What did you wake up thinking about this morning? I haven’t woken up too many times in recent months where my new wife, Holly [Madison], and our daughter haven’t been at the house with me. I’m dreading that this week will be the longest I’ve been apart from them. They’re at home in Las Vegas, where I live. But there’s so much going on in Los Angeles that I’m spending time here.
Describe a lesson you learned from a failure. There have been a few times where I was really stressed about things happening in the business, whether it was other businesses people were building or personal problems due to the business I’m in. It took me a minute to block all that stuff out and not worry about what other people are doing. Not spending a lot of energy on things I can’t control, keeping my head down, staying focused on what’s important and growing the business. Being distracted can do a lot of damage, especially when you’re trying to fulfill a vision. With everything I have planned, I have to stay focused.
What will define your career in the coming year? The growth of Insomniac and our individual events. If I’m doing the right things, I should have fans coming back and bringing a friend or two. That’s really going to define whether I’m on the pulse and chipping away at everything we’re working toward.
Who is your most important mentor, and what did you learn? My parents, who taught me to never give up, follow my heart and not worry what other people are doing. They struggled for many years. I witnessed them have many ups and downs. They didn’t always reach their goals, but they stayed happy and enjoyed the building process. They never gave up. That was something instilled in me at a very young age. Walt Disney has been another inspiration for me. I strive to create environments that are pop-up theme parks and forever changing. He wasn’t around to be a mentor, but he’s definitely been an inspiration.
Name a project that you’re not affiliated with that has most impressed you in the past year. I recently went to Holland and visited a theme park called Efteling. I had never heard of it, but was amazed. I continue to get impressed each year by Burning Man. This year they did the biggest burn I’ve ever seen of the actual man itself. They had a giant UFO built below it, which was really cool. I haven’t seen Rock in Rio firsthand, but I’m impressed with everything I hear. The amount of people they get through their doors and the amount of sponsorship dollars they get to support the event is incredible.
Name a desert island album. Everything by Bob Marley and the Beatles. All of their albums lift my spirits. What better music to listen to on an island than Bob Marley? It’s island music.