Cleaning up my closet

I finally decided to clean up my gmail inbox (I had over 2000 emails from 2011 that are just sitting in my inbox with no labels...)

I tried to just organize the new emails and leave the old one as is because I didn't feel like sorting through 2 years worth of emails, but it wasn't getting any better. No matter how well I organize the new emails, the old emails keep cluttering up the screen, and I keep getting confused and overwhelmed.

I spent my whole weekend sorting through the old emails... this better pay off. -.-;;

Music App

Using the same gesture language I used on GESTURES camera app, I whipped up a gesture-based music app UI that could handle all the features on Pandora. And it took me only 3 hours.

This is not about my design abilities, but about the replicability of our gestures language and how easily it can be applied to almost all the apps we use on our touchscreen devices and elevate our digital experience.


We no longer need traditional static interfaces that clutter up our limited screen spaces. We need to replace all the unnecessary buttons with simple gestures to make our interfaces minimalistic and beautiful while making our experiences simple, efficient and effortless. All the essential features can be available at our finger tips without having to reach across the screen or bend our fingers in an awkward way to tap on tiny little buttons. 

When it comes handling a large amount of information, such as songs on a playlist, we must consider displaying them organically in a fluid structure based on their relevance, rather than limiting our experience to a rigid grid or list views. Our information does not have to fit in a box anymore. Now it can be molded, arranged, and served to us purely based on their relevance, not based on the shape or size of our mobile devices.

With today's touchscreen capabilities and processing power, we are no longer limited by the technical limitations – but only by our old habits and outdated expectations.

Expect everything to be relevant, contextual, and interactive.


Fixing Incorporation Issues

When we incorporated the company through LegalZoom, it was completely fucked up, so I met up with a couple of lawyers in town for help.


Here are the issues with our current equity structure:

Currently our incorporation document states we have 1 million shares of Common Stock and 9 million shares of Preferred Stock. There are 2 issues with this structure:

  1. LegalZoom made a mistake in our Bylaw document by assigning 2 million shares of Common Stock to my partner and 2 million shares of Common Stock to me. This does not add up because we only have 1 million shares of Common Stock in the company.
  2. Having Preferred Stock built into our equity structure doesn't make sense. Preferred stock only means something if there are certain terms attached to it, but we haven't set any terms. And most founders* don't need to set special terms because they are majority share holders. Investors dictate certain terms for their equity to have some sort of control and benefit because most of them are not major share holders.
* Founders could get something called "Founders Share" which gives founders certain additional benefits, rights, or bonus, but it takes more money and complicated to structure it that way.


This is the equity structure that the lawyer recommends:

  • Founders: 7 million shares
  • Employee Pool: 1 million shares
  • Investor Pool: 2 million shares 


But since we are planning to raise $600,000 from Angels, we need to figure out how much equity we are going to give up for that amount of investment before we fix our equity structure so that we don't have to amend it again later.


If we are gonna give up 50% for $600,000, the equity structure would be like this:

  • Founders: 4 million shares
  • Employee Pool: 1 million shares
  • Investor Pool: 5 million shares 


Since we are Delaware corporation operating out of Texas, do we have to pay foreign state tax?

  • No, because all of our transactions are done online


On LegalZoom's Compliance Calendar, it says "INFORMATIONAL ALERT: REVIEW OF STATE TAX OBLIGATIONS. What obligations do I have, and what documents do I need to file? And when are they due? How do I file them? How much would it cost?

  • Don't worry about it for now. In Delaware, you just need to pay annual incorporation fee, which is around $300


When is the best time to have the annual meeting if the fiscal year of our corporation ends on March 31?

  • It's more complicated to have a fiscal year ending in March. Let's keep it simple on Dec 31.
  • Having an annual meeting is not a big deal. It could be done over the phone. We just need to keep track on the minute book and file one form.


Our EIN paper says we need to file Form 940, 944, and 1120. What are they? 

  • They are related to employees. It's not a big deal since we don't have any employee at the moment.
  • But we should hire an accountant soon just in case we are overlooking any necessary documents.


How should we distribute shares to our employees/contractors?

  • We need "Restricted Stock Agreement" form
  • Doing all the paper work together for everyone is cheaper than doing it individually.
  • The lawyer will give us a template so we can make any necessary changes or do additional paper work for new employees down the road on our own.


How much does it cost to start the patent process?

  • Let's worry about that later after we fix incorporation papers
  • The lawyer will introduce us to a software patent lawyer


And here is a list of questions the lawyers suggested the founders should talk about before doing the paper work:

1. How do you resolve disputes?

2. The goals each of you have for the startup

3. The goals each of you have for yourself

4. Duties, job descriptions, and hour commitments

5. Who pays for what?

6. Who gets paid first and why?

7. What happens if one of you wants out?

8. What happens if one of you wants to sell the company, raise capital, or end it?

9. What happens if one of you gets disabled or dies?

10. What happens if things take longer than expected?

11. Whether launching other startups or moonlighting is ok.

Lack of Media Coverage

Our social media manager and I have contacted over 250 writers at various news outlets and blogs. We had replies back from some of them including TechCrunch and New York Times, but they said they can't cover us until we have something in the app store.

Some of them said they would cover us and asked us some questions, so we answered all their questions and even put together a press release, but we didn't hear back from them for awhile. And then later, we found out that their editors wouldn't approve the articles they wrote about us because we don't have the app in the store.

I'm a bit confused because I've seen plenty of articles on apps that are not currently in the app store, so how did they get passed the editors?

Launching Kickstarter

At midnight, we finally launched our Kickstarter campaign. Quite a bit of people who were following us backed us in the first day, and we raised around $1,000 in less than a day.

If we can maintain this for the rest of the campaign duration, that would pretty awesome!

Big Design Presentation

I was invited to talk about the future of mobile design and interactions at a local conference. I checked out my presentation room before my session, and it looked pretty awesome. It looked like a college lecture hall.


In the waiting room, I ran into a guy name Brandon Oldenburg from Moon Bot Studio. At first, I didn't realize who he was, and then something clicked in my head. I realized he was the guy who produced the Chipotle game and animation that went viral. It was pretty awesome talking to him about his projects, and you wouldn't believe how humble he was.

Then my time came. I went into the room, waited for the previous presenter to pack things up, and waited for everyone to sit down. I felt like a professor in a class room. It was a pretty sweet feeling.

As I started to flip through the slides and talking, I noticed people smiling, nodding, taking pictures, and recording videos. Even when I noticed all these reactions, I didn't stutter or get distracted – I was on a roll. I don't think I've ever felt more confident while doing a presentation. 

When I mentioned that we are about to launch a Kickstarter campaign for the GESTURES camera app and displayed the URL to our Kickstarter page, literally everyone in the audience started typing away to check out the URL.

After the presentation, a number of people came up to talk to me. Some people just wanted to complement me; some asked me to help them with their projects; and some gave me their business cards to contact them (Some of them were from Samsung and Microsoft.)

Overall, it was a pretty amazing and humbling experience. I hope I can do it just as well at the SXSW next year.


I met up with a pretty well known Angel investor in town today. I thought I had a pretty good business plan and revenue model figured out. I even had a prototype of the GESTURES camera app to show him, so I was pretty excited.

But as he asked more and more questions about the project, I was having trouble answering some of them and made me question things myself: 

  1. Even though GESTURES is an amazing and unique camera app that has potential to get millions of downloads, what stops other competitors from stealing our user interface?
  2. If we generate revenue by selling premium filters, how much would we be making a year?
  3. If we introduce new filters every season, what happens to the previous filters?
  4. If users decide to keep all of their previously purchased filters, will they end up having hundreds of filters?

Despite all these questions, he still seemed to like the project. I just had to come up with a better revenue model and plans to protect my intellectual assets.


I don't know how this happened, but when I opened my Kickstarter page to check everything before submitting it to Kickstarter for review, I found out the deadline has been changed back to January 16... 1919 

1919?????? WHAT???

Anyways, I had to click 1,128 times to bring it back to 2013 because Kickstarter calendar only allows you to change it one month at a time by clicking the arrow button...

I had to take a break in the middle, so I took a screen capture... 



Revising Kickstarter Rewards

Apparently the delay caused by Amazon Payments account was a good thing. I met with a number of people and got some great feedback on the Kickstarter rewards we were offering.

So I went from having 14 different complicated, gimmicky, and time consuming rewards to just 9 simple rewards that are more manageable.

One thing I didn't think about was using my UX/UI design and my partner's startup business experience to offer consulting sessions as rewards.

Now all the rewards sound much more relevant and have a little more substance than having bunch of meetups, parties, dinners, etc.


LegalZoom asked me to sign the SS-4 document for EIN confirmation and send it back to them, so I sent it to them via USPS first class mail.

After a week later, I emailed them only to find out they never received it... I asked them if I could just scan it and email it to them, and they said yes. So why didn't they just say that from the beginning?

I guess I'll never use LegalZoom or USPS for my business.

Amazon Payments

In order to finalize the Kickstarter campaign page, you have to have a verified Amazon Payments account.

Originally I had my personal Amazon Payments account tied to the Kickstarter page, and it only took 5 seconds to verify it. But when I tried to switch over to Business Amazon Payments account, it said it would take about 7 days to verify it.

Plus it kept saying all the company information I entered wasn't correct, just like what happened with D-U-N-S number, so I had to scan and fax my incorporation and EIN documents to them.

It was a bummer because I was completely ready to go, and now I have to wait for almost a week to launch the Kickstarter campaign.

Apple Corporate Account

I was trying to get an Apple Corporate Account, but apparently you have to have something called D-U-N-S number.

So I tried to get it by registering our company at, but it kept saying I didn't enter the right information, so I had to scan and send my incorporation and EIN documents to prove that I have the right information.

I waited for about 3 days to get the D-U-N-S number, and it asked me to wait for 14 days to use it to get the Apple Corporate Account.

Since my developer needed an Apple developer account right away to share his development progress with us, I just had to get a regular developer account with my personal email address while waiting for 14 days.

CTO Candidate

A local developer I've been talking to just emailed me and told me how he's interested in helping us out. He's an expert coder in both iOS and Android, and he also has a lot of game animation background, so we could get a lot of work done and fine tune complicated animations with his help!

Super excited!!! XD

Social Media Manager

Out of the blue, this one guy emailed me and wanted to learn more about the company. So we met up and talked about what we can help each other out.

It turns out he has a pretty good experience in social media and public relations, which is exactly what we needed to drive the Kickstarter campaign we are about to launch!


Incorporation Documents

I finally got the incorporation documents from LegalZoom, and it's all fucked up...

On page 1 of "Certificate of Incorporation of Gestures, Inc" document, it says there is 1 million shares of common stock and 9 million shares of preferred stock, which is what we asked for.

But on page 17 of "corporate bylaws and resolution" document, it says: 

"Resolved, that the officers of the Corporation are hereby authorized to issue and sell shares of common stock of the Corporation, $0.0001 par value (the "Shares"), which the Board hereby determines to be the fair market value of the Corporation's common stock as of the date hereof, to each person named below (the "Stockholder"), in the amounts specified opposite each time in exchange for cash or contributed property as follows"

And then it assigned 2 million shares of Common Stock to my partner and 2 million shares of Common Stock to me...

Am I reading this wrong?

How can we get 2 million shares of Common stock each when the whole company only has 1 million shares of Common Stock?

And we asked for Preferred Stock, not Common Stock.

A couple of weeks ago, I spent an hour with a "specialist" at legal zoom on the call to make sure we get the Preferred Stock, and they said they fixed the problem, but apparently they didn't.

Plus there were no "83(b) Elections" document for us to file to IRS.

And most importantly, there were no mentions of 4 year vesting period or 1 year cliff anywhere in the documents they sent us.

This is all fucked up...

Business Gmail Account

My partner and I were using to redirect all business related emails to our personal email accounts, and my inbox was getting a little too crazy.

Also I had to email back and forth with various service providers, but when I email them from my personal account, they don't answer my questions because my personal email address is not the one we used to open those accounts.

So I suggested using Business Gmail account to my partner and started the registration process, but then he said he already has a Business Google Apps account for free. So I canceled my registration process, and he tried to register our company domain name through his Business Google Apps account. But it said our domain name was already being used for another Business Google Apps account.

I looked up the FAQ section, and it said I have to wait for 7 days for our domain name to be released from the previous registration process I was going through even though I cancelled it.

So we waited for 7 days, and he tried again, but it still didn't work. I tried to call the help line, but it kept telling me I don't have access to the help line unless I were a paying customer.

I was trying to pay for the service, but for some reason, the payment section wasn't showing up on my screen when I signed in.

Anyways, I don't even remember how I exactly resolved the issue. Only thing I remember is that it took me about 5 phone calls, 3 Google representatives, and 3 weeks.

I ended up creating a separate Google Apps account and paid for it.

AIGA Presentation

I've been preparing this 20-min long speech for last one month, memorizing every word and practicing it over and over.

I begged the event organizer to double, triple check my presentation file to see if it works on their computer and projector so that I won't have to go through the nightmare I went through at TEDxSMU event (The projector didn't work at the TED event, so I gave my visual presentation without visuals.)

I stuttered a number of times, but I think it went really well overall. During the Q&A session, a lot of people asked me questions and gave me complements. It was really flattering.


Now that I think about it, this is the longest I've ever talked without taking a break in my life. I know that this is not the biggest event in the world, but the fact that I was able to deliver a 20 minute long message in front of a live audience made me feel like I'm finally evolving from a shy, soft-spoken kid to... something greater.

Whatever it is, it's gotta be better than what I was before. XD