I found that many writers of magazines or novels say something in a way that is not straightforward and to the point. Like this:

Dressed like a latter-day Steve Jobs in a tight black long-sleeve sweater, blue jeans, and white sneakers, Dropbox founder and CEO Drew Houston addressed a crowd of developers, reporters, and some tech royalty (including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg) at the company’s first developer conference in San Francisco.

(source: How Dropbox Could Rule a Multi-Platform World by Rachel Metz)

This paragraph is about the Dropbox CEO, but leads with the half-sentence is about Steve Jobs and his dress. I am also confused why the author described Dropbox CEO's dressing. Does it imply a kind of characteristics, or any similarity with Jobs?

  • It's a typical journalistic style and not a good one, imho.
    – STSagas
    Jul 12, 2013 at 23:06

3 Answers 3


Yes, the paragraph is explicitly comparing Drew Houston to Steve Jobs, in both dress and demeanor.

It's an artistic way of dropping in the information. It varies sentence structure, and sometimes you can't get that description into the paragraph another way and have it read smoothly.

Describing how the person is dressed for a presentation can be important if the person is not wearing standard office attire. Particularly in this case, Houston was wearing an outfit which deliberately invoked the one Steve Jobs wore for practically every Apple conference, which I'm sure was not accidental.


The first half isn't about Steve Job's dressing. It's about how Drew Huston is dressing like Steve Jobs. I think he was simply implying that Dropbox's CEO was dressing like the late Steve Jobs and/or wanted to emulate him.

Now to answer your questions, starting a paragraph in a non-straight way can add spice or other connotation to the paragraph. Of course, doing it too much would just confuse the reader.


There's no one answer to this, and there might have been many reasons for the author tot write the article like she did. My guess is that it's an attempt to make the Dropbox CEO seem innovative and hip, like Steve Jobs was. Or it might be a comment on his attempt to seem innovative and hip by dressing up like a known innovator. Or it could simply be an attempt to portray the image the company projects.

No matter what the intent was, a sentence like this can set the scene and make information more colorful. IT articles can be dry, and spicing them up with some color like this can make them more enjoyable to read.

Also, writing the same information in the same way every time would be boring to read. Changing the structure by putting the actual information after a description of the presentation can help.

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