Mircea Goia: The human interaction will be more tech driven in ten years from now
Phoenix, Arizona is probably the best place to live for my fellow Romanian Mircea Goia. Same as a Phoenix bird, he reinvented himself and still is. He is a web developer, web consultant and startup advisor and shares interests in entrepreneurship and filmmaking (producing/directing), coveted even by the European Commission as expert on some of their most important web projects. The jewel on his crown is tech related and it’s called www.romanianstartups.com, place where he rounds together the Romanian technology/Internet startup scene and makes it known to the world. Mircea Goia left Romania in 2005 and moved to USA in 2005, after winning the visa lottery.
How did you discover your vocation? I don’t know if I have yet discovered my “the one” vocation. I mean, in some periods of my life I liked doing some things, in some other periods of time I like doing some other things.I don’t think one single vocation fits me, because it could become boring. I think I like to have more than one so I can always do interesting things. I like helping people, I like the technology/Internet, I like filmmaking and I am activating in these areas at the same time. Of course, the reverse is that having more interests it defocuses you somehow. And yes, I am constantly battling this but it’s also fun.
What is the best thing America gave you? “Every soldier carries a marshall’s baton in his pack”, said Napolen. That is true here in America. You have the opportunity to become someone if you have the wish and will to work hard. That’s what America gave me, as a lesson. That’s a lesson of optimism.I understand that some may say I may be brainwashed, but the real world examples (including from among Romanian immigrants) are in favour of what I said.
How is it being successful in America different to being successful in Europe? What does it take? One difference of being successful in America is that if you fail you fail and nobody will look at you differently. Failing in America is not a big deal. You fail, you get up and try again. Failing is like a war scar, reminds you of the battle and people respect that. In technology/Internet, at least, failing is even encouraged (fail fast if it’s necessary so you can also fast pick yourself up and go on). Now, I don’t know how it is in the whole Europe but in Romania you better not fail. Because that scar is like a stamp on your forehead and everyone (well, a good part of everyone) can look at you as a pariah of some sort. In Romania you need to succeed from the first time. That also scares people on starting things too: the fear of failure and how the society looks at you if you failed. As an immigrant, to succeed in America you need guts and will. You need guts and will to come here in the first place because America is nothing like Europe. It’s a totally different environment. You won’t find your friends here, you won’t expect anybody to help you (also the government won’t help you), you are on your own. At least for several years until you are somehow trying to recreate partly the life you had in your native country. People here are more open to discuss ideas, are more optimistic in trying to realise their dreams, they seem to be helping each other more towards achieving a common goal.
They say all successful people have a morning routine? Which is yours? I hate mornings. I am a night person. Mornings are a pain for me. I just wanna sleep J. That’s not a surprise in one of my field of activities (technology/Internet). Many are like that.
What inspires you in everyday life and your professional projects? I get inspired by some of what stories I read, either if it’s about people or about situations. People who were in impossible situations and succeeded to overcome them reminding me that I have to do more for me and for others. Situations which can have an impact on humanity (scientific discoveries, etc). I am also getting inspired by music, especially film music (of course) and by traveling (although I am not doing this everyday).
What brings you joy? Helping others, when I can, brings me joy. There is nothing like knowing you have been useful to someone. And if that someone helps someone else in exchange, that brings me double joy.We kinda forgot to help each other…or because of the fast pace life we feel like we don’t have time for it. But when we get that help, which we know we need, that should make us stop and think that we should do the same. More often. We should put ourselves more in other people’s shoes.
What is it that you like about being a filmmaker? Well, I am still considering myself an aspiring filmmaker J. I am still learning the craft with the goal of one day to direct movies. Now I am messing around the production side of moviemaking. Filmmaking and web development (my specialty, in fact) has many common points. The processes are the same. The final goal is the same: you build a product which many people will use/see. But what I like about filmmaking is that storytelling. I liked to read a lot, and I liked to see movies a lot. I think I have seen thousands of them since childhood. One day (not long ago) it occurred to me that I could make movies, not just watch them. That led me to the path of learning again (after learning computers and Internet years ago). Being a filmmaker is an interesting career to follow for me because of knowing new people and because now filmmaking and technology converged quite a lot. And I am already in technology since sometime and it would be interesting to see how this can help me achieve my this other dream of making movies.
Which of the classics (movies) would you have loved to direct and why? I am a big fan of Sci-Fi movies and I would have loved to direct “2001- A Space Odyssey” by Stanley Kubrick, for example, which is a classic in this genre. This movie was ahead of its time in many aspects, including anticipating some of the technologies and science which at that time was science fiction and some it is still (the artificial intelligence).“2001- A Space Odyssey” is still standing the test of time.
You live in the States but it seems to me that you cannot let go of Romania. Why is that? As I as above, I was born, raised and live a good part of my adulthood n Romania. How could I let go ? It’s not like I came here when I was a kid. I am living in America but I am still Romanian. I tried to get what I found good here and improve the Romanian in me. Also, I am trying to help my native country in any way I can through some of my projects (especially in tech/Internet), I am trying to give something back. In Romania I spent 5 years doing work for a non-profit organisation and maybe that’s one reason I am still trying to help. I don’t see a good reason to abandon my native country. I know it has bad sides (referring at people, because the nature is gorgeous) but it has good sides too. And probably, in time, those bad sides can be changed, who knows. I still hope.
How do you see human interaction in ten years? The human interaction will be, of course, more tech driven in ten years from now. Mobile (already happening), wearables (starts happening) and the Internet of Things (incipient), in general, will be at the center of it. Now this degree of tech driven interaction is not the same in the whole world. In some parts of the world will be less, in some parts more. It is also generational. Younger generation tends to use it more, older will use it less.The interaction will be faster, which can make the attachment have a lower quality. That means it can be more impersonal. That’s something everyone has to struggle with, not to lose the heart of it, the heart of personal interaction.