April 24, 2024

Mid Designer

Breakaway from the pack

Kickstarter CEO Everette Taylor shares his 9 favorite tech essentials

The irony is that Kickstarter CEO Everette Taylor grew up without technology. “I was homeless in high school and had no access to anything,” the Virginia native says.

He took shelter in the local public library and turned his attention to its free computers. Everything clicked. Thanks to search engines like Google, Taylor perused a world full of information and studied young tech entrepreneurs like Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. “I said to myself, ‘I might not be able to be a professional basketball player or rapper, but I think I can really learn about this tech world,” he recalls.

Taylor made good on his word by attending Virginia Tech, and by age 19, started an event marketing software company. He went on to launch other companies such as GrowthHackers and ET Enterprises. For three years, he served as the chief marketing officer for Artsy, an online marketplace for buying and selling fine art. He also made the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for his work in marketing and advertising with PopSocial.

And in September, he was tapped to oversee the popular crowdfunding platform company that helps bring creative projects to life.

“I took the Kickstarter job because it’s the culmination of my career,” Taylor says. “I love being an entrepreneur and marketing and helping people. There aren’t too many tech companies that can directly impact the lives of many people on a daily basis. Everyone has an idea, but not everyone has the resources or the money to do it.” His goal, he adds, is to make the company a diverse and inclusive platform to give creators the tools to succeed. “I really want Kickstarter to represent the ability to make everyone’s dream come true.”

Taylor freely admits he’s “spent so much money” pledging to campaigns on the site. “I literally have access to all the newest, coolest gadgets,” he says. It’s no wonder tech is such a vital part of his daily routine — and why many Kickstarter-backed products are part of said routine. He runs down his list for CNN Underscored.

That’s no ordinary band resting on Taylor’s finger. The lightweight titanium device is packed with sensors that measure a wide range of body metrics associated with fitness, stress and sleep. It also records heart rate, breathing rate and skin temperature. He uses it primarily for the zzz’s-factor: “I have a terrible time sleeping, and this really keeps track of my patterns to make sure I’m living a healthy lifestyle. It can even predict when I’m getting sick.” 

Related: The best sleep trackers of 2023

An avid art collector, Taylor raves that he can display his digital keepers in his Brooklyn home via this so-sleek smart television. “This is my way to have different types of art and support digital artists,” he says. How does it work? Use the ArtMode to upload NFTs, personal photos and even your kid’s finger-painting project, or purchase works from the Samsung Art Store. The rotating TV uses anti-reflection technology to avoid pesky glare.

Related: Samsung’s The Frame makes a gorgeous, unique TV even better

You better believe he puts the pedal to the metal. “I got a Peloton back when I worked at Artsy and got inspired by our CEO because he was so competitive about his numbers!” he says. Now Taylor keeps the bike in his basement and sweats along to a variety of classes. “It’s so easy and really incredible,” he says. And yes, Peloton originated as a Kickstarter campaign — 297 backers pledged a total of $307,332 in 2012.

Related: The best smart exercise bikes of 2023

“We spend a lot of our time with this in our hands,” Taylor says as he waves his iPhone in the air. “You can’t really experience life the way you want to.” That’s why he totes his hands-free waterproof action camera while hiking, sightseeing and surfing around the world. (He even snaps away at concerts.) “I can create my own photos and videos and basically log my life without actually having to experience something through a device,” he explains. 

Depending on his mood, Taylor will pop in his water-resistant and noise-canceling white buds and jam to hip-hop, rock, jazz, alternative and R&B all around New York City. “I’m, like, a big music person with eclectic tastes,” he says, noting that Frank Ocean is his No. 1. “So, these AirPods have become essential to my life, if I’m being honest. They’re really, really, really amazing.” (OK, he’ll use them to take calls, too.)

Even a top tech entrepreneur is liable to stress out from a low-battery warning. A wireless battery-pack charger attached to the back of a phone helps big time. “I need to have a charger on my phone because I travel so much,” Taylor says. “This one is a lifesaver because a lot of times I’m out and about for long periods of time.”

Related: Why the Meta Quest 2 is still the virtual reality headset to buy

Because the CEO is constantly on the go, he relies on this security system for his home. “With old security cameras, you’d have to record something and then go back and watch it,” he says. “Now I can just sync this to my app and monitor everything.” Indeed, the weather-proof surveillance system live-streams day and night footage and can detect body shapes and face patterns. You’re alerted only when a human approaches the property. Good news for stray cats!