Interview with Ben Brooks(@BenjaminBrooks)

Sandy has struck. Stay safe everyone.

I really wanted to have a great interview for these next couple of days, which will be governed by the storm known as Sandy, My prayers were answered by Mr. Ben Brooks. Ben is the founder of The Brooks Review, a technology/finance/web extravaganza. This guy is awesome!

How/why/when did you start Brooks Review?

I started the site back on April 30th 2010 with [this post](http://brooksreview.net/2010/04/hps-very-smart-acquisition/), which funny enough was praising HP for acquiring Palm, oh how times change. I had recently returned from my honeymoon with my wife and actually came up with the idea for the site on the plane ride back. I was so busy after returning that I forgot all about the idea until I came across my notes in a moleskin notebook. 

The only reason for the site is to serve as my outlet — for anything really.

Why did you choose the model you are using now? How would you describe it?

It's a paywall, plain and simple. When I first started scheming up a new business model I wanted to pretend I wasn't building a paywall, but I was only lying to myself. I chose the paywall because I hate ads, big or small, and felt that they are contributing to the race-to-the-bottom from writers. 

I wanted out, so I decided to ask readers to pay me directly.

What computer/phone do you use and why?

I use a 15" retina MacBook Pro because it *is* the best Mac you can buy right now. I use an iPhone 5 because it *is* the best phone you can buy. And I use an iPad because it *is* the best tablet you can buy. 

If someone were to make a better device, I'd use that. I'm not loyal to brands as much as I am loyal to stuff that is the best in its category.

What was it like when John Gruber, of Daring Fireball, first linked to your site?

I had to think back to that moment, but it was when I argued with John over the legitimacy of the newer "2010" MacBook Airs for full-time usage. I actually wasn't at my computer when he linked to me, I was at my local Apple Store buying the MacBook Air. I got in the car, checked in on Twitter, and saw a few people telling me John had just linked to me.

I was worried all the way home that my site would go down, but it never did (it's only gone down from traffic one time, I work hard to make sure it doesn't ever waiver). The best part wasn't the traffic, but the brief email exchange John and I shared that evening about some of the other posts on my site. For how busy and big his site is, he truly is a great guy.

What can we expect from you in the future?

Less fluff. That's my primary mission right now: cut out the crap and create meaningful content. I try to make it lasting too, but sometimes I need to say something that will only matter for a week or so — when I do that I try to make it damned good. Beyond that, I just hope to improve my typos and grammar — I suck at both.

I really enjoyed talking to Ben. Click the button to see the desktop background I designed for him.

David Silverman