13 Questions With Matt Rogers

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Welcome to 13 Questions, a series aimed at bringing a human face to notable figures in the world of startups, hardware, and tech. Ever wonder how your favorite designer learned to love tech? Curious what’s on your favorite VC’s bucket list? Want to see the person behind the media hype? 13 Questions is here.

Matt Rogers is the co-founder and VP of Engineering of Nest Labs. Before reinventing the thermostat, Matt was an engineer at Apple. Needless to say he has made a significant contribution to consumer electronics mostly, because as he confesses below, he hasn’t taken any time off since college.

1) Is your primary device Android or iOS?
I have both, and use them both.

2) What’s your go-to driving song?
Not a song but would be NPR All Things Considered.

3) What is your all-time favorite “Saturday Night Live” sketch?
The Bears. http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/38858/

4) How do you disconnect?
I don’t often disconnect but when I do I usually prefer a weekend in wine country.

5) What’s your first cell phone?
Motorola Startac, that thing was the bomb..

6) What would you change about your current mobile phone?
I change my phone every few months, I’m always looking for longer battery life, easier access to user interface and actually having better call quality.

7) What gadget design trait do you deplore most?
I actually don’t love computers in general. Ironic given that I build them professionally. I got my first computer when I was about 3 years old (a trusty Mac Plus), but I feel user interfaces for computers really haven’t changed much since then. I’m really thankful for touch technology and the iPhone – so much better!

8) What gadget do you most depend on (besides a Nest product)?
My Audi’s self driving features. I commute for about 2-3 hours a day, adaptive cruise control is the best thing since sliced bread.

9) What do you consider as your biggest missed opportunity in life?
I’ve never really taken any time off since college. I really regret not taking a few months before starting Nest to relax and explore the world.

10) Who was your most influential teacher?
Nancy Cochran who was my 4th and 5th grade teacher. She had an enormous influence on my entire career by teaching me how to be a good listener and to empathize with people. She taught me that there is way more to learning than just reading a text book.

11) What is the next gadget or device you’re going to purchase next?
LG’s 4k OLED TV. I’m a sucker for the spec wars and who cares if there’s no content yet!

12) When are you most likely to ignore an email?
Usually if its more than 3-4 sentences. I have so much trouble focusing on my phone screen for more than 10 seconds. Generally if I can’t finish reading an email in 10 seconds, you’ve lost me.

13) What technological advancement do you most admire?
Electricity. Man that was a big deal. Where would we be without it?

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