29 July 2013

Probably how to not approach a bank

And somehow we found ourselves in a situation where they decided to invest, and I'm like oh my God this is amazing, and you know we're going through all this process and it happened pretty quickly, we showed up on a Friday, bit of handshake deal on Monday night, so one business day turnaround, which was pretty convenient. And then I had this new problem which was, the finance people are like emailing me like okay please send me your wiring instructions. I'm like wiring instructions, like the only training I had wiring instructions was, I think that happened in like James Bond movies, and I'm like I'm pretty sure we only have like the "my first business" checking account from Bank of America that we set up in the CambridgeSide Galleria Mall, and I'm like so this might be tough. So, Arash and I go to the North Beach branch of the Bank of America, and we we're like well, so you got the teller people, and you got the leather seat people, and we look at each other like, it's probably a leather seat problem. And we sit down and the woman was really nice, she was like, how can I help you, and I'm like is there a limit to how much a bank account can hold? And she was like, well what do you mean? And like I was dressed in shorts and a hoody and Arash was even more disheveled, and I'm like well, can it hold $1 million? And she was like yeah, and so, and I don't know if she thought it was like drugs or this kind of thing happens all the time out here, but both sides very quickly stopped asking questions and we got our routing number and everything and went back, but there is no like startup manual where you are like oh, well here is how that works, and so a lot of it is really, even when you look - at some of these amazingly successful companies and having had a chance to meet a lot of those people, so much of what makes startups crazy is just kind of this iterative process of just having these random things happen to you, or having these ideas and just kind of figuring it out. 

--Drew Houston, "Finding Your Way as an Entrepreneur

28 July 2013


We didn't know much about each other twenty years ago. We were guided by our intuition; you swept me off my feet. It was snowing when we got married at the Ahwahnee. Years passed, kids came, good times, hard times, but never bad times. Our love and respect has endured and grown. We've been through so much together and here we are right back where we started 20 years ago--older, wiser--with wrinkles on our faces and hearts. We now know many of life's joys, sufferings, secrets and wonders and we're still here together. My feet have never returned to the ground.

27 July 2013

Gems on Quora: My Motivation

All I Wanted was a Fucking Lambo
With so much talk about changing the world, and making a difference… I’m almost ashamed to admit my initial motivations for starting a business. When I was a management consultant back in NYC, a partner saw my Lamborghini wallpaper on my shitty Lenovo and exclaimed, “That your dream car? You’re not going to get that in THIS business.” I’ll admit, my heart sank a little when I heard that.
A couple months later, I quit and moved out to SF. I didn’t want to be another cog in the wheel anymore, I wanted to do big things, I wanted to make a name for myself, but most importantly, I wanted my fucking Lambo. 
Most people think a Lambo is a symbol of wealth and success, which it is, but for me, it’s more than that. It’s a symbol of personal accomplishment, a trophy that signifies that you’ve created value, and made some sort of impact in this world. And really, it’s just a sexy car… imagine all those numbers from girls! Kidding. (sorta) 
I know I know… material possessions don’t boost happiness in the long term, life is all about experiences, blah blah… People who say that usually don’t own a fucking Lambo. With that said, I love my job, I love my company, and it’s great that I can do all these things and have the goal of owning a Lambo still there, but sitting in the back burner. Here’s the obligatory part of the post where I talk about how awesome building a company is, and how the reward goes beyond just the monetary aspects and that success is more than just becoming rich… yep all that and more. 
But still… even to this day… the car… THAT car… It’s still a small reason why I wake up in the morning wanting to kick ass at what I do.
I think I push myself to work hard not only to be able to provide for my [soon-to-be] family and my parents, but also because I'm scared of living a "normal" life: having to worry about sufficient leisure funds, having to put up with annoyances that can be solved with money, etc etc -- mediocrity, or what seems like the opposite of a fulfilling life.

24 July 2013


Jobs suggested everyone at apple wear the uniforms but they all disagreed and booed him off the stage.
Imagine if everyone at Apple wore black turtlenecks, blue jeans, and New Balance 991 sneakers.

20 July 2013

A Summer of Cars, Part II

Last time, I said I would test drive the Mercedes-Benz SLK and the Lotus Elise. However, neither dealer has a testable car, so I doubt I'm testing either this summer.

Think that's all? Would you like to hear about some Aston Martins?

I thought so.

Today, I went to the joint Aston Martin and Lotus dealer in hopes of testing a Lotus Elise. I thought the dealer was closed when we got there, since it looked quite dim, but I noticed a salesman sitting at his desk. I walk in and head toward the Elise, parked amid several Vantages, Vanquishes, DB-9s, two Evoras, and a couple of classics.

Mercedes 190SL Roadster.

I got to get intimate with the cars. There was an immense amount of detail in the car not captured by marketing materials; I present several below. Getting up close with the cars convinced me to put Aston Martin back on my shortlist.
Glass buttons amid piano black and satin metal trim.

Door sill insignia.

A client picks up his car; fitting for a doctor. Note that the door tilts up when opened, and that the tail light fins have a similar pattern as the Aston Martin emblem wings.

Lotus Evora interior. Surfaces are either leather wrapped or covered with aluminum.

Aston Martin custom interior. Note the matte wood on the center stack. Apologies for the iPhone 5 sapphire flare.

Attractive glass needles on dials. Apologies for the iPhone 5 sapphire flare.

Extruded + on column-fixed paddle shifter.

A tasteful combination of matte burled wood, satin metal, and leather.

Illuminated keyhole.

One more thing…

Orgasmic, isn't it?

19 July 2013

Time, or lack thereof

"I don't like to wait or make my peers wait, but I'll be more than happy to pay for someone to wait for me."

It's depressing that time, a relatively illiquid asset, is considerably more valuable than money.

(Naruto Chapter 250, page 13 -- one of my favorite quotes from the series)

17 July 2013

And I thought I had left the gaming scene

Guess again!

(Don't worry, there's an Xbox 360 hiding down there. The Mac Pro sits there and looks pretty ^^)

Playing Forza 4 with the wheel is so much more pleasant than playing with the controller, despite not having vibration. There is simulated force feedback with a spring on bungee cord (fixed spring constant, unfortunately) inside. I'm also a little sad that the paddle shifters don't reach down to my ring fingers with my hands at the 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock positions, nor are they fixed to the steering column.

There definitely is merit to having a driving simulator when one has the potential to track in a nice car in real life: traveling to various tracks around the world with said car is quite impractical. Also impractical is owning the fleet of cars available in the game.

13 July 2013

Unconditional Love

Main Entry:   unconditional love
Part of Speech:   n
Definition:   affection with no limits or conditions; complete love

If you found out that a person who you deeply love committed a heinous act, would you still love them?