Women’s March 2018

One year after the first Women’s March, like clockwork, we took to the street to voice our disapproval with everything. A lot of my fellow citizens came to march for women’s rights, the #MeToo movement, Black Lives Matter, immigrant rights, DACA, #shitholecountries, and even just the vehement disapproval of our current administration and President Donald Trump. Whatever it was folks came out to protest and march for, they came with an extraordinary combination of anger, disgust, hope, and excitement for what they believed in. They came out. They made themselves known and I was glad to march along side with them.

I wouldn’t say I’m the most vocal person about these kinds of topics, but I do love putting ink to paper. Since President Donald Trump has taken the White House, I have been sporadically sending the man some postcards regarding how I feel about his horrendous performance so far. Each postcard consists of two things:

  1. A drawing on one side since I do like to draw.
  2. A short message addressed to President Donald Trump.
  3. My return address just in case he wants to write me back.

The funny thing is, I probably have had more interactions (albeit postcards) with President Donald Trump than I ever did with President Barack Obama. I wish I did this when he was in office, the messages and drawings would have been so much more positive. Come back, Barack!

Don’t Stop Fans From Talking About Your Product

Seattle Seahawks - Golden Tate

Yesterday was Seahawks Sunday here in Seattle, and it started as any one of these would. Woke up at 6am to get the tailgating party started. Checked the weather and checked for directions on my iPhone. Scootered over to Utah St. right behind Macrina Bakery on 1st Avenue since it wasn’t raining. My dad and I setup shop and used my iPhone to notify folks of our location and coordinated by messaging missing items. When the tailgate started, we were able to post photos onto Facebook and Twitter easily and even comment on status for folks to come on by before the game. From 6am to 1pm, using the internet was as smooth as being at home — but when you hit CenturyLink Field, you can kiss that goodbye.

It’s funny with a stadium named after “high-speed internet” company like CenturyLink, it exactly lacks what it sells. It was the same feeling when it was called Qwest Field. This isn’t anything new. As a season ticket holder for the last several years, I’ve always found myself doing the patented “lift your hand up high with your phone to get reception” move with no avail. I know it may be my AT&T coverage, but fellow season ticket holders with Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile have had the same problem. This is an issue.

CenturyLink Field hosts over 67,000+ fans each Seattle Seahawk game and even with the Seattle Sounders FC, they’re able to hold 33,000+ fans each game. That’s selling out the stadium each game, and the majority of those rabid fans use smartphones — so why are they making it hard for fans to talk about their product on the field. They’re not leveraging them to spread the word about the players, the teams, the game, and more importantly the experience. The teams are missing out on people posting their thoughts, photos, and location on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. What better idea would it be to provide the fans who are struggling to send out tweets, statuses, and photos with the ability to do so?

For this NFL season, five stadiums have already been outfitted as a pilot for in-stadium wifi: MetLife Stadium (Jets/Giants), Gillette Stadium (Patriots), Bank of America (Panthers), Lucas Oil Stadium (Colts), and the Superdome (Saints). This isn’t a new idea with teams from both the MLB and NFL exploring wifi opportunities. I’m just surprised for a tech hub like Seattle, why don’t we have wifi in CenturyLink Field? As a huge fan, the product is the experience. I’d rather share my experiences in the moment rather than waiting after the game or when I’m home to do so and I believe the majority of the 67,000+ fans feel the same way.

Everyone Will Learn How to Code Eventually

Evil Monkey

Back in high school, I was all about doing things in tech. We were lucky since Mr. Wes Felty was a faculty member at Ingraham High School, and he also doubled as the network system administrator for the whole Seattle Schools District. There was a ton of opportunity to experiment, and here are some of the projects we were able to do:

  • Friends and I helped rebuild and update our school’s website
  • Learned how to build computers in our A+ course
  • Wired and set up the Rainier Beach High School network
  • Through MESA, helped Seattle Parks and Recreation improve their website

I can only imagine what kids are learning nowadays. Ten years later, I’ve continued to stay within the HTML and CSS borders of coding. This year, I’ll be breaking free from those borders. The goal is to learn the basics and harness some coding skills which will come in super handy. As the “business” guy, I think it’s especially important to learn since understanding what goes into coding could be your leg up whether you’re the one coding or managing the product. I want to be able to build product and having a skill set to build prototypes without waiting for this “special” developer to do it is key for me.

So along with 300,000+ others, I joined Code Year brought to you by Codecademy. I just finished my first week of lessons in Javascript, and I’m left wanting more and lucky me there’s a couple more lessons to do. Naturally, I’ll probably be diving into other resources on top of the to-dos for Code Year. Having minimal coding experience, I’m looking to catch up and there’s a ton of resources out there as my buddy Scott Windsor says:

So what are you waiting for? Go sign up at codeyear or codeacademy or tryruby or Khan Academy. I even teach ruby lessons as well if you want one on one help and instruction.

Coding is just like any skill set. Let’s just take sales, for instance. A lot of folks don’t have any selling experience, but they end up learning how to do it because in the end — it’s a good to have. I feel the same with coding. You may not end up being the best coder in the world, but having the extra bit of knowledge will go a long way in whatever job you have and it may even help you land one. You’ll eventually be learning this stuff sometime in the future, why not just start now. Don’t wait 10 years like me.

Check out my first application from Codecademy, FizzBuzz. It’s crude, but it’s a start.

// for the numbers 1 through XX,

var number = prompt ("How many numbers do you want?");

for (i=1; i<=number; i++) {

// if the number is divisible by 3, write "Fizz"
// if the number is also divisible by 5, write "FizzBuzz"
 
 if ( i % 3 === 0 ) {
 if ( i % 5 === 0) {
 console.log("FizzBuzz")
 }
 else {
 console.log("Fizz");
 }
 }
 
// if the number is divisible by 5, write "Buzz"
 
 else if ( i % 5 === 0 ) {
 console.log("Buzz");
 }
 
// otherwise, write just the number

else {
 console.log(i);
 }
}

Dear Spotify: Only Post Music I Like on Facebook

Spotify and Facebook

Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.
– Victor Hugo

Have you ever had this happen to you? You’re listening to your music on your iPhone on the bus or train, and it cycles to a song you know all the words to so you start singing along…aloud. Sometimes those songs aren’t the best to share, and you get a bit embarrassed afterwards. I know I’ve had my moments in the past, but nowadays I really don’t care. If it’s good enough to sing, it has to be somehow. You can find me doing this a ton when I drive.

As much as I love to let everyone know what I’m listening to, I kind of only let them know when they’re good. With Spotify, there isn’t such a filter. What ever I listen to, it gets posted on Facebook. This is happening a lot with articles also due to Facebook’s Open Graph. You can see whatever anyone is viewing on The Washington Post or The Guardian. Note, I said “view” and not “read.” If they just view the article for two seconds and close, it still shows their network that they “read” it and give an unconcious recommendation. This is similar to what Spotify is doing with music. I skip a lot of the music I don’t like, but low and behold — Facebook tells everyone I listened to it.

I really do want to share what I’m listening to with my friends and family, but I only want to share the music I feel is worth sharing. Sometimes on Spotify, I listen to lists just to find music, or just tune out. In this case, sometimes songs come up with K$sha or Justin Bieber and that’s shared with my network — and to me that doesn’t make any sense. I’m not a fan of either, so I wouldn’t want to share it.

It would be nice to have the ability to set a hotkey to post to Facebook when I hear a song I’d like to share on Spotify. This will allow me to listen to all the music I want and with a push of some keys, I can feature the songs I really like and share it accordingly with my network. Is that so much to ask?

Why I Draw

Why I Draq

You may not be a Picasso or Mozart but you don’t have to be. Just create to create. Create to remind yourself you’re still alive. Make stuff to inspire others to make something too.
– Frederick Terral

While I was in high school, I was getting tired of all my friends gleaming over these boy bands like the Backstreet Boys and NSync. It was annoying. They would play their music loud in their cars, sing them in the hallways, and even expect dudes like me to take heed in what these manufactured bands were singing about. What did I naturally do? I took it to the pencil and paper and decided to create a little comic book parodying the whole boy band craze called Whackstreet Boys. Not the most creative title in the world, but it got the reaction I wanted.

I love being able take an idea, creating something, and see if it was anywhere along the lines of what I imagined in my head. Sometimes it’s not exactly what I imagined but going through that process over and over again — you begin to get better and better. And seeing those improvements over time in my drawings have always excited me and that’s a huge reason why I continue to draw. Here’s the elements and a bit of a breakdown of why I draw:

The beauty of a blank page

A blank page represents the excitement of creating. The page is just calling for you to make a mark and start anew. There’s just so many possibilities here and you’re in control. You can do anything and no one can stop you. If anything, you can always start with a new blank page.

The wonder of an imagination

When I draw, anything is possible. You literally draw from your experiences and the imagination hopefully you haven’t lost while you were a kid. From the graffiti you see on brick walls, cartoon characters you see in the Sunday funnies to artists you meet at local Sketchbombs — you’re creating something inspired but unique to you.

The satisfaction of being done

There’s always an end point when I draw, whether it’s what you expected or something totally different — you end with a finished product. Either I say, “damn, that’s not what I wanted” and scrap it or “sweet — that’s going up somewhere!”. There’s definitely a lot of the former, but when a drawing clicks — it’s a great feeling. Sometimes it takes a ton of “damns” before you get to a “sweet”.

I continue to draw today mostly on my iPad — I love Zen Brush. I’m not the best artist by any means, but like I mentioned a week ago — “it soothes my soul.” Drawing keeps my brain fresh and taps into the creativity I want to keep from my childhood. Maybe that’s why I love working and building products at startups so much. There’s a sense of taking an idea, building it, and seeing it through while getting feedback. It’s a fun continuous process.

I know there’s a ton of artists at heart out there. It would be great to hear from you on why you draw. Feel free to just tweet me @joesunga with a #whyidraw hashtag to a tweet explaining why you draw or leave a comment below. I’d love to start curating everyone’s thoughts.

#whyidraw around the world