Posted: April 19th, 2013 | Author: tim.soo | Filed under: All, Startups, Thoughts | No Comments »
This post is one of personal reflection, so it may not pertain, or even make sense, to most. But if you’ve ever known yourself to have a slight rebellious streak, it just might.
My Kindle tells me I’m at 46% percent of Steve Job’s biography. Now, for any of those who haven’t read it, the book at first seems frame Jobs in a negative light. He cries, he whines — he’s the guy that almost always gets his way. Yet, I constantly found myself in awe of his eccentricity. At some point reading through Jobs’ adult life, I realized there was no slander or overt praise occuring; rather, the author painted the truth of Jobs’ life in its raw, stark form.
I identify with Jobs. That’s perhaps what scares me the most. True, there are many philosophies of his with which I don’t agree. For instance, his obsession with counter-culture or his aptitude for negative reinforcement. But I cannot help but notice similarities between comments made of Jobs and those made of me by people in my immediate circle. And it’s not just about the perfectionist streak; I share with him a similar definition of perfection and the inability to allow any other future than that perfect vision to come true. If it doesn’t, expect a meltdown.
The similarities continue. The inability to think in any other way than binary. And its corollary, the inability to deal with the ‘gray’. His obsession with design, with purity, with elegance. His lack of complete understanding of social realities and norms, or at least the ability to abide by them. The belief in his early death. The desire to take any product, company, or other complexity and boil it down to an idea so simple that any unsuspecting audience has little choice but to intuitively understand.
With every page turn I encounter a parallel into my own life: in women, in friendships, in mistakes, in failures, in the horrid but unconscious ability of bending the truth to our own will (read: lying without knowing you are). But all of these, I believe are simply effects of the same root cause: the desire to change the world on a large scale, and the unwillingness to see any other reality but that one.
No I don’t think I am nor will I ever be Steve Jobs. And have no desire to be. But if I can make even an ounce of the impact that Steve Jobs made on our current reality, I’ll consider myself successful.
To infinity and beyond.
Posted: December 10th, 2012 | Author: tim.soo | Filed under: All, Meddik, Startups | No Comments »
One thing I constantly have to tell myself, or unfortunately learn directly from error, is that I can’t do it all. Recently, I came across an article on Larry Page about how he came to run Google. One particular quote that struck with me was this: ”You may think using Google’s great, but I still think it’s terrible.”
I laughed when reading this. At Meddik, we’ve been heads down working on a new product iteration for the last eight weeks, and regardless of what people have said, I still often tell people that “it’s a piece of crap.” Trouble is, I’m not saying that under some faux-humility. I actually think it’s awful.
However, as my co-founder likes to remind me, thinking it’s terrible is fine, as long as you have a threshold of acceptability — that is, the point where you’d be willing to release the product. For me, that point is answered by a simple question: would you use it? I honestly believe that as a founder, you have to want to use your own product, or else, how can you hope to earnestly promote it?
Posted: December 8th, 2012 | Author: tim.soo | Filed under: All, Startups | 2 Comments »
This is hardly the first time I’m writing this post, or at least a post with this sentiment. It goes as follows:
- Write a reflective post about how it’s necessary to not give up a balanced lifestyle (exercise + social + sleep) in place of more time put into work, as ultimately productivity is higher if balanced.
- Begin to be stressed about work, trying to meet deadlines.
- Start pulling all-nighters, skip the gym, and all-in-all a less health lifestyle
Let’s hope that this cycle can be broken.
Posted: September 10th, 2012 | Author: tim.soo | Filed under: All, Medicine, Startups, Thoughts | No Comments »
Those of you who know me personally know that I’m half deaf. It’s not really a source of embarrassment or even significant difficulty. Often, it’s quite hilarious. (Jokes involving ”can you hear me now?” verizon commercials, or what’s been designated the “Tim move” wherein I move you to my right side so I can hear you.) But it’s often easy to forget how powerful the gift of a sense can be.
Any product you interact with, whether an addictive “I should be working” website or a simple can opener, caters to your senses. Meaning, someone on the other end of your use as the consumer had to intelligently design and be considerate of your specific needs. I used to think product design was easy; as consumers it’s easy to be critical. It’s probably the hardest part of my job so far. Once you’ve doven into your project, you no longer can view it objectively.
Well this post is about one simple feature and consideration Apple made and just how powerful such a feature can be.
I usually only listen with one headphone in, since only one ear works well anyways. When I went to adjust the sound settings on my mac, one of the prominent settings is the left-right pan. Maybe PC’s have this too, or maybe there’s an external app that might let me control how much volume goes into each ear, but it was one of the few settings I could change in the mac sound settings — I couldn’t not notice it.
So I decided to jack up the volume into my left (deaf) ear as loud as it could go. And while my hearing is nearly non-existent in that ear, the volume was high enough that it vibrated the bones in my ear, bypassing my defective ear canal. In short, I could hear. (To preempt suggestion for hearing-aids, they don’t work well for my type of hearing loss. I’ve tried.)
I began panning back and forth between left and right and for one of the first times in my life, I felt I had directional sense (this is what you lose when you only have one good ear), a taste of what hearing what two ears must be like. The emotional response was unexpected, but how odd it must have looked to see someone tearing up with near giddiness at the joy of a pan function.
Now this is definitely an extreme case, but I share it to illustrate a single point. Your design matters.