Connecting Dots

Day-Dreaming with Michael Cho

*Time-lapse taken from my living room’s window. Often, the most beautiful things in life come free.

Singapore SAFE (Simple Agreement for Future Equity)

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YC open-sourced a really useful financing document known as SAFE a few months ago. SAFE has some nice properties compared to the traditional convertible note and still allows for high-resolution fundraising. The actual document is a very straightforward agreement that I think most laymen can read through without getting headaches 🙂 Obviously, their version is fairly US-centric so I’ve made some modifications (with some further inputs from Singapore legal advisors who actually know what they’re doing) in order to make it suitable for a Singapore-based startup to raise funds using SAFE. I’ve recently raised a small seed round for my…

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Berkeley’s Chinese Name (左懷熙)

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So my parents, Patrick, Sam (dialed in via Skype) gathered at CasaCho and spent the entire Saturday looking through all the Chinese naming websites to figure out Berkeley’s Chinese name. We’ve more or less settled for the middle character “懷” but we were still looking through all the options for the final character. Evidently, my parents looked through a few hundred pages (with each page a few hundred potential names) on some Chinese naming websites and selected a dozen candidates with nice sounding names in Cantonese and also high 風水 score which the websites automatically calculates! Anyway, after a long…

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The girl I’m in love with for 20 years

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I’m usually quite vocal when it comes to espousing my crazy ideas, but I’ve mostly shy away from any “emo” topics such as love and relationship, not even when chatting with close friends. Lately I started thinking about why I can be so hyper-energetic when it comes to bouncing ideas with friends and yet goes into this “blank” mode when I start talking about my relationship with her. Perhaps it’s a “guy” thing, but I also realize that the Michael Cho that most people know is just very different from the Michael Cho that she knows. And truth be told,…

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Rejections

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Being an entrepreneur means hustling every single day. You have to really put yourself out there and pitch to anyone who’ll have a remote chance of liking whatever you’re building and say “Hey! Check this out!”. The more you do it, the more rejections you get. But you keep doing it because occasionally you find someone who appear to get excited about your idea. Even when you get rejected, sometimes you gain some insights on the fallacy in your hypothesis behind the idea. So you do gain even when you get rejected. It’s still early days and too early to…

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Beginning of a crazy ride

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This past week has been rather surreal for me. After a few months of development, I’m finally here in Berkeley to start promoting the app, OHOH. The previous 2 months were pretty intense, with late-night calls with the developers till 2-3am and constant bug testing everyday including weekends. Somehow, we managed to push through a MVP in time for my scheduled flight. We’re still missing a few key features (eg. chat, contact list etc) but it will do as a MVP. It was tough saying bye to Tammy at the airport. She is already 5 months pregnant and here I…

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Talk like a Nobody, Think like a 18 yr-old

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In my “old” life as an investment guy, appearance matters a lot. Not just appearance in the sense of what tie I’m wearing or what branded suits I’ve got on, but also the whole way of talking. In casual meet-and-greet with other investors or potential partners, you almost always want to “talk BIG”. A $30m deal gets rounded up to $50m, a $600m portfolio gets rounded up to $1b, a 10% return gets pushed to 15%. It’s not all lies though. Often, it’s just a careless way of definition; returns are “calculated” before tax/fees, asset size are “measured” with leverage…

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A New Grandma’s Pure Happiness

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This is happiness in its purest form 🙂 So Tammy and I had known for a few weeks that we’re expecting a child (btw, our baby’s name will be “Berkeley Cho”). While we were super excited, we also wanted to reveal the news to our family in a fun way. In the end, we decided to create a treasure hunt game at our place (aka CasaCho) on Mother’s Day. We told our moms that the treasure hunt will lead to their Mother’s Day presents, which of course is the ultrasound picture on desktop (which they needed a password to access;…

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Awesome talk by Matt Mullenweg

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Had a great time at tonight’s event featuring WordPress founder and CEO, Matt Mullenweg. Especially admire his passion for openness of the internet and the merit of open source. PLUS he’s into music & economics & pol sci! Totally the kind of dude I wanna chat over beer. And his stories about the early days of building wordpress is equally fascinating! Inspiring stuff for entrepreneurs like me 🙂

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Arduino + Skateboard

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For my 33rd birthday last year, I told Tammy that I wanted a skateboard. In fact I’ve wanted to pick up skateboarding ever since I first watched Back to the Future as a kid, but somehow never got around to it. Better be late than never, I thought. So after much research, I’ve decided to settle for a Globe St Bantam, which is a small cruiser. I wanted something that’s small and easy to carry and able to get me from point A to point B quickly, so this board fits the bill. And it doesn’t hurt that I could…

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A Football Game with 3 Boys

By | football, thoughts | No Comments

I decided to get off my butt this afternoon and headed downstairs at the neighborhood park to have a little bit of kick-about by myself. There were already 3 young boys kicking about in the field when I got there. After juggling by myself for 10 minutes, I was getting bored. I mean, nothing compares to a real football game. So I turned to the boys who were practicing some passing at the point, and asked “wanna play a game?” “YES!” I can tell they’re probably also dying to get a real game going. So we set up our “goal…

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