Hsu Ken Ooi
Aspiring starship captain.
For the past 18 months, my 3 co-founders and I had worked out of my brother's cold cold basement, without pay or insurance. We'd built a handful of products that hadn't gone anywhere. Our future wasn't bright.
My dad sent me a list of 10 life lessons for the New Year.
I'm gonna remember 2013. It's the year I turned 30, my startup was acquired and I moved to San Francisco. As I reflected on the past year and the previous 29 before it, I made a list of things I've learned along the way.
Lessons learned from Decide.com. From my brother's basement to $16.5M in funding, 30 employees and acquisition by eBay.
Prior to working on what would become Decide.com, we spent 18 months working on a dozen other ideas that didn't work. One of the ideas was for a social sharing job post didn't get a single user. Suffice to say, we failed a lot.
I wrote the following email to the entire company after struggling with the decision to charge users instead of ads or something else.
I'm writing this letter before your first and my thirtieth birthday for you to open on your eighteenth. It's an idea my father told me about when I was a teenager but never did.
A story about how I stole my mom's AOL password and then locked her out.
Why eastern cultures put the person's name first and the family name second.
Why I hated myself for using a great product made by mean people over a ok product made by nice people.
Most inventors and engineers I've met are like me ... they live in their heads. They're almost like artists. In fact, the very best of them are artists. And artists work best alone .... I'm going to give you some advice that might be hard to take. That advice is: Work alone... Not on a committee. Not on a team.
Lots of people have written about the benefits or disadvantages about doing a startup in x place compared to y place. I frankly don't think it matters as much as people seem to think it does based on the number of articles written about it. I'm not about to add to that list.
This update is a little late but to borrow from my favorite show, "Good news, everyone!". Our little startup was recently funded and is now Decide. Read the full announcement on our blog.
A few months ago I was helping a friend brainstorm ideas for a project she wanted to start. She's a graphic designer with an itch to do good so we were thinking of a way to put those things together.
I turned 27 a few weeks ago. I think there is something significant about 27, at least it feels like it to me. I've been fighting the urge to write one of those long, self-reflective, overly dramatic posts about life and the pursuit of happiness but I'm doing it anyway and you can't stop me.
We used weight scales that are typically used by drug dealers to avoid getting duplicate Futurama Kid Robot toys.