Do you have a golden path to avoid a crash?  For me, I have my Goals Worksheet.  It is efficient, it is comprehensive, it keeps me on the straight and narrow, and allows me to make sure that I am maintaining forward momentum every week through marketing, blogging (check!) auditioning, and sales.

And here is a bonus: for all talent who leave a comment at this blog below, I will send it to you for free.  Is it a wonder drug?  A miracle cure?  An end-all-be-all?


It is not Publisher’s Clearing House winnings, Viagra, or even the glorious news that Michael Bolton will never be permitted on radio stations ever again.  It is simply how I track my goals and avoid crashing.

Join me on this road, will you?  Together, we can chart a viable course and go in whatever direction we would like, and not crash.  Let us plot our golden path together.  Hop on in while I pop in Darius Rucker (who uses an iPhone, like Jesus).

Hey, Mama rock me...






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Joshua Alexander
Seattle Voice Actor & Voiceover Artist for hire


34 thoughts on “The iPhone: Smoke & Mirrors and The Golden Path To Success”

  1. Thanks! This was an enjoyable read. I’m just starting the path down VO/VA work and am very excited. Appreciate your words of wisdom.

  2. Wait. I’m a Scotsman. Did somebody say free!
    I used to live on the darkside. The UK was way more Android centric to start off with. I used to love my HTC phone.
    Alas, the pressure was too great and about 5 years ago I converted. I am now conforming like a conforming thing and bow down at the alter of Mr. Jobs!

    1. I look forward to every keynote to see what new thing they’ve come up with. From the iPhone to Apple TV to the iMac to the MacBook to the Apple Watch to Apple Fitness+ to Apple One+….shut up and take my money, Tim Cook.

  3. I’m so disappointed in the fact that you dislike Michael Bolton. how can we be lovers if we can’t be friends? hahaha

    Always fun reading this, and you don’t sound that terrible on the mic either 😛

  4. I LOVE your writing….literally has me guffaw out loud! Thanks for always bringing a humerous spin and interesting read. I’m a brand new VO hoping to cut my first demo this Spring! Exciting stuff! Love the VO community! So excited to get going on this career!

    1. Welcome to the fold, Amanda! If you’re Android, right this way please. If you’re iPhone, up these steps and to the right towards Further Illumination. Let me know if I can help in any way! Cheers, and thank you for reading!

  5. Josh, a great read as always! And just in time to clear away our cloudy skies today.

    As luck would have it, I just gave up my flip-phone and purchased my first iPhone. I still wasn’t convinced that they would really catch on, so I got a refurbished iPhone 6 s Plus, fully loaded with 128 gigs of memory to hold all of my favorite cat videos. Hey, for $112, it was a steal!

    Now if I could just figure out how to turn mail notifications off, I’d be a happy guy. In the meantime, please send your Magic Goals Worksheet so I can figure out what I’m supposed to be doing besides dicking around with this phone!

  6. But.. but… but… I loved The Golden Girls (RIP Rose!) AND, I confess, I’ve always had an Android phone. I mean, not heating my place was easy enough, and I really tried not to eat for 3 weeks, but I wimped out on foregoing food. BUT! I haven’t unsubscribed like that other Android user, AND I swear I don’t like doing laundry, nor do I enjoy doing the dishes BUT listening to your blog (love that you have it available in audio format 👏🏻) (applause emoji at immediate left in case it doesn’t show up when I click “submit”) makes the dish doing go by so much more quickly and pleasantly. So, Androider though I am, I remain subscribed to TVIMHB.

    PS: Tyty for sharing your Goals Worksheet with all us commenters. While I’m not pursuing VO any longer right now, that may change in the future, and it can never hurt to see what others have in their entrepreneurial toolboxes. Thanks for sharing!

    PPS: “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” is Smashing Pumpkins vs. Rage Against the Machine, but I could see RATM doing a version of it, especially since their acronym has the word “Rat” right in it!

    1. Dear T, based on your utterly thorough and most detailed reply which wins the award for most references to that blog itself – nice job by the way! – you are heretofore forthwith ergo vis a vis concordantly forgiven for owning an Android phone. And for being a Golden Girls addict. And for correcting me on Bullet with Butterfly Wings. (Although I appreciate it!). Extra points for successfully including applause emoji. Indeed, I am not worthy.

  7. Thank you once again for all the great ideas. I now know I need to contact the US Marshalls office to apply for the Fitness Protection Program. I also now have adequate justification to upgrade my iPhone from the XR that I currently am organically attached to like a small black plastic encased Siamese twin. I especially need to apply every day for a job with the engineering team at Apple. Your blog is always full of so many useful tips!

    Speaking of drinking shots, I’ve got an idea for you – at VO Atlanta this year you should act out the “Wagon Wheel” scenario outlined above. I’ll even take video for you and I promise not to ever use it for blackmail purposes. Cross my fingers. I mean heart.

    1. Although I am laughing at your comment, Jon Gardner – I know all too well how serious you are, and I appreciate the tip! I have now contacted VOA to have them provide Bouncers for my Breakout Session, and they will be collecting all recording devices at the door for my protection, to inhibit bootleg recordings of any such Wagon Wheel monstrosities. Thank you for alerting me in advance!

  8. As an iPhone user, thank you for this great read! I still say that iPhones and the rise of smart phones are the harbringers of the apocalypse….but hey, if you can’t beat ’em….

  9. i own an iphone can i be in the club???? LOL. What a great trip down memory lane. i never knew about the behind-the-scenes kerfuffle! but i am definitely in need of a golden path….

    1. Magnificent story, no? I was not privy to this until a few years ago, but I can only imagine how nervewracking that presentation must have been for the engineers. I would be drinking too!

  10. I’m using an android phone as far as I can tell.
    Discovered your blog through Facebook, this blog help calm be down. I’ve been looking to become a VA for awhile now, but I’m kind of flying in the dark so reading your blog gives me joy.

    1. That’s what I’m here for, Darius! Welcome to Voiceovers, the greatest thing in the world next to iPhones. Wait! I had that backwards. Hopefully welcome to iPhone (once you figure out which phone you have), the greatest thing in the world next to Voiceovers! If I can help in any way, please let me know. Cheers!

  11. Haha, gonna have to do more than apple fandom to get rid of me. Sus fanfic might be a problem though, hehehehe.

    OOH, I wanted that RAZR! It was a very cool phone when it released and it was on TV for a looooong time – not physically though, hehe. I think I had the Nokia 9300i back then – it ran on Symbian – I was a huge fan of the OS, as slow as it was, because it was like, you guessed it, Windows! hehehe. Always loved those Microsoft PDAs. Wanted one big time! Had no practical use for it. As a primary school student, I had no need for a day planner – it would’ve read: School. Yeah, that’s it, LOL.

    I use Android, as you are aware. I’ve thankfully avoided the cheapest in the range, because they do have some serious software issues. Even the better ones do. My S4, which I still use, has the most stunning mics I have ever encountered on a phone. For voice overs, and I’ve said this before, I used it to record my Afrikaans demo. I’m still proud of the quality! In fact, I’m gonna use it again for another demo. I tried recording violin today, WOW my pickup is awful… I’d do better to tape my phone to the violin or just place it on a tripod really close… It sounds a billion times better, hands down! I’ll experiment a bit more with the pickup, but eeewwww….

    No golden path, but I do my best not to be stuck in the same thing, because hitting your head against a wall should preferably not happen more than once, HAHA.

    Looking forward to seeing your goal sheet’s layout! Would love to get one printed and put up! 😀

      1. Got it!! Can’t wait to check it out!! I’m a huge fan of LibreOffice Calc (like excel). Will send you a pic of something I’ve been working on – I think you’ll love it!! 😀

        LOL, yes, I remember. You were at least open to trying something different!

        Have a super weekend with that super voice! 😀

  12. As an Android user I want to be offended, but I would absolutely buy tickets to an Mmmbop reunion tour. Can brothers have a reunion tour? It’s not like they actually split up. I digress.

    A great read as always. Good work Josh!

    1. You are right! I believe you’ve caught me on a technicality. I know that there was talk of splitting, however: one brother wanted to be Mm, the other Bo, and the last one p…but they thought people would find that confusing. I can’t imagine why and was all for it.

      Good job on catching this! As your reward, I’ll be sending you one free “Don’t Be Offended Here’s Your Easy Convert From Android To iPhone Welcome Pack!” You just need to cover shipping of $819.95. 🙂

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