What inspires you?
Peter Rojas is the cofounder and editor-in-chief of Engadget, which is a daily weblog covering gadgets, consumer electronics and personal technology. He is also the cofounder of Joystiq, a weblog which covers video games. Rojas has worked as a contributing editor at Cargo, an editor-at-large at Sync, a technology editor of VMan, and a columnist for The Guardian, writing on emerging technology. He is a frequent contributor to a variety of publications both on- and off-line and appears on radio and television regularly as a technology commenter. Rojas was educated at Harvard University and the University of Sussex. He lives in New York City.
Peter Rojas: That is something I think about a lot is where . . . what exactly is it that I’m . . . I’m striving towards? And you know it’s one of those . . . It’s kind of like . . . It’s very mercurial for me. Like when I try to think about it directly, I can’t exactly grasp it. But there’s this sort of weird, abstract ideal I have of like I just wanna be someone who’s like actively engaging with the world, and like trying to create stuff and . . . and making stuff that’s interesting. And someone who . . . I mean a lot of the people that really . . . that I think are really interesting are . . . are people that are . . . they’re designers, and filmmakers and . . . and artists, and musicians, and entrepreneurs. And so to me that’s like, you know, being a tech entrepreneur is sort of like . . . I mean I like to think of it as like, you know, sort of . . . You know you’re not . . . It’s like . . . It’s sort of like on a par or sort of a level with people that are like, you know, really cool filmmakers, like a Sophia Coppola, or like you know . . . someone like a __________ Coolhouse is like, you know, an architect who is also like, you know just . . . Like to me it’s like the abstraction there is that, like, you’re someone that is like thinking creatively about the world, and coming up with interesting solutions, and ideas, and perspectives. And like it’s really . . . It’s really just more about which channel or medium do you wanna express that in rather than, you know, necessarily you just being an architect, or being a designer, or being a musician. And so I kind of aspire to be someone like that – someone who says, “Well I just look at the world around me and, like, what can I do better? What can I, you know, create that would be interesting? What do I think that . . . What would I, you know, be excited to play with or . . . or engage with?” And so you know I have this kind of dream that, like, after . . . you know starting . . . you know . . . I mean it depends. I mean my third company or my second company. It depends on whether you wanna count Gawker or not. But you know that may be like after . . . And I’m actually doing another company next year, but . . . so that’ll be my next . . . I’m doing two new startups, but that, you know . . . that maybe I would wanna do something like, you know, in design, or like urban planning, or architecture because I’m like so, like, you know fascinated by urbanism and how technology, you know . . . like reading . . . like William Mitchell . . . Like how is technology changing, you know, our urban space? How . . . how is real life changing in the face of all these like, you know, electronic, you know, interactions in between us? And so you know I think . . . Or maybe I’d wanna do something like, you know, something in that realm. Always having been so fascinated with design and . . . and especially you know . . . I mean you know, whether it’s like Russian constructivism; or whether it’s like, you know, being interested in like, you know, Anna Costello, or Joe Columbo or something like that. You know like Italian ‘70s, like you know, futurist design or whatever. It’s like wanting to sort of be someone that’s like a problem solver, you know? Someone who . . . who’s trying to make . . . you know trying to add something to the world, but also dealing with like a certain kind of like style, or like you know, passion I guess.
Recorded on: 10/2/07
Rojas talks about his inspiration.