Matt King 28 March 2008
Code smashing, retro-gaming, Internet loving dude
Matt was born and raised here in Portland. His geeky side came out in early childhood, being hooked on not only the NES, but also his TI 99/4A computer and eventually getting addicted to local BBS’s. After graduating high school in 1996, he started in the tech industry building computers for small businesses. He taught himself just about everything, starting at computer hardware, then to networking, then finally to Internet technologies. Matt has had stints starting an ISP, working as a developer at Darkhorse Comics, and even running his own Web Development shop with Justin Kistner for a few years. He currently works for Instrument Marketing as lead Interactive Developer for projects with clients like W+K, Burton, Nike and Starbucks.
What are you up to?
My latest obsession has been building web sites that are location-centric. I’ve built both Unthirsty.com and Knitmap.com, which allow you to search for Happy Hours and Yarn Shops using Google Maps, and also have a couple more similar sites in the works. I’ve also created TwitterWhere, a Twitter aggregator that allows users to generate feeds based on location, and the iPhone Trimet Tracker, which allows you to check when your bus is going to arrive at your stop. I’m also working on a non-location-centric project with Instrument that I’m very excited about, but can’t talk about quite yet. All I can say is I think a lot of other people will be excited as well.
What are you into?
Of course the Internet comes first. I love creating web sites and web-based tools. I like figuring out how to stretch the limits of what we can do with the technology we have available. I’m also a big Retro-gaming fan. I love the NES, and even have a site dedicated to it. Retro arcade games are awesome too.
What do you like most about Portland?
It’s a fairly big city but still feels small. The craft and art scene. Cheap movie theatres that serve beer and pizza. Last Thursday. Coffee shops. Tons of happy hours. Almost anywhere has wifi. The fact that our mass-transit system has an API. Portland is a geek’s paradise.
What motivates you to keep working in this industry?
We are living during the most amazing time in human history. The technology we are using and creating is nothing short of a miracle, and I feel privileged to be a part of it. While I do like working on fun projects, I do have aspirations to use technology to help make life better for everyone, not just the people who can afford to buy a computer.
What’s with this bacon thing?
Somewhere along the way I picked up an obsession with bacon. You may hear me mention bacon several times just in one conversation. Just nod and smile.