Interview with Paul Stamatiou – The Passionate Technologist
Paul Stamatiou or better known as Stammy (with his creative branding via shirt) has already accomplished quite a lot – and he hasn’t even graduated college yet. So far he has:
- Started and maintained a successful tech news blog and managed to differentiate himself from the sea of monotony
- Starred Nike commercial
- Hosted events for General Motors – he ain’t stammering Stammy
- Interned at Yahoo!
- Started his own web company, Skribit – a great original idea which has taken off nicely (look in bottom right hand corner of this page) and most importantly
- Interviewed by Tivate.com – nice plug huh? .
Stammy is a nice easy-going guy with a positive attitude. The most difficult thing about him is pronouncing his last name (Stam-uh-tee-you), hence the nicky Stammy. In this interview, Paul talks about his accomplishments, shows us his work desk, reflects on his public speaking skills and admires his idol Steve Jobs (with quote!).
Name: Paul Stamatiou (Stam-uh-tee-you) a.k.a Stammy
Age: 21 years old – from Houston, Texas
Occupation: Blogger, entrepreneur, techie, programmer, public speaker
What challenges did you face in your line of work, and have you ever felt like giving up?::
I have three “lines of work” – being a student at Georgia Tech, writing on PaulStamatiou.com and working on Skribit.com. The biggest challenge is time management and just finding the time to get everything done. [pqr]I’ve never felt like giving up but I’ve had to re-prioritize things from time to time to get it all done[/pqr]. In the past few months Skribit has been growing considerably and a lot of my time has gone into developing for it.
The other challenge deals with information overload and management. Lots of email, news to keep up with and so on.
What does your work environment look like?::
I recently moved into an apartment by myself, which is a huge change from living in dorms and in an off-campus house with several roommates. It’s a lot easier to allot time to get work done without being distracted or having the urge to jump in on a game of Mario Kart Wii with my roommates. The best part of my work environment at home is the fiber Internet connection. It has changed the way I do things and I now rely more on online storage.
What do you consider your greatest failure and why?::
Hrm, that’s a hard one. I’d say not having gotten into programming sooner. I didn’t start really tinkering with web development until I started my blog in 2005. Prior to that I only had a bit of Java experience from a high school course and another computer science class during my freshman year in college. I know a few people my age that are just incredible developers and it makes me wonder what could have been if I had gotten into software much younger, instead of teaching myself to solder and build circuits. I spent my first year at Georgia Tech working towards a computer engineering major until I finally decided I was more interested working closely with the Internet.
What do you consider your greatest achievement and why?::
My greatest achievement is by far having maintained and built up my blog for 3 years to the point it’s at now. My blog has helped me meet many interesting people and learn from them. People at Yahoo! found me from my blog and got me my summer internship, Nike found me from my blog and put me in an online Nike commercial, General Motors found me from my blog as well and has flown me out to various car events. The Internet excels at aiding people in finding others with similar interests and my blog has tapped right into that.
How have you thrived despite negative comments from others?::
I take it all as constructive criticism. You gotta make your haters your motivators haha.
Who (and or what) inspires, motivates you?::
It is hard to pinpoint what inspires or motivates me as there are so many sources. I always pay close attention to others in my field to see how they’re doing things and what they’ve done. In the last year or so I have really embraced the startup culture. While I don’t exactly follow it to the letter, I love reading about it and things like Paul Graham’s essays. It has really shaped the direction I take when working on Skribit.
Do you have any favorite quotes, pictures, internet links that you would like to share?::
My favorite quote comes from Steve Jobs. It definitely aligns with the way I feel when working on new projects.
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
One of my favorite pictures is of Steve Jobs at home in 1982. It shows his different style of thinking.
What are the most important things you have learned in your life so far?::
Whenever I start a new project [pqr]my goal is being able to look back on it and say that it was worth doing[/pqr]. Nothing feels better than getting things done and while I don’t live by the whole GTD craze, I enjoy being productive and having something to show for it. My blog is a great example of that and now it’s like a personal portfolio and resume. I only have so much time in my life, barring the long-awaited invention of some eternal youth potion, so I might as well make it count.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?::
I would say that I am good at getting my point across, whatever that may be. I was an editor on my high school’s yearbook staff and now with my blog I seem to have honed my communication skills. Although I will admit I make for a crappy public speaker and I generally talk very fast (see my Nike commercial for reference).
What are you goals for the future?::
My main goal for the near future is leading Skribit to success and being able to work on it full-time upon my graduation. Basically, just having a job I actually enjoy.
PaulStamatiou.com – tech news/reviews/guides [Online Blog]
Skribit: Blog Topic Suggestion Application [Creative Venture]
“Paul Stamatious’s Yahoo Internship”- inju on Flickr [Online Image]