Kelly Franznick, Blink CEO (Photo: Annie-Laurie Malarkey)

Kelly Franznick is the type of person who can spend his vacation working on a stop-motion animation projects, and his spare time hanging out in a used computer store. In other words, as we celebrate Geek Pride Day, he’s the perfect person to feature as our latest Geek of the Week.

Continue reading for his answers to our questionnaire, including his technology tips and his thoughts about the most important tech trend on the horizon.

Name: Kelly Franznick

Job, hobby and/or other geeky pursuit: Founder and CEO of Blink, a user experience research and design firm.

Coolest thing about what you do: Being part of helping make new technology easy to for people to use. At Blink, we get to work with some of the latest technology and smartest folks in the industry.

What does it mean to you to be a geek? I recently listened to Kevin Poulsen (Senior Editor at Wired News) say in an interview that “There’s nothing in technology you can’t pick up on your own if you apply yourself to it.” I think that this really captures the spirit of geek.

Geekiest thing you’ve accomplished, built or worn: I once spent far too many hours of my vacation doing stop motion animation with a friend and our kids. It was one of those projects that the kids were interested in for about 30 minutes, but my friend and I became obsessed. We rigged up a green-screen and used the hotel lamps as makeshift studio lighting. The software for doing this (iStopMotion from Boinx) is really slick and easy.

Your best geek tip or trick for managing everyday work and life: I delete items from my inbox, I never empty my trash. This gives me a great searchable archive of all of my old email. I’ve looked at setting up a single click action that would file my mail instead of deleting it, but can’t get this to work as universally across mobile, web, client, etc.

Mac, Windows or Linux? I use both PC and Mac laptops for work and personal use. I’ve tried to be on one machine, but always come back to using one of each for what they are best at.

Kirk, Picard, Janeway or Sisko? What, no Pike? I’d have to go with Kirk.

Transporter, Time Machine or Cloak of Invisibility? Transporter – this probably says something about my ferry commute and my trips over the 520 bridge.

If someone gave me $1 million to launch a startup, I would … probably hire my brother. We exchange phone calls with startup ideas about once a week. We have a two ideas that might have legs and I’d love to see if that is true.

I once waited in line for … Most recently it was an iPad 2. We were working on a project for it and I was anxious to get my hands on the camera capabilities.

Your geek role models (And why?): Douglas Engelbart. He is most widely known for inventing the computer mouse, but was also one of the first to demonstrate concepts for things like hypertext, video conferencing, and word processing. He has had a huge impact on user experience.

Greatest Game In History: Tempest. I love the game and there is something about the crispness of the vector display it uses.

Best Gadget Ever: I’m really impressed with the iPod Touch. For $200 you have a video camera, video conferencing device, email client, web browser, and game platform. I can even remote in to servers at work.

First computer: My first PC was an IBM PC (8088 with dual floppy drives). I still remember the hard-bound user manuals that came with it. I probably held on to it too long – I remember trying to upgrade it to a 386sx.

Current phone: iPhone 4

Favorite app: Rhapsody on the iPhone. I like the ability to pull up nearly anything on my phone and listen to it.

Favorite hangout: To stay true to the geek theme, I’ll say Re-PC. I was just eyeing an old Commodore CBM there. (Pictured at right.) It is a great source for parts and cables that you might need.

Favorite cause: Lately, because of budget cuts in Washington State, I’ve been doing a lot to help support and fundraise for the public schools here.

Most important technology of 2011: It has to be the tablet. I think we are still trying to understand how users will use their tablets and where the use boundaries are between smartphones, tablets, PCs, and other devices.

Most important technology of 2015: Near field communication. Hopefully this will happen before 2015, but I think we’ll see not just in-person transactions with mobile phones, but also a crop of smart devices and objects that use NFC.

Words of advice for your fellow geeks: Do not fear new technology, but also remember that you are not the typical end-user.

Site: http://blinkinteractive.com; Twitter: @kfranznick

Geek of the Week is a regular feature profiling the characters of the Pacific Northwest technology community. See the Geek of the Week archive for more.

Do you or someone you know deserve this distinguished honor? Email us at tips@geekwire.com.

[Geek of the Week photography by Annie Laurie Malarkey, annielaurie@geekwire.com]

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Comments

  • Anonymous

    This looks like an empty article, or you are paid to advertise service providers?

    What is the story about?  I don’t see an impressive product the company created.   If it is an amazing story about a service provider, what is amazing?  Did he achieve a high level of revenue?   Does he have a break through business model?

    It appears GeekWire is getting paid to advertise a service provider.   NWEN made money from service providers.  I notice there is no author indicated on who posted this story.  Does that mean Rebecca posted it?

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for the comment. Geek of the Week is an editorial feature that we’ve been running for quite a while now. You can see past examples here: http://www.geekwire.com/tag/geek-of-the-week

      The idea is to spotlight a broad cross-section of people in the technology community in a fun, informative and enlightening way. We’ve gotten a great response to the feature — it’s one of the most popular things we publish.

      We’re careful about keeping a clear line between editorial and business sides of GeekWire. Our chief business officer, Rebecca Lovell, doesn’t have any involvement with things like this. Any sponsored content on the site is clearly labeled, as with the sponsor posts in the right sidebar. 

      I produce Geek of the Week, on my own, as one of the editors of the site. It seems more appropriate to use a GeekWire byline because it’s a standing feature of the site, and I’m not technically *writing* the bulk of the content, but I’m happy to start putting my name on it, if it would make things more clear.

      By the way, I’m always looking for interesting people to feature, which is how I came across Kelly and asked him to participate. Anyone is welcome to nominate someone as a Geek of the Week, as noted at the bottom of the post. 

      Would love to hear any suggestions you might have for future installments.

      Thanks,
      Todd Bishop

      • Victor

        BTW, the “Geek of the week” and “Nerd Notes” columns are the two columns I find the least interesting on the site. Geekwire is in my mind a local tech gossip column. Those two columns are pretty tame and lame for the most part. If you want people to keep coming back, give them some crack, some real juicy dirt.

        • Anonymous

          Thanks for the feedback. We like to mix things up with hard news, features, gossip, Q&As, personality profiles … all sorts of stuff to give different perspectives on what’s happening.

          I can tell you there are a lot of people who disagree with you on those two features, but that’s the way it always works — not everything is going to appeal to everyone. 

          Of course, we’re always looking to get better. Story tips and suggestions welcome. All of our contact info is in the right sidebar.

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