My dad was very successful running midgets in Texas. Then, his two drivers ran into some bad luck. People started saying that Daddy had lost his touch. That it was the cars and not the drivers. I wanted to race just to prove all those people wrong.
We didn't realize there were that many boy bands until we started touring in Europe. I don't think we were ever affected by it since a lot of the groups in Europe didn't really sing live, but we did and would perform a cappella as well.
I developed a mania for Fitzgerald - by the time I'd graduated from high school I'd read everything he'd written. I started with 'The Great Gatsby' and moved on to 'Tender Is the Night,' which just swept me away. Then I read 'This Side of Paradise,' his novel about Princeton - I literally slept with that book under my pillow for two years.
We wanted to create an opportunity for people to share anything, on their own terms, revenue and all. Get away from the commerce side of music, which can be exciting and necessary but ultimately dilutes the creative impulse. The further and further you go down that path is sometimes the further you are from the reason why you started making music.
Pittsburgh's home. This is where it all started. This is always going to be home. I always have to get back to Pittsburgh and get some work done.
When I was younger, I'd always forget stuff. I think there was probably 4-5 times where we'd drive 30 minutes to a town for the baseball tournament, and all of a sudden, I'd get to the field and look in my bag, and I didn't have my cleats. So my dad had to race all the way home to get my cleats and get back before the game started so I could play.
I've always been interested in technology, but specifically how we can use machines to engage the imagination. I started using computers when I was young and was fascinated by creating rules and instructions that allow a computer to engage in a dialogue with humans. The stories found in the data all around us can do just that.
I've actually started a number of businesses in my career. So I'm 28 currently, but when I was about 16, I started building Websites, and that's how I put myself through school. I went to Duke with a degree in electrical engineering, computer science, computer engineering, and then to Princeton.
When I was 8 or 9, I started using bulletin board systems, which was the precursor to the Internet, where you'd dial into... a shared system and shared computers. I've had an email address since the late '80s, when I was 8 or 9 years old, and then I got on the Internet in '93 when it was first starting out.
At 16, I started a web development business and had clients from the Netherlands, Caribbean, and across the country - none of whom knew my age because I could conduct all my business with a phone, scanner, and the Internet.