Will.i.am reveals X Factor Tech plans

Most of us plonk down on the sofa come Saturday night to cheer on our favourite acts in The X Factor, but reports have suggested the family favourite formula could also be used to search for the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs.

03 Oct 2012


You may tell your mates otherwise but come Saturday night you'll probably be plonked on the sofa munching pizza and listening to the X Factor judges' ungainly squabbling over their charges. Well, soon you could be privy to rows over who could cut it as the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates after reports of plans to use the well-trodden X Factor format to find the next tech titan.

Will .i .am X Factor Tech

The search for young tech entrepreneurs with the 'X Factor' is the brainchild of impresario Simon Cowell and rapper Will.i.am.

The odd couple are reportedly mulling over the show, which will aim to find young entrepreneurs with raw technology talent and transform them into bona fide tech stars in the same way its namesake turns talented young singers into global celebrities. The Black Eyed Peas star referred to it as "X Factor For Tech", saying the show will be "out of this world".

The news is likely to see young Einsteins across the country hang the 'do not disturb' sign from the doors of their 'labs' - that's bedrooms to the rest of us - as they set about creating their masterplans.
Details have yet to be finalised, but it's likely contestants would have to lay their souls bare before the judges in the same way the singers do; with entrepreneurial ideas replacing Lady Gaga covers.

Will.i.am is known for swooning over the latest tech and was recently named Intel's director of creative innovation.
The rap star told a technology conference in London: "Singing and performance create a couple of jobs. But this will create lots. It's about getting in touch with youth and giving them a platform to express themselves - whether that's in science or mathematics."

Some may see the spangling world of the X Factor and geek chic an odd fit, but a host of prolific innovators have brought a touch of rock 'n' roll to the tech world in recent times. Steve Jobs left us spellbound each time he unveiled the latest Apple gadgets, while Will.i.am recently compared Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to John Lennon and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey to Mick Jagger.

He said: "The Beatles filled up stadiums. If you take the Beatles' songs and called them software played on hardware, that's Facebook."

Benjamin Southworth, deputy chief executive officer of the UK's Tech City Investment Organisation, told the BBC: "Anything that garners attention to the work being done by young people to create work and create jobs is a wonderful thing."