Brian Ma's Blog (@zealoustiger)

Weekly insights from an Entreprenuer: To spend one year as a tiger is better than to live forever as sheep

Category Archives: Personal

Tiger Blog is back.

It’s been 2.5 years since my last post.  Founding Decide.com has been an amazing journey and I thought it was appropriate for me to return once again to Tiger Blog to continue it’s original mission: to share with, dialogue with, and inspire the next generation of aspiring entrepreneurs.  I spent the last couple of days re-reading all my posts from years ago and was extremely shocked by 1) how incredibly noob I was 2) how much I’ve grown in the past few years.

To not completely overwhelm myself, I’ve decided to commit to writing one quality post a week.  I’ve started an outline of topics I’d like to write about in the “Startup Lessons” section of this site.  Topics will include:

  • Philosophies on Life
  • Getting Started with Entrepreneurship
  • Startup Ideas and how to find/scope them
  • Working with a team
  • Raising Capital
  • Product/Market Fit
  • Traffic Acquisition and Marketing
  • Managing Yourself

If these things are interesting to you, please subscribe on the top right of this blog to get updates when new articles get published.  Also please comment in the section below if you’d like me to prioritize certain topics or articles over others or if you’d like me to write on something not already listed.

It’s going to be a fun ride.  I’m excited.

Eggsprout Launches!

This is probably old news to alot of people, but Eggsprout is live – as of last Thursday.  Sorry for posting here so late, I’ve been swamped with awesome feedback, encouragements, fixes, meeting requests, etc ever since launch.  The entire team stayed up until 7:30am to get it out and it was EPIC.  Many stories to tell the grandkids haha.

logo

If you haven’t already checked us out, the site is here.  We also got some good coverage from John Cook (the most amazing Seattle Tech reporter ever).  Story is here.

I’ll be splitting my blogging efforts between here and the eggsprout blog.  Hopefully that means I’ll be blogging more often in both places – and not less.  :)  Alright, back to work.

Seattle record snow ’08

I’m sitting in my room looking out the window right now and all I can see is flurry of snow.  For those unfamiliar with Seattle weather, lemme tell you that this is extremely rare.  In the past 16 or so years I’ve lived here, we’ve only had one single day where we got 4 inches of snow.  This time, we’re nearing 8-10 inches and it’s been snowing every other day for at least a week.

You know you’re getting old when snow becomes more of a nuisance than it used to be.  Even though part of me is giddy with excitement and is dreading the feeling of dissapointment when it’ll all melt away, the other part of me is trying to calculate the lost in economic productivity from all the companies around here – including ourselves.

So, in an effort to stay productive, we did the only thing reasonable in weather conditions like this.  Build snow-eggsprout!  Here it is:

img_0518Our baby

img_0517Closer view

img_0511My bro Ian and I behind giant snow-eggsprout

And that’s only from the first day of snow… there’s plenty more now.  Alright, hope all you Seattle-lites out there stay warm.  Merry Christmas and Happy new year.  =)

Deathnote

A slight digression from my usual Startup theme’d posts, but I just finished Deathnote and it was AMAZING!  What if you could kill anyone by simply writing down their name in a notebook?

deathnote

Sounds disgusting (that’s what I thought at first too), but watch the first few episodes and you’ll be hooked.  Every episode is non-stop smartness all the way until the end.  I seriously believe my IQ has increased many points after watching this.  Make sure you limit yourself somehow though or else you’ll lose days of sleep without realizing it.

Highly recommended.

EggSprout switches to Twitter

Blogging was getting a bit too time consuming – especially when we’re heads down coding, so we decided to switch to twitter.  Now you can see real-time updates on what we’re up to.

It’s actually pretty cool.  I haven’t seen any sites do this before, so we’re gonna try it out.

Now its really easy to see when we’re productive and when we’re not… which is a lot of the time.  :)

ZealousTiger.com

It’s been a while since I’ve updated the blog. No, I’m not dead. I’m actually trying to move the blog over to the new website that I’ve been trying to setup (www.ZealousTiger.com) and it’s taking me much longer than I expected. Partly because I suck at coding and partly because I can’t seem to find much time now that EggSprout is going full-throttle.

Fear not, it shall be up soon and I’ll keep you guys updated on the status. But for now, I’ll keep blogging here.

Until then…

Pride, Honor, and Justice

A couple days ago, I had a great hotpot dinner with some friends. A double-date of sorts. My girlfriend booked me one week ahead of time… so I had to give in and go. Eh, it was memorial day and it’s been a while since I’ve had hotpot. To my amazement, I learned one of the best startup lessons ever there. The story goes something like this:

  • Arrive at restaurant. Friends were already there cause we were late (apparently Jessica thought Crossroads was near Bellevue Square) :)
  • Sit down, order food. I was ecstatic when I found it with was hotpot BUFFET! Yum
  • Eat, talk, eat, talk, drink lots of water because it was AMAZINGLY spicy. I almost died.
  • Order more veggies
  • Order more meat
  • Order more fish balls
  • Ask to order more fish
  • Waitress says “OH, for every 1 pound of food you don’t eat, we charge you more.”
  • WHAT??!

The game was on. For the next 15-20 min, we did nothing except sacrifice our bodies for the good of the world. For pride. For honor. And for justice. I was beyond stuffed and eating super spicy food in large proportions? Very challenging. Each passing tofu, veggie, and piece of meat was more excruciating then the last and the girls? Well they dropped out of the race as soon as it started. No honor. But the guys – we closed the deal and triumphantly passed the finish line. It was one of the best milestones in human history.

So how does this apply to startups? There are so many times in a startup – when you pitch your idea to friends, when you see other startups doing something similar, and even when you’re just alone in the car – that you think you might be doing the wrong thing and fear failure. No. Never let anyone else tell you you can’t do something – not even yourself.

Persevere in everything you do and you can achieve anything. The bigger the challenge, the greater the triumph. And yes, it was VERY satisfying when we finished the last piece of spicy tofu. Ha. Take that restaurant, we showed you.

More fish please.

hotpot

The fortune cookie says: “You will be rewarded for your efforts”. Yes!

Mac Domination… It’s taking over the world

I’ve been coding pretty much non-stop this whole week and for a change of pace, decided to go to a coffee shop to… code even more. Zoka’s near UVillage is probably one of the best places around – why? Lots of room to work, and lots of power outlets. Outlets are key.

What’s even cooler though, is that EVERY SINGLE PERSON here has a mac. Seriously. Out of 30 people, I’d say only 2 are non-macs. Ok, not exactly everyone, but pretty close.

Time to buy more Apple stock before the new Iphone takes over the world.