This is a guest post that is a part of our new interview web series. Featured Entrepreneurs are interviewed and talk about their experiences, journey to success, and overcoming challenges.
Have you ever dreamed of walking away from your day job to pursue your dreams? If so, check out my recent Q and A with Matt, founder of Dreams of Gear.
- Q: Can you tell us about yourself and dreamsofgear.com?
A: Of course! My background is in engineering and product development and I get super excited reading about new products, specifically the amazing stuff coming out of Kickstarter and the crowdfunding platforms. We’re at a tipping point where these tiny teams with amazing talent can product products that rival the best from Apple and Sony…there’s all these beautiful world-changing products raising millions from their fans, I just love talking about it and following the product review sites.
I also follow a lot of blogs and podcasts that would fall into the “guy stuff” category, talking about cars, fitness, just a range of topics that interest me. There isn’t a blog out there that combines really cool product reviews and interesting topics in the “guy stuff” world, so I started Dreams of Gear to scratch my own itch.
At Dreams of Gear, we’re reviewing cool products, which we also sell through the site. In addition, on the blog we’re publishing a bunch of articles on topics that I and my writers find interesting, not limited to just product reviews. Eventually we want to offer a daily deal where we do a limited run of a specific product at a really super discounted rate for one day only.
- Q: You’re very active on social media. Which platform is most impactful to the success of DOG?
A: We’re active on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. There are elements of each that I like. Facebook is great for posting articles and new products and getting feedback directly from our audience, although it costs money to really get engagement. Twitter is quite noisy but we have a pretty large following so it’s nice to be able to broadcast something important or time sensitive.
I think of Pinterest as sort of a long-term collection of interesting tidbits…I don’t expect a lot of people to buy items directly through that channel, but it helps people get familiar with the brand and the type of content we produce. Hopefully, over time they’ll click through some of those pinned photos, join our mailing list, and become dedicated readers. That’s ultimately the strategy for all the social media platforms.
- Q: Your site curates very forward thinking and innovative technology. Have you always had a love for gadgets and fashion?
A: Yeah I’m an engineer so I can’t help it. I have a natural urge to optimize things…like, creating the perfect workspace at my desk with well-designed gadgets, a self-raising computer stand for standing up, an ergonomic chair, that kind of thing.
I also love beautifully designed products, even those that aren’t high-tech. A lot of fashion items fall into this category…lately there’s been a lot of bamboo and wood sunglasses, super-slim front-pocket wallets and that kind of thing…creative versions of classic items.
- Q: What are 3 accessories that you absolutely cannot leave your home without?
A: I always carry my money clip (I gave up on wallets years ago…they’re bulky, bad for your back, I could go on and on…) with a couple of cards and some cash.
I normally carry my laptop and sometimes my iPad as well, and I have a really cool fur-lined laser engraved bamboo carrying case for each. We’re going to do a review of this product later this month, so I won’t spoil it now.
And the third accessory is my carbon fiber sketchbook from RC Fibers. It’s not available publicly yet (there will be a Kickstarter soon) but for a nerdy engineer it’s the world’s coolest accessory.
- Q: I’ve read that you live in Buenos Aires. What attracted you to Argentina and how’s the climate for startups there?
A: I initially came here after quitting my corporate engineering job, just to experience life in a different culture. Eventually I met my Argentine girlfriend, and that’s the main reason I’m still here.
There is a blossoming startup scene here in Buenos Aires, with several accelerators and a really big art scene. It’s a bit tricky to do business here due to the economy, the crazy inflation, and a lot of other factors, but overall it’s a great place to live and there’s a lot of energy.
- Q: How do you inspire yourself to take risks and overcome fear?
A: Quitting my high-paying corporate job was the biggest risk I’ve ever taken and it was the jumping off point for everything that has come since then. It took me several years to work up the courage. Since then I’ve had ups and downs but I ‘m so glad I took the leap and can’t imagine going back.
I still face fear when I start a new project or make a big decision. I think the most difficult fear for me is presenting something to other people, putting my work out there at risk of being ignored or laughed at. Everyone has to face that though, it’s the cost of doing anything new and worthwhile.
I get inspired by reading stories or talking to people who have been very successful, and being reminded that they all faced the same fears and doubts.
- Q: Any tips for our readers on how to embark on following their dreams?
A: First identify exactly what you want, the more specific the better. Then work backwards, identifying how you plan to get what you want, and listing the steps you need to take. Then take the first step, even if it’s something small. Talk to people who have done what you want, and try to make friends with other people who are doing the same thing. Life is short, take the first step and have fun along the way.