Michael Belfiore is an author, journalist, and business owner. He has been at the forefront of technology and innovation since he started his career covering the launch of the first privately funded spaceship in 2004.
Since then he has written for a number of well-known publications, including Wired, Popular Mechanics, and Popular Science, on topics including aerospace, defense, engineering, robotics, drones, medical tech, and a TON more. His beat is science fiction coming true, from commercial spaceflight to the Pentagon’s “department of mad scientists” (the title of one of his books for HarperCollins).
Michael is now a contributing writer for Bloomberg’s tech section. He also runs a marketing writing business, Robot Lotus, through which he works with well-known tech brands, including IBM, to help tell their unique tech stories through article features or mentions, white papers, and web-focused content.
Learn more about Michael and his futurist-self in this month’s What’s On My Desk!
Can you start by telling me where you’re working today?
I write regularly for Bloomberg Businessweek’s Technology section. I also have an array of content marketing clients in unrelated technology fields. If you’re asking about the physical space, I work at a shared workspace in a converted factory in the Uptown neighborhood of Kingston, NY.
Your desk is pretty neat and tidy. Does it always look like this?
Yes. I don’t like the distraction of clutter when working.
What’s in your Thermos? Are you a coffee drinker or tea drinker?
Neither. It’s Soylent. I don’t like having to stop for lunch when I’m at the office, unless it’s a nice day to sit outside or to socialize. A liquid meal replacement lets me sip fuel throughout the day to stay energized and productive for as many hours as possible.
You’re one of the first journalists I’ve spoken to who uses a desktop at their office instead of a laptop. How come?
I use a laptop too, but I like having a large screen and mouse at my primary workspace.
By the looks, I’d say you’re an Apple guy. Have you always used and enjoyed Apple products?
In 2007, a laptop running the now-widely-regarded-as-a-disaster Vista turned me against Windows. At the same time, the launch of the iPhone led me to Apple. Except for a stint with an Android phone, I haven’t looked back.
Can you tell me a little about the picture hanging on top of your desk?
That’s a picture of my two daughters at SpaceX headquarters in California. Seeing my kids with the first orbital rocket to land itself after launch every day keeps me in touch with my purpose: to foster hope for the future and our ability to solve the major challenges facing civilization.
I always see notebooks on everyone’s desk; however, the one on yours looks a bit different. Can you tell me what you use your notebook for?
That’s a planner from Ink+Volt. I use it to plan my goals for the year and month, and to focus on my important tasks at the weekly and daily level.
The coiled cable leads to my headphones. It’s plugged into an external digital to analog converter. But I don’t notice any improvement in sound quality, so it’s really just an expensive extension cord.