Simon Cowell and Will.i.am want to find the next tech entrepreneur

TV's harshest judge and the Black Eyed Peas rapper are creating an "X Factor" spinoff to find the next tech leader


Prachi Gupta
October 1, 2012 4:10PM (UTC)

Rapper and "Voice" judge Will.i.am and longtime reality TV judge and producer Simon Cowell are teaming up to launch another "X Factor" type show -- except this one will focus on finding the next Steve Jobs. Will.i.am told the Sun, “We’re working on a project called X Factor for Tech — and it’s going to be out of this world.”

The 37-year-old rapper is a vocal advocate for science and math education. In August (after NASA's Curiosity Rover blasted Will.i.am's "Reach for the Stars" on Mars), he told Mashable:

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We need to start putting other categories into the concept of art. I think people that make apps are artists. I think that people who write code for Facebook, that’s the new Rolling Stones. Think about the Rolling Stones and the music groups of the past, they filled up stadiums. The Beatles filled up stadiums. If you take the Beatles’ songs and called them software played on hardware, that’s Facebook. Facebook is software that you play and experience on hardware. So Mark Zuckerberg, to me he ain’t nothing but freakin’ John Lennon. Jack Dorsey, he ain’t nothing but Mick Jagger. Just a whole different level, man. Just bigger.

Will.i.am's aspirations for the show are high: He hopes that it won't just find a new leader, but will also create jobs. “Singing and performance create a couple of jobs. But this will create lots," he said.


Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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