Technology has been advancing at a rapid rate, yet the costs associated with the development of new gadgets can be exorbitant. When a new device is released, the initial cost can slow the adoption of the Technology has been advancing at a rapid rate, however, the costs associated with the development of new gadgets can be exorbitant. When a new device is released, the initial cost can slow the adoption of the device into the mainstream. We all love our new tech, however many of us can’t always afford to purchase the newest gadgets, let alone spend enough cash to make a worthwhile investment.
That’s where celebrities come in. Very much like the common people, many celebrities have an undying love for new tech. The difference is, these technophiles can make a real splash in the tech world. Many celebrity geeks have been making important investments in new gadgets, spurning the development of new tech, while others have even taken more upfront roles.
1. Masi Oka
While many of those on this list gained their role as tech lovers and post-celebrity fame, the Heroes star Masi Oka has been one from day one. With a rumored IQ of 180, Masi Oka may be a genius. He went to Ivy League Brown University where he graduated with a degree in computer science. After graduating, he got his start in show business, but not as an actor. Instead, he started as a digital effects artist with George Lucas’ digital effects studio, Industrial Light and Magic. While there he worked on such projects as the Star Wars prequels, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Mass, War of the World, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.
He’s also an avid video game player, and besides continuing to pursue his acting career has also been working on developing his video games for a Japanese audience. Most of his work seems to be focused on mobile gaming, a cheaper investment than trying to break into the hard shell of the console world, so hopefully he won’t go down the way of Curt Schilling.
2. Curt Schilling
While Shaquille O’Neal is spending thousands on apps and deer-hunting games, MLB star, Curt Schilling, had an even stronger addiction to video games. Schilling is a huge fan of the online games Everquest, and Ultima Online. These games are the epitome of fantasy games. Schilling was such a beloved player of Everquest that they eventually made him into a villain for players to chase down.
Schilling’s love of video games goes a lot further than simply playing them, and after his long run as a baseball player, he started up his video game studio, 38 Studios. Teamed up with a few major names from the fantasy world, like R.A. Salvatore, Schilling’s studio released Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning in 2012. Schilling didn’t plan on stopping there, as his real dream was to bring his contribution to the online gaming world.
Sadly, this dream was never accomplished. In what became one of the biggest controversies in the video game industry, 38 Studios fired its entire staff after not paying them for a month. It was revealed that they had defaulted on a massive loan from Rhode Island. The studio was forced to close down, and its property was recently auctioned off while Schilling undergoes a lawsuit by the state of Rhode Island. Schilling’s failed tech endeavor cost him his entire baseball fortune.
3. Shaquille O’Neal
Shaquille O’Neal is one of the most recognized athletes in the world, yet the former NBA star is also a tech aficionado. A diehard fan of gaming, Shaq admitted in an interview that he spends a whopping $1,000 a week on new apps!
In 2013, Shaq attended the tech convention SXSW for the first time. Before the convention, Shaq invited those registered for SXSW to give him 15-second elevator pitches for their products, hoping to get an investment from the NBA star. His investments in tech range far, and impressive. He bought a stake in Google before the company had even gone public, and he sits on the advisory board of Tout, a social media company.
4. Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake didn’t simply play the role of wild-boy internet businessman, Sean Parker, he’s an online entrepreneur himself. The musician-turned-actor probably took his role as Parker seriously, as since then he’s become quite involved in the world of tech investment. As an investor, he’s placed some of his millions into a few online companies. Companies like Stipple, which allows photographers to sell their work, and Miso Media, a group dedicated to revolutionizing music education, show that Timberlake’s interests remain in the world of art and music. Unfortunately, Miso Media should have not received enough from Timberlake, as the company eventually ran out of funding.
Timberlake’s most impressive tech undertaking would be his involvement with the former social network titan, Myspace. Myspace was essentially killed off by its competitors, Facebook and Twitter. Timberlake and his partners, seeing an opening, invested millions into Myspace, with the hope of reviving the website and turning it into a social network specifically for musicians and their fans.
5. Tim Ferriss
It is a sad surprise that best-selling author Tim Ferriss is a technology fanatic. While he’s best known for his books The 4-Hour Workweek and The 4-Hour Body, Ferriss is also a legend in the world of online entrepreneurs. Ferriss’ career got its start online with the web-based health supplement company BrainQUICKEN. As his career has continued to blow up, Ferriss has been taking the money he’s made and using it as an angel investor for web start-ups. Some of the companies that he has invested in, and worked as an adviser to, include Facebook, Twitter, and Evernote.