One of the highlights of SXSW Interactive this year was Dr. Shaquille O'Neal (did you know he had a doctorate degree?). He joined me on stage at the Long Center for Performing Arts to a theater packed with adoring fans. Before we took the stage, we spent some time to shoot a special episode of Revolution.
Not only is Dr. Shaq an NBA champion, an Olympic gold medalist, a 15 time All Star, 6th on the all time scoring list, and an all-around icon, he's an active investor and self-described geek. His portfolio includes Google (pre-IPO), Five Guys, Vitamin Water, Muscle Milk and a whole slew of traditional businesses and tech startups. While at SXSW, we walked through the Startup Village as part of a "Pitch Shaq" initiative hosted by real-time video network Tout. At the end of our session, Shaq announced that he would take official meetings with two lucky startups, Speakerfy and Beam.
On the technology front, Shaq is always looking for the next big thing. He bypassed traditional media and announced his retirement on Tout, a platform that at the time had only been live for six weeks. Shaq was early to embrace Twitter where he still engages with his now 7 million fans. In fact, Jack Dorsey was once asked who he thought the ideal Twitter user was and his response was Shaq. Why? Because he's engaged, it's him, and he believes in community. His mantra for social media is 60% to make you laugh, 30% to inspire you and 10% to let you know about this product.
Take a few minutes to watch this enchanting interview. I think you'll agree, Shaq is not only an investor, geek, and super star, he's also a wonderful human being.