Moving on From a Startup

Have not posted in awhile. The reason? I’ve been “studying” abroad in Sydney since mid-August. My co-founder Eric and I made an agreement going into Summer 2010. If the pieces didn’t fall our way, we were to move on once the summer ended. As two 21 year olds, we’ve dedicated the last year to Hangchillparty, learning heaps about startups and entrepreneurship. What we haven’t done though is do what normal 21 year olds experience. Going out, mingling, and taking the day as it comes. Working nonstop is a great experience I will not take back, but at the same time, there is more to life than working toward a monetary or idealistic goal.

I really hoped Hangchillparty worked out, but I believe it will be a project we will return to. I believe the niche is still there for a real-time online socializing tool. Facebook may be taking a step in that direction with check-ins, but there is still a market for such a tool.

When it comes to life moving on away from the startup grind, it’s has an interesting effect on the mind. For one year it was all that really occupied my thoughts, so like a long relationship, there was a void that had to be filled. When you focus so intensely on something for so long, your brain adapts to those thoughts and changes. It caters to your area of focus, and physically changed the neuronic structure of your brain (check out the Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doidge for more details).

I was constantly looking to work toward to something, which is my brain being used to constantly working. In mid-August, I decided to go back and work as a camp counselor for two weeks at one of my favorite places, Camp Orkila on Orcas Island, Washington. It’s an enriching job that keeps you continuously occupied, so I didn’t have time to dwell on Hcp much. I transferred that energy to throwing dodgeballs at kids and acting absolutely ridiculous.

With only one day at home between camp and my departure for Sydney, there was not much downtime at all. Before I knew it, I went from the nature of the San Juan Islands to being engulfed in the urban landscape of Sydney.

Again, there was little time to think about what we could of done better with Hcp. It was all about socializing with the 70 kids in our program, exploring Sydney, and meeting locals. This has been my number one priority, which has been a refreshing change. You appreciate the pleasures of real-life socializing more after sitting in front of a laptop for 12 hours a day.

So what has triggered me to write this post now? Well in the program I’m in, we are given an internship for the 2nd half of the semester. I’ve been lucky enough to get the opportunity to contribute to another very early web startup. It’s an awesome chance to contribute what I’ve learned from Hcp into a fresh, new idea. But because I’m back in the startup environment, it has brought back a lot of memories from grinding away on Hcp.

Also, watching The Social Network brought back startup emotions as well. The theme of building nothing into something is a strong belief and feeling every entrepreneur holds near them, and it is a dream of all of us to have even a fraction of Facebook’s success. After seeing the film, I had to rest and even write in my journal because of our dream to be that “next big thing”

I’ve realized that when someone dedicates their life to something for an extended period of time, it takes time to adjust to real-life again. It’s not a positive or negative, it’s just the way things are. So if you’re adjusting your life after a long dedication to a project or craft, I’d say keep yourself busy with new experiences and hobbies. If you’re planning to move on, then move on by adapting your life to the way you wish to live.

That’s all I got, hope you enjoyed this post.



The 5 Steps to Relationships on Facebook

I’ve decided to detail the different steps of relationships on facebook. Each stage is articulated with detail from inception to the point of no return. I have seen multiple cases go through these steps, which is why this article is a true breakthrough in science.

Step 1- The relationship is official in real life.

This needs no explanation. The couple has committed their temporary love for one another.

Step 2- The relationship becomes facebook official (est. duration= 2 weeks after step 1)

Couples don’t commit steps 1 and 2 at the same time just in case the relationship flops. That would destroy their facebook reputations, especially for the one who gets dumped in two days (see facebook suicide). Step 2 occurs two to three weeks after step one, but it may go on longer if the couple is shy or they aren’t the PDA type. Good indications of genuine facebook official relationship statuses include receiving a good amount of likes (at least 3) and girls posting pointless comments that you could imagine them saying in their fake, high pitched happy voices, like “yaaaaaay!”.

Note: Couples who have been stuck on step 1 for over 3 months are either, 1) Very private people,  2) Don’t care about Facebook, or 3) Eyeing other mates and jumping on someone who’s better.

Step 3- Facebook Hibernation (est. duration= 1 to 2 months after step 2)

Facebook official couples will go through a facebook hibernation period. This is when their walls turn stale and they become less active on facebook. Facebook hibernation occurs because the couple is in the infatuation stage with their mate, so they aren’t hanging out with anyone else, which means friends have nothing to comment or post about. The severity of facebook hibernation is directly correlated with the amount of their social lives they choose to give up. Spending every weekend night with each other equals the highest degrees of facebook hibernation.

Step 4- Worriedness from former friends

Caring friends will realize their former friend has gone into facebook hibernation and post worried comments, such as “I miss kicking your ass at quarters…”, or “Tiffanyy!, we haven’t hung out in soooooooo long. Catchup lunch this weekend?!! :)”

Step 5- The couple exclusive picture album

Step 5 is the climax of relationships on facebook. Couples that make it to this point have lost touch with almost all their friends and call each other babe on the phone every time they talk. Few couples make it to this point, but when they do, it becomes obvious to the facebook community with the couple exclusive picture album.

Randomly out of nowhere, the couple will post a large picture album (must contain 10 or more pictures) of ONLY them. In most cases it will be from an extended activity, such as a daytrip to the beach, roadtrip through vineyards, or camping in the mountains. This album will contain pics such as 1) the male holding the camera for a self-taken couples pic 2) sentimental timed pics of their silhouettes in an outdoor sunset and 3) random pics of each other no one really finds that interesting.

There’s only one way to completely pass step 5.  The album must NOT receive ANY comments on any of the pictures by any of their former friends. This is key, and the only way to judge if the relationship has reached the point of no return.

The point of no return is when the couple has abandoned all forms of a social life. The chick will often wear the male’s sweatshirt around, they send at least 10 texts a day to each other, and they each have the same phone background of them spooning each other dessert at a dimly lit Italian restaurant.

Facebook and relationships is a relatively new science, but I’m absolutley positive all escalating relationships go through these facebook phases. If you disagree, let me know here.