Selling Steve Jobs' Liver: A Story of Startups, Innovation, and Connectivity in the Clouds

Selling Steve Jobs' Liver: A Story of Startups, Innovation, and Connectivity in the Clouds

Posted by jack_miller | Published 7 months ago

With 32 ratings

By: Merrill R. Chapman and Steven Wells

Purchased At: $9.99

In 2003, Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs was diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer.


By 2009, the cancer had spread to his liver. Near death, Jobs flew to Tennessee, where he underwent an organ transplant. The fate of the discarded liver remains a mystery, one that is revealed in "Selling Steve Jobs’ Liver: A Story of Startups, Innovation, and Connectivity in the Clouds."

"Selling Steve Jobs’ Liver" begins when two serial-failure entrepreneurs, Nate Pennington and Ignacio Loehman, are contacted by a mysterious man who sells them the technology titan’s lost liver. The opportunity inspires them to ideate, innovate, and finally create a new company, Reliqueree, whose mission is to reposition death and dying in the market's mind by replacing 20th century mortuary processes and concepts with fresh thinking and new technology to enable the living to enjoy the benefits of enhanced remembrance and connectivity with those in the post-life.

Determined to change the world, Nate and Ignacio create the uLivv, the first device designed to leverage the IoDT (Internet of Departed Things). As part of their launch strategy, Nate and Ignacio repurpose Steve Jobs’ genome and liver to create a compelling value and promotional proposition for their new family of products and services.

"Selling Steve Jobs' Liver" takes the reader on an exciting entrepreneurial journey as our duo draw on the legacy and lessons of Steve Jobs for inspiration and guidance as they strive to build their new company, make a dent in the universe, and successfully monetize their dream. Some the challenges they'll face include:
  • Properly positioning Reliqueree and the uLivv to the market.
  • Overcoming reactionary thinking and legal gauntlets.
  • Solving unique development and content creation challenges.
  • Demonstrating to a skeptical media Reliqueree’s ability to disrupt the world.

These are just some of the business and personal challenges that will face the Reliqueree team. The journey will be a hard one, fraught with many obstacles and setbacks as the company growth hacks its way to market acceptance and business success. The lessons you'll learn as you accompany our duo on their quest will be invaluable and help inspire you to be "Insanely Great" in all your future endeavors.


"Liver" is a must read for entrepreneurs, startups, and visionaries, as well as the millions of us who remain fascinated by Steve Jobs and technology’s ability to assist us all to "Think Different" about life, death, and marketing technology.

Don't even read this book if you are not willing to laugh out loud in public places. This is not a book; it's a time machine into the world of startups, from tech industry beginnings through modern times and business.

I’m a serial entrepreneur over 40, have started and run technology companies during the 80’s, 90’s through today. The author’s vignettes of products and people from those days are informative, accurate and hilariously funny at the same time.

Opening this book is like a sprint through Silicon Valley through the eyes of a pair of failed entrepreneurs who stumble upon this one, completely implausible idea; selling Steve Jobs Liver, in slivers.

The story is skillfully told, metering out the action and plot twists, with surprises throughout. The personalities are so carefully crafted that I felt like I knew them. In fact, the personalities were so... familiar, because I was one of them and had my own Boris as my Russian Chief Technology Officer. He was my only employee allowed to keep Vodka in his desk drawer.

While written as a spoof on the Silicon Valley start-up scene, the business model (if you could call it that) is completely plausible, using all of the tools available today and then extending them through the personalities and situations most of us will find immediately familiar.

The fictional company Reliqueree, creates a new technology; IoDT (Internet of Departed Things) as a way to encapsulate and later model dead people and other celebrity personalities. Reliqueree’s "hardware platform" encapsulates the actual DNA molecules of "Steve" along with his simulated personality morphed into a learning environment, engineered by a reclusive Russian genius, while having a stilted affair with a brilliant, socially inept Chinese illegal immigrant.

If all this sounds a little insane, in context it all makes perfect sense, inside the amazingly entertaining world that the author constructs. Make no mistake, it’s a parody modeled after many of the personalities and situations that take place every day in our business; the tech/internet business.

If you too are over 40 and have been involved with tech startups then this book is going to be one of the most entertaining 6 hours you can have by yourself. Don’t skip it because of the silly title; it’s really a sophisticated marketing construct with real-life situations that (sadly) are a part of most entrepreneurial lives today.

For some of us with close, deep ties to “the industry” there are many hidden, inside jokes that are just hilarious.

Don’t get on your next plane flight without this book, you can thank me later.

- georgia_adams

This is one twisted, thought-provoking and fun read. I had no idea what to expect in this book but the title was intriguing so what the heck. I am so glad I read this as the plot was so delightfully wicked. Took me most of the book to figure out it I hated or liked the main character and in the end you just shake your head at his adventure in being entrepreneurial in a most unlikely way. What I found very thought provoking is the whole concept of that we do not actually own our own DNA and that a company could actually make products surrounding our essence and we currently have no way to prevent it. It is a very effective use of a well known persona like Steve Jobs but in the end it could be about any well known figure or even ourselves. The characters are well developed and many of them you really get to love, hate and just marvel at their antics. The book is a little slow in building the plot initially but then takes off like a rocket and I could not put it down. As a computer and mobile products professional I was very impressed with the accuracy of the book in detailed industry areas. A definite must read!

- itzel_ruiz

So, Merrill R. Chapman's Selling Steve Jobs' Liver... is really as off-the-wall as the title suggests, and (spoiler alert) the title is not a metaphor. It's literally about a bunch of guys who cook up a business to sell off tiny bits of the visionary's DNA. Nate Pennington is who would happen if Seinfeld had been about startups. Hilarious, only vaguely moral and at heart, selfish and petty, he has the drive to succeed at any cost. Eye on the prize, social and family ties be damned. Does Nate care that his idea is fantastically tasteless? Nope. Does this make this book hilarious? Yup.

Nate's company Reliqueree creates the ultimate killer app, a way to keep a connection to lost loved ones by sequencing their DNA. First run units come with Steve Jobs! In true-to-form entrepreneurial fashion, his company is his baby, which is juxtaposed against his actual impending baby. His oddball corporate family - Boris, the master coder confounded by America and Ignacio, loyal friend a' la Sancho Panza, are far closer to him than his actual family. Angie, Nate's overbearing, Chinese, pregnant fiancé, and his intolerant mother are kept emotionally out in the cloud.

Chapman clearly knows his idea is nuts, as do his characters. Most committed and also most aware of the insanity is Nate himself. He's not deluded in any way and he hasn't drunk the cool-aid. There is no cool-aid, only ROI. It's delightful to watch him twist himself in knots justifying that the uLivv isn't some ghoulish Franken-device. As critics and naysayers descend on him, he doubles down on the crazy and commits further like some high-tech Max Bialystok.

Treated with simultaneous reverence and ludicrous disrespect are the remains and legacy of Steve Jobs himself. The scheme seems more like an elaborate eFuneral for the man as opposed to a business plan. As his DNA is turned in to paint and his persona uploaded in to Siri on steroids, you kind of get the sense that maybe, there's a 1% chance that this is what he may have wanted. It really is a twisted love letter to the man who brought us so many wonders. Steve Jobs was a man loved by people who didn't know him and loathed by many who did. He inspired millions of dreamers when he was alive, and brought back from the dead in app form? Maybe he'll be able to inspire billions! And also make Nate a rich, rich man.

Chapman peppers the story with insider speak, but it doesn't get held down by jargon. He knows his stuff about the tech industry. In the cramped startup warren of Reliqueree, you get the sense that the author's been there and done that. Ninety hour weeks, air mattresses, pizza for breakfast, showering at the Y - check, check, check and check. There are at least a dozen seemingly viable business plans thrown out at random as jokes or asides. Oh, and pour yourself a fine red wine when you get to the "unboxing scene" and just soak in the wonderfully weird Gruezén.

The occasional drift in ty start-up speak won't throw you off too far, especially when you have a main character who "Gas Lights" his senile mother by hiding her purse in the fridge. That my friends, is just business. Stealing Steve Jobs' Liver had a lot to live up to - with a title like that it had a really good chance of falling over its own concept on and on to its face. Like a successful start-up, it takes big risks and they pay off. Beyond being hilarious, it has some decent sized balls and is one of the most entertaining books I have read all year.

- beau_parker

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