Influencers Who Inspire: VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi

As PR professionals, we’re often asked “who do you know” and “will they take your call?” It’s part of the reason that we started our “Influencers Who Inspire” series – to not only validate those questions but to support and promote the work by influencers that we all admire and follow. And we were stoked when Dean Takahashi of VentureBeat agreed to catch up with us for our next interview.  Dean is lead writer for GamesBeat at VentureBeat. He covers video games, security, chips and a variety of other subjects. Dean previously worked at the San Jose Mercury News, the Wall Street Journal, the Red Herring, the Los Angeles Times, the Orange County Register and the Dallas Times Herald. He is the author of two books, Opening the Xbox and The Xbox 360 Uncloaked. You can follow Dean on Twitter at @deantak.

What’s the strangest/most memorable place from which you ever conducted an interview?

I interviewed Steve Ballmer, chief executive of Microsoft, in a car driven by his bodyguards. It was hard to concentrate on asking questions in the moving vehicle.

How do you keep your sense of humor when managing multiple deadlines?

Who has time for humor? Well, I enjoy writing. So that makes a big difference. I consider most of my work to be fun.

What are your interests outside of tech/gaming (hobbies or passions)?

Taking pictures. Traveling. Going to the kids’ sports games. And, I do play games for fun.

You have authored two books. Do you have any others in the works and can you tell us a little bit about them?

I’ve written two long stories that we have turned into eBooks for VentureBeat. We posted these on the Amazon Kindle and Apple App stores. The Complete History of Zynga (so far)  and Xbox: The Making of a Bad Ass Machine.

What is your favorite travel destination and why?

I enjoy my annual trip to Seattle for a game conference. It’s a great city and there are always cool places to see and great places to eat. And good coffee.

What is next for you in 2012?

We’re expanding GamesBeat into a destination site, as the second main property at VentureBeat. We’ve hired our Review Editor, Sebastian Haley, and our Editor in Chief of GamesBeat, Dan “Shoe” Hsu. We have 11 freelance game writers working for us. Now we have to execute on bringing our crowdsource writing team, Bitmob, into GamesBeat and then write as much as we can for rest of the year.

Hopefully we’ll write some more long stories that can be turned into eBooks.

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