Two of the most exciting careers out there are rock star and tech entrepreneur -- and Matt Sandy has been lucky enough to have had both.
He started out in the music industry in the '90s, performing and producing albums with his indie rock group The Matt Sandy Band. He graduated from Columbia Business School in 2004 and left the band around 2006 to pursue a new career as a gadget guy. He is currently a partner in General Sensing Systems, a company that develops consumer electronics products.
Sandy, 35, lives on the Upper East Side.
Why did you switch
Music was my passion but the money is in tech.
How did you get into tech?
I got into inventing because my father is a world-class scientist and inventor, and I think that just rubbed off on me. Working with him on several projects, I was able to start innovating and coming up with ... products I [thought] would be cool and people would want.
What is your most recent product launch?
The ParaShoot is a wearable, wireless small camera. Customers can pre-order it right now at theparashoot.com. ... We raised over $150,000 on [indiegogo.com], a crowdfunding campaign site.
How does your music background help with your tech innovation job?
Music is highly creative, right-brained -- and when you create something in consumer products and you're doing anything innovative, it's paramount.
How do you come up with your ideas?
[I've gotten] frustrated that I couldn't find a single product that would do what I wanted it to do, so then I came up with the solution to solve this problem. It would have to be when I'm questioning other products.
What is a pro and a con of your new job, and are you happy with your new career?
The pro I would say is the excitement, the reward that comes when you've succeeded in creating the product that, if there's a market for it, that's awesome. ... I would say the surprise element is both a pro and a con, the fact that you're living on the edge, [that your product] might be a hit or it might be a flop.
Do you wish you had gone into this career originally?
I wish I had done this a lot earlier -- it's a really fun field right now, it's developing extremely rapidly, tech and anything tech-related is absolutely on fire these days. ? But I'm glad that I did music because that was my talent. I wrote 600 songs, I produced three albums. People still call me rock star.
Do you have any advice for readers who are considering a career 180?
Be very astute to work with people and select people who you think are good people. ... Work with people that you feel help the project that you're working on, that are on the same page.