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: Startup and Tech Reviews

Best Iphone Apps: part 2

A while ago, I wrote about the Best Iphone Apps, which really… weren’t very practical even though I’d love to use that stock app. (Check it out if you haven’t)

This week, I actually got to know my iphone a little bit better and started customizing apps onto the home screen. Here’s what I have so far:

  • Facebook – Duh. Everyone needs this.
  • Dictionary – For all those times at the bar when someone says some funny word that you don’t understand. (*cough* Steve *cough*)
  • Meebo Buddy List – This is just meebo for the iphone. Didn’t make it into Apple’s web apps gallery for some reason, but super useful.
  • Pricecheckah – Comparison shopping while AT THE STORE! I’ve always wanted something like this. I remember trying to write one myself.
  • Deals – There’s two things I check on my iphone in the morning when I’m too lazy to get up from the bed to move to the computer. Deals and Stocks.
  • iGas – This one BLOWS MY MIND. Check for the cheapest gas prices near you. A must have. I’m very religious about getting to the cheapest gas station possible.
  • Zillow – Really not that impressive, but since I was the one that PM’d the Zillow API and ZMobile that made this possible, I thought I should mention it.  It basically gets the basic home facts and then links you to Zillow.
  • Guitar – Wanna know how I own Guitar Hero? This is my secret. Must have for any budding Guitar expert.

I’m sure there are lots more great apps. I’m probably just scratching the surface, but hey, I gotta spend some time getting to know my macbook too. Or else he’ll get jealous.


ZMM: Zillow Mortgage Marketplace

Three blog posts in a day – that’s a record. But definitely worth it, cause this is definitely something you want to know: Zillow Mortgage Marketplace just launched! I know it’s weird advertising for your previous employer, but this is that important. (And I’ve been waiting FOREVER to tell people about it… cause it kept of slipping… I won’t name any names *cough cough*)

Rather then me telling you about it, just read Rich’s blog post. He has a way with words.


Congrats to the team, job well done. And I hope you all enjoyed your Ezell’s chicken. (Zillow ship night tradition)

Alright, I put in my loan quote request… let’s see if I get any good quotes.

IPhone Killer: Instinct

Instinct. That’s the Samsung and Sprint partnership to create an IPhone competitor. Read about it here on Engadget. Better yet, just watch this video:

What’s funny is that since IPhone has come out, there has been sooo many people trying to copy. (This post reminds me of my “Youtube Killer? Hulu” post.)

Look at this: (Not an Iphone, but could’ve tricked me)

They’ve always said that being copied is the highest form of flattery, but it still sucks. Oh well. Tip to all those trying to copy the IPhone out there. You better have some really really cool features or else no one will want to switch. IPhone is SEXY, you are not. Iphone = the most well designed gadget ever.

So… Iphone Killer? I think not.

(Thanks to my girlfriend for bringing this story to me. Funny coincidence that today, she’s actually looking for a new phone since her previous slick Japanese one had an accident)

Project Virgle – Belated

I was so busy yesterday that I forgot to blog about Project Virgle and April fools.  For those that haven’t seen it, go here for the Project overview and here for the blog post.  It’s another one of Google’s creative random creations kind of like their logos.  Never ceases to amaze me all the things that Google comes up with – if there’s one thing to learn from Google, it’s that the small things count.


Btw, just to let the Google guys know – I’d probably be the best candidate for Mars.  I’m a world class expert on Guitar Hero (question #2) AND I like algae (question #3).  Too bad I missed the deadline.

(You can check out the Virgle applications on Youtube too.  Nothing I was super impressed with)

Best IPhone Apps

I’ve tried to stay away from Apple for the longest time cause I’ve never been able to figure out their single button mouse, but yesterday, that was no more. I GOT AN IPHONE! (and I named him TIGER)

Iphone is by far the best design I’ve seen in a long time – both the hardware and software just shout out the “Awesome”. I can go on and on about how cool the Iphone is, but to save you the effort of reading my rambling, just take a look at some of the BEST apps the iphone has to offer:

No entrepreneur can be an entrepreneur without an Iphone. Seriously – how are you gonnna keep track of your “stocks”? Regular phones can’t magically shake out money. But the Iphone can.

Skillbit: Tragic startup ending

I’ve followed Skillbit pretty closely while they were still in development, so I’m sad to hear John Cook report that they’ve officially been dissolved.

For those of you that haven’t heard of Skillbit, it was an experiment to run and build a startup from initial conception and incubation, to actually building out the product and launching it as a live service in 54 hours. Craziness, yeah, but hey, that’s how super passionate and motivated startup junkies get their highs. :) Wish I could’ve been part of it. (This is their actual beta site which lets you see what they’ve accomplished in such short time and a good rundown from Kimm Viebrock on the weekend chaos)

Skillbit Logo

Tragic ending indeed – I hate it how some legal mumbo-jumbo can ruin a potentially great startup, but hey, I congratulate all the super bright people involved in it’s making. Must have been a great experience, and with so many smart people involved, I’m sure there will be more legendary stories to hear from this group.

Zillow Dueling Digs

I try not to write too much about Zillow, but this is definitely worth mentioning. Zillow just launched its new Dueling Digs feature yesterday.  Basically, Hot or Not for homes.  First move into the home improvement space with a game?! Genius.

I know the team worked extra extra hard on this (since I was there), so congrats team and I hope this is the first of many great things to come. So without further ado – Zillow Dueling Digs:

Zillow Dueling Digs

I heard from a special insider that my girlfriend was the one who’s played the most rounds so far. Great… thanks for wasting more of our precious time together. :) Also check out Martin’s blog on the DD.

Eh, I guess one more round wouldn’t hurt.

Youtube Killer? Hulu.

I forgot where I read about this, but just launched today. (I bookmarked them yesterday since they had a “come back later” shunt page up)

Take a look at their blog post:

Ah… the awesomeness of working at a startup. Congrats to the team and thanks for bringing good quality content online. I don’t know how long I’ve waited for TV/movie content to be accessible online like this.

I’ll definitely be spending some quality time here, but Youtube killer? Probably not. I’ll still be going to Youtube for all the random weird stuff they have there. =)