Retired NBA star Shaquille O’Neal is heavily active in investing on technology devices as he spent the past few days at the South by Southwest Interactive festival, a report from CNN said.
It is quite surprising for his millions of basketball fans that the seven-footer is a big nerd when it comes to technology. He said that during the past days he was in Austin, he already bought devices he doesn’t really need. But he revealed that he is a big fan of gadgets, spending most of his time in front of his computer or tinkering with his iPad.
While attending the SXSW trade show, where numerous entrepreneurs start to market their products to possible investors, O’Neal took to the stage and shared his thoughts about gadgets, basketball, social media and even investing.
Tech for Dummies
The NBA star only has praise for the multitude of devices that we now have today. He said that most gadgets today are “dummy-proof.” O’Neal added that since most tablets and computers these days are very simple to use, it would be impossible for anyone not to understand how to work on a device.
It’s true. In the last decade alone, we have seen how companies race to make their devices easier to use and understand. One 75-year-old grandmother that I know even has an account on Facebook and uses the iPad to access her email, chat with her friends and even play online games. Such is the power of technology today that it has become accessible for all age groups.
O’Neal said that as a technology-savvy person, he takes gadgets very seriously. He has earned his MBA while playing for the Los Angeles Lakers and bought a lucrative stake in Google back in 2004 before the company’s IPO. Today, O’Neal is on the advisory board of Tout, a social-media startup that lets users share their 15-second videos.
During the festival, O’Neal chose two startup projects—Beam, a mobile video conferencing device that can roll around like the Segway; and Speakerfy, a social-sound application that lets you wirelessly sync your music files to different Apple devices.
All registered SXSW attendees were advised to have a 15-second video pitches about their startup projects.
Those whose projects have been chosen will have the opportunity to have a personal audience with the basketball star and TV personality. O’Neal might even invest some of his dough into their projects, the report from CNN said.
The proponents of the projects, who were shocked for having been chosen among the 150 pitches the basketball star reviewed, were flattered for O’Neal’s appreciation of their works. However, they both said that they are well-funded now and don’t actually need a new investor. But both Scott Hassan (Beam) and Austin Wright (Speakerfy) definitely said that they cannot wait to meet the NBA legend.
Even as a self-proclaimed “world’s tallest geek,” the NBA star said that he still felt like he was a kid in a Toys R Us store when he attended the event at the Austin Conference Center.