Taiwan

What’s so hard about making money and finding success?

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. – Mark Twain

Everyone has heard about the success stories–college dropouts starting their own social media, quitting their jobs to start their own business to becoming an entrepreneur, and turning down multi-billion dollar offers. For a lot of people, these are the inspirational stories but becomes nothing more than just a story, and for others, these are the stories that drives people forward to take risks in hopes of achieving the same goals, however, we never hear the other side of it, the struggles, hardships, and failures that comes along with building success.

Lately, I’ve been listening to a series of podcasts from “The Foundation: Starting From Nothing” (which was presented to me by a very good friend and that I highly recommend to anyone who wants to quit the path they’re doing now and achieve something greater),  and as I listen to these success stories, I think to myself, why can’t I do the same? Why can’t I become the next success story? These are not the stories hear most often in the tech world such as: Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Larry Page (Google), Bill Gates (Microsoft), or Steve Jobs (Apple); these are the no name entrepreneurs who truly started from nothing. So what is so darn hard about making it?

If you’re like everyone else, you were raised to go to school, get good grades, graduate college, get a job and work for the same company until retirement. That’s the norm that most people go by, and that was what it was taught to most people, including myself, and teach their kids for generations. My parents are not risk takers, they’ve always told me to get good grades and follow the rules, and you’ll have a good job… These are the series of events that happened in my life:

I graduated high school, but was not at the top of my class. I slacked off, and partied every weekend (with people 3-4 years older). I didn’t have good grades. I eventually made it to college (California State University, Fullerton). I hated it… I studied hard, got good grades, and transferred to UCLA (CSUF wasn’t a good fit for me. I wanted to explore and not be stuck at a commuting school). I graduated UCLA, with crappy grades, but was one of my best experiences in life. A few months after graduation, I landed a Civil Engineering job, working 40 hours a week (and still working here). Yes, I went through the whole schooling shenanigans, and yes I’m doing the whole regular work week.

I’m probably in the same boat as you are. I’m trapped. Feeling like I should do something. You’re probably wondering why you’re reading my blog? Sorry to disappoint you, but you won’t find any secrets of finding success in these blocks of text, but you find a common interest, trying to break out of the norm.  trying to explore  options, and be a risk taker. I want to be one of the success stories. I’m determined and wanted to keep a blog so, hopefully, in the near future, I’ll have a success story to tell, and this blog will document my attempts towards my goals, my failures, strengths and weaknesses, and everything else in between. If you keep up, we’ll grow and learn something together. I’m determined and eager, and hopefully you are too to finding something more in what lies ahead in 2014. Hopefully my risks will be your reward and lets make money together!

Apple iPhone Is Perfect For Me, Over Android Platform

I had an iPhone 3G a few years back, and currently I have an Android phone, and I’m ready to switch back to the iPhone.

2 Reasons why I’m choosing the iPhone over the Android platform:

1.) Simplicity – I had my share of unlocking and rooting the phones. Being able to get the apps for free, changing platforms and clocking the processor (only applicable in Android), but in the end, I just needed a phone to communicate. It all got tiring. I realized that all I had was just a phone that was able to be called “Unlocked” or “Rooted” for the sake of having it unlocked or rooted. Previously, the benefits of having an unlocked iPhone was that I was able to use my provider, T-Mobile. Now, we wouldn’t have that issue because, well, T-Mobile has the iPhone. I’ll probably still continue to unlock my new iPhone for the benefits of possibly tethering and international phone calls.

2.) Applications – Apple has a better variety of applications. Even though the Android market is growing, developers still prefers to release their applications on the iOS platform first. There were many times that I wanted an application on my phone, but couldn’t, because it was on iOS first.

I believe that these are the two most valuable reasons anyone should consider when choosing their phones. Both phones are extremely fast and capable of installing any applications. Even though, the Galaxy S IV is sure to have many cool features, just ask yourself if you’ll really use it all?

Lean Startup Approach for Engineering Firms?

Reading Eric Reis’ book, The Lean Startup is a great read for any entrepreneur. It stated that using the lean approach can be used throughout any industry. But I’m curious as how it would play out in an engineering firm?

How do we get more clients and projects? Usually clients pick the firms based on lowest price. If this is the case, how does the lean approach get that? I guess there’s a lot more I need to figure out before I can make an assumption that the lean approach does not work for engineering firms.

So far I’ve only thought of one scenario that our company can use, that I believe other engineering firms don’t use: Surveying our clients. One of the main points of the Lean Startup is getting to know your customers and producing a product they want. An engineering firm is service based, so we always service our clients. If our client wants something, we give them what they want, or we’ll have to consult them and explain why what they want is not possible. Surveying our clients will give the company an outlook as to what the company can do for future projects. It will also give insights to other company information that they can incorporate for use.

Now, I’d have to continue to think about new methods my company can use for future projects.

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First Time in Taiwan in 23 Years

I haven’t gone back to Taiwan in 23 years (when I was 1 years old). Born and raised in Los Angeles, I didn’t really think or ask much about my own culture (Taiwanese), and finally going back to Taiwan is definitely a life experience that I won’t forget. I believe that everyone should travel out sometime in their life especially if you were born and raised somewhere different than your own heritage.

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I came back to Taiwan primarily to visit my grandma and my relatives which was a blessing to me, especially visiting my 93 year old grandma which she hasn’t seen me since I was 1 year old… The worst part of it was a language barrier I had with her, as she and I couldn’t spark a conversation except with hand gestures and my mother being the translator. Going through old photographs and hearing old stories about when I used to cry all the time will always be stuck in my memory. If you live near your grandparents, make sure that you give them an extra hug, as I did with mine. I hope to see her again soon when I go back again.

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Going to have to edit through my photos and videos and post them eventually.

Automatic Headline Insert Based on URL

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I just added a new feature to my News Map application. Originally I’d have to insert the headline (in bold) manually, but now, it pops up automatically based on the URL, neat huh? This is just a basic add form where users would need to complete to add their articles. This form works okay for now… nothing special.

I had the opportunity to have some good friends comment and feedback on this application, which lead me to think who/what is my target. What or who would this application work best for. I began to think and think… and it is definitely not for everyone, but I’ll have to come up with something where people will use it on the daily or benefit from it… I’ll have to come back with a firm concept on where this site is going, until then, I’ll just continue developing features necessary to get it started.

News Map – Building A New Source

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News Map was built over this weekend and it’s supposed to be a new way for your news source ranging from crime, development, to fashion. People read articles ever day, and most articles talks about a certain location. What happens when you can visually see the location this article is talking about? Maybe you’ll be more attentive to your local news if you’ll see what is trending nearby?

News Map supposed to helps you visualize where:

  • local crimes occur
  • local developments/constructions are happening
  • fashion trends and spottings
  • technology
  • politics
  • etc… and trending

Of course, right now is only alpha version, but it definitely has potential. I have a few set of goals in order to get this site going. I do need a few developers to help since I have a ton of things on my plate already.

Check it out here

Quick Update and Turaround

I’m still trying to find out how to organize my photography images with WordPress. I’ve been searching for a theme that can compensate both blogging and showcasing my photography, but then I started thinking that I should just create a new category “Portfolio” or “Photography” and just upload my images and use the WordPress’ image carousel plugin to just show my images. I’ll try that out for now…

This has been a change from my previous website (from Flash–talk about obsolete now…) to just simply jQuery or Javascript/PHP/CMS.