Louis Ramirez is the Senior Editor of Gizmodo, the biggest tech blog on the net. In this interview, he let us know all about how he spots the next big gadgets.
When asked about Trend Hunter, Louis told us, â€œTrend Hunter tells you what's cool so that you don't look like a jackass trying to act cool. It's the go-to spot for people who always want to be in the know.â€
12 Questions with Louis Ramirez
1. How and when did you become interested in technology?
My first experience with technology came in the 80s when I got my 8-bit Nintendo console. Ever since that day I was always on the look out for the latest games and gadgets. Professionally, I began covering tech when I started working at Laptop magazine upon graduating from college.
2. ... and what about Gizmodo?
I started working at Gizmodo back in October. Prior to working at the Giz I was a big fan of the site -- I'd check it multiple times throughout the day to see what was new or what was generating buzz.
3. What types of new innovations interest you the most?
I'm a computer guy so I'm always looking at what's new in the laptop and desktop arena. Processors, graphics cards -- the whole 9 yards. I'm also a big home theater fan so I like keeping up to date on new flat panels and speakers. Lately I've been reading up on robots a lot. It's scary how life-like robots are becoming.
4. How and where do you discover your latest articles (Is it mostly from other blogs, user submissions or do you actually hunt for cool things)?
I get my stories from multiple sources, but for the most part I prefer to find things on my own. A lot of times I'll ask my contacts what's new to see if I can score an NDA. Other times I'll read tech mags/blogs in the UK and Japan to see what they're excited about and what's coming down the line for us. On a daily basis I'd say I look at over 200 different feeds.
5. How do you define a trend?
To me a trend is something that's popular. Something that's "in" or mainstream. Trends come and go easily -- so it's difficult knowing which ones are worth your time. MySpace is trendy. Is it worth your time? Probably not.
6. How do you define cool?
Cool on the other hand doesn't have to be trendy. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. For instance people who can hack their cell phone or make flamethrowers out of a box of Legos are cool. Cool has this underground vibe to it in the sense that it hasn't been discovered by the mainstream yet.
7. Why do you feel it is important to track the next big thing?
It's always important to see what's new or what's on the horizon. Otherwise you're just settling with what you have now. I've never been content with settling, so I'm always on the look out for the next big thing.
8. What advice would you give to someone who wanted to create something cool?
Just put yourself into it. Whether it's something you're writing, building, whatever -- the minute it has your "touch" -- your "signature" -- that's when it'll be cool. Otherwise it's generic.
9. Gizmodo is a very populary site. Do you have plans to expand?
We're always looking for ways to improve the site, but right now our main focus is CES. Our plan is to not only report on what we see, but to also give good feedback. Anyone can rehash a press release, but to give an informed opinion -- that's a different story.
ABOUT LOUIS RAMIREZ
10. Professionally, what do you want to be doing in 10 years?
Five years ago I never would've guessed I'd be blogging for a living. So 10 years from now I don't know what I'll be doing, but I'd like to continue writing about tech and maybe explore other types of writing. I've always considered myself a big foodie, so maybe I'll give that a try.
11. What are your biggest hobbies outside hunting for cool new technologies?
Ever since I started at Gizmodo I've been working from home. Which is cool, but aside from rolling out of bed and walking in and out of the kitchen for lunch, it doesn't involve much exercise. Some days when I'm attending meetings I'm running all over the city, but for the most part I'm working from home. So after a long day of blogging I like hitting the
gym for an hour-long run or swim.
12. Name 3 people who have inspired you.
My mom and dad have always been my main inspiration. They've taught me to work hard and set my goals high. Both of them worked 24/7 to make sure I went to the best schools. I wouldn't be here without them. I also owe a lot to my 4th grade elementary school teacher, who inspired me to write by assigning me these really long "how I spent my summer vacation" type of essays. I grew up in New York, I didn't travel much, so most of my summers were the same. One day my teacher told me to get creative with my essays and so I did. I've enjoyed writing ever since. And my creative writing professor in college was also a huge inspiration. He taught me how to give and take criticism.
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