Apr 15

Munger Application: Tell us about your most recent creation or innovation

I have an unhealthy obsession with productivity—maybe it’s in my German blood. For a long time, the problem was that my to-dos were stored across multiple locations (email, print documents, to-do list apps, calendar, etc.). As a result, my attention was scattered.


I’ve labored towards a solution over the past three years. It wasn’t easy: it required at least two months of persistent use to determine whether an approach worked for me. I tested a dozen different different approaches and tools, from the Pomodoro method and ordered to-do lists to Trello and Asana.


I’m proud of the system I now have. It consists of one method and one tool: David Allen’s Get Things Done (GTD) and Evernote. GTD sets priorities with seven buckets (inbox, now, next, soon, someday, waiting, and completed) that do not require too much maintenance. Evernote is the perfect complement: it stores and categorizes everything in one place that’s easily searchable. And it’s all stored in the cloud, so I can access and edit it from my iPhone on the go.


I drew upon several different fields to develop this system: time management theory, digital product design, and attention theory from psychology. I hope to share and discuss it with friends at Munger.

Jun 13

Geek vs. Fashion

Credit: Put This On.

Photo credit: Put This On.

My parents, the wonderful Californian co-housing ex-hippies that they are, don’t give a flying fuck about fashion. Nor did I until very recently. I’ve recently taken an interest due to a new friend and professional role as a product manager at an Internet startup that combines the product management and design functions.

I’m starting from zero. I’ve always been the guy who copied just enough of the prevailing fashion trends in my social circle so that I wasn’t called out for dressing like a fashion luddite. I shop at Old Navy in the US, Uniqlo in China, and have never spent more than eighty dollars on any item of clothing other than a suit. It shows.

I’m ambivalent towards fashion itself and dislike the fashion industry. On the one hand, it’s a form of creativity and design. On the other, it’s a series of hollow conventions for others to judge you by and a nauseating sales pitch for a life that I don’t aspire to.

Continue reading →

Feb 13

Book Review: Mobile First

I’ve started reading A Book Apart, a series for “people who make websites”. There’s now seven short books (about 100 pages each), with two more on the way.

Here’s my cliff notes on and review of Mobile First, by Luke Wroblewski, the former Chief Design Architect (VP) at Yahoo! and co-founder of Bagcheck, which was acquired by Twitter.

The first part of the book introduces the ‘huge trend’ that is mobile. The stats, from 2010, are now well-outdated and the author really should’ve skipped this section altogether, I know I did. It isn’t necessary in a book on designing for the mobile web, leave that to the research reports.

The book is focused on the mobile web, not native apps. Continue reading →

Feb 13

A New Thermostat: The Big Dial

I’ve started looking at the world through the eye of a designer. It’s part of my job as a product manager at Wandou Labs, but it’s also just something I enjoy. And since this is my personal blog, I get to do as I damn well please, thank you very much. So I plan to start writing here, as well as on TechRice, with my thoughts on interactive design from time to time. Here it goes…
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Oct 12

Graphing Kai’s 1439 Facebook Friends

This graph was made as part of a free online course that i’m taking via Coursera called Social Network Analysis.

To create the graph, I exported my friendship data from a Facebook app called NetGet and then visualized it using the Gephi software. I named the clusters and individuals myself. Given my travels, I’d guess my graph has more independent clusters than the average person’s.