Temporary island @Venetian poolside
After 10 fantastic years at Amgen, I have decided to leave and give PLADDOW my best. Last year, I figured that I could not focus on a corporate career while trying to pursue a successful entrepreneurial venture - so one had to go - and since then, I had been plotting my escape.
I tip my hat to Amgen for giving me countless experiences, a MBA, world travels that most could only dream of, and so much more. Towards the end, one thing was clear to me - that it was all about the people I had been blessed to work with; everyone was talented, had personality, and was fun. Sure, there were corporate politicking and jockeying beneath the surface that I never cared much for, but all in all, a standup bunch of people. It's these lifelong friendships that I'll never forget and will continue to cherish as we all go our separate ways.
Words cannot express the rush of exhilaration and clarity that flooded my mind last Wednesday, when the finality of my time at Amgen was imminent and real. Now, the opportunity that awaited me, the ability to fully focus and concentrate on PLADDOW, and give it the full potential it could have - the prospect of this was awesome.
I'll admit, I know now what people truly mean when they say it's with "mixed" feelings that they'd be leaving. These mixed feelings for me were pure joy combined with sadness that I'd be leaving people that had become my family outside my personal life; people who I'd often actually spend more time in the day with than my own family. It's these day to day things I'd miss; and the finality of knowing that this would be the last time I'd see my office, the last time I'd see the walls of the corporate gym (the sauna was the last place I went to that day), and the last time I'd probably be here in my life.
These mixed feelings were quickly replaced by an exciting sense of adventure, freedom, and exhilaration. The entire world looks different to me now, although nothing has changed around me.
Now, it's time to start living life the way I want to live it. Time to get PLADDOW truly going.
Today, I'm in Mountain View and making a stop at Google to lunch with a few friends. :)
A great reminder from Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford Commencement speech - my favorite line - "don't spend your life living someone ELSE'S dogma or thinking".
For when anyone asks me WHY I do what I do.
It's 10:30AM and we are sitting in one of the Pepperdine University classrooms, mentally prepping for the 20 minute business presentation. We've made the first round of fast pitch to get to the final competition, shooting for the 1st place and $10,000 price money. More importantly, we are here to validate our idea and work we have poured in to our app for past couple of years in front of school faculty members, entrepreneurs, and potential investors. It is both nerve-wrecking and exciting. Whatever the outcome maybe, we are happy to be in this position to present our work in front of the general public. It's a small but exciting beginning and we are both enjoying and loving every minute of it. Go PLADDOW!
After almost a year and a half of going back and forth from the drawing board, I'm happy and proud to say we've finally launched PLADDOW version 1.0!
We've already found a few bugs and are fixing as we go.
It hasn't even been a week yet, and there already a bunch of businesses in the system. We're actively scouting out and getting the word out to all the businesses that can benefit from the app in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, and San Diego. I guess this is the classic chicken-and-egg challenge -- but we're committed to making it happen for you!
THE JOURNEY BEGINS!
Last night, I got a chance to talk with the bartender and manager at Warsawa restaurant, a really cool Polish restaurant & bar right here in Santa Monica on Lincoln Blvd. When I asked them what their top 3 business problems were, they said that one of the things they wanted to do was to cut some of their bottom line-- and specifically, with advertising. They said it was too expensive, and they were looking for creative ways to bring in new business. Sure, it was a Tuesday night and pretty empty in the back bar, but I've seen the place packed before for events.
So I introduced them to PLADDOW, and they were all about it! They are the first business we've talked to about a cool new idea we're going to test around the app. Basically, we're going to go to about 20 bars, clubs, and restaurants in Santa Monica in the next few days and have this same conversation-- the only difference is that we will ask all of these places to put in "GNO" as a keyword in the app (Girl's Night Out!).
When we've got the 20 places in, we'll let you all know! The idea is that when you go into PLADDOW, if you're looking for a fun girl's night out, just put in GNO and see what happens!
In this experiment, we'll see how many of the bars, clubs, restaurants jump on it and get back to you, and give you the inside track. You can ask questions in real time, like, "can you cut us a deal?" or "how crowded is it right now?" or "can you get a group of 5 girls in at 8pm?" - you get the picture. YOU'RE in control!
More to come - but if you haven't already, download PLADDOW and check it out- ESPECIALLY if you're a business that wants to take advantage of it - for FREE.
Enjoy, and let us know what you like, hate, or want to see in the app at any time!
Well, today's 3.3.14, and we'd like to give a quick update. Unfortunately, we're not live yet.
We apologize in advance, but the Apple App Store review process can be anywhere from 6-12 days, and we're somewhere in the middle of it right now. We'll keep you posted when we're actually live and you can download for free!
Thanks for understanding.
On February 9, 2011, I was flying down the 101 S to get home from a late day at work. I had house music blasting and was going at least 90 mph. Not a single car on the road.
Or so I thought.
My radar detector had gone off but I wasn't listening because of my music. The officer was parked in a typical hiding spot right on the Lost Hills on-ramp. It was a bit too late as by the time I saw him, I was going way too fast. I thought I could be sly, go very fast, and go to the gas station off of Las Virgenes, which I did - and the moment I stopped to pull out the fuel filler out of its holder, the officer pulled up right behind me.
He yelled at me, insisting that I stay in my car. I left the gas pump on and went back into my car.
Long story short, I got a ticket for going 88mph.
I wasn't about to pay $424 for this nonsense. Besides, I was enjoying my house music and not endangering anyone. moo ha ha ha.
So I found a coworker named Peter G. who was an expert at escaping traffic tickets. He had a track record of over 80% of his tickets being dismissed. So I followed his guidance and here's what happened. (all credit to Peter G)
THE REAL DEAL ON HOW TO GET OUT OF A SPEEDING TICKET:
1. Go to the local courthouse of the area you got the speeding ticket in. In my case this was in the valley. Request a Trial by Written Declaration (TWD). You could technically do this by mail but it's faster to just go to the place and get the form. You also have to pay the fine up front in the courthouse to be allowed to do the TWD. This is the total amount (not the traffic school ticket amount). In my case, $424.
2. The clerk will give you paperwork to fill out, which you'll have 3 weeks to return it. Basically, you tell your side of the story - literally make something up that you can sell your case with. You can write up a word doc story and make it all official looking, and reference it as an attachment.
3. Submit all this to the court. Again, do it in person so it doesn't get mixed up or goes to the wrong mail address, etc. At this point, the officer who gave you that ticket has a first chance to submit his own side of the story- basically, his rebuttal. And if you're an officer that's got a quota to fill with hundreds of bookings in any given month, you better be sure you filed that report right. He will also have a time limit on when he needs to complete and return his paperwork. If he fails to return paperwork by the due date, the case will be dismissed. You get your money back, and it's like it never happened. This is where you get value from this process. Hey, if the officer hassled you by pulling you over and making you have to go through this, you might as well hassle him/her by filing this request and making them submit a report in their busy schedule.
4. Let's say the officer submitted it, which happens about 66% of the time. Ok, it's not over. If he finds you guilty, no problem - we now go to Phase II, which is the Trial de Novo. If you get the paperwork back in the mail saying you're guilty, it's one of the few times in the court system where you can take that paperwork back to the court and request a new trial (trial de novo). The clerk will have you fill out a paper and then give you an actual date to show up in court. This gives you the SECOND chance of a cop not showing up or responding to your plea for innocence.
5. At this point the game plan is to go to court on your court date, and plan to change your plea to guilty, unless you really think you were not at fault and you think you can win your case against the cop. BUT! Here's what you're REALLY hoping for. On the day you show up, at the beginning of the court proceedings, there's 2 big groups of people. One group are the bunch of people like you who know how to game this system - the other is a group of the cops who booked you in the first place. These cops are the hardcore ones that relentlessly pursue their tickets and you probably don't want to mess with them in the first place.
But, that day, which was approximately 8 months after I initially got my ticket, I went into court, and nervously waited. The judge made roll call for all attendees, both groups alike. There were several names of police officers that, when called, were not present. I was waiting for my cop's name to be called, and sure enough it was. My officer was not present. My cop probably left for another job by this time because I had made him wait so long. Either that or he was out busy catching other fish on the 101.
A huge sigh of relief came over me, but I was curious as to what would happen next. A random dude sat next to me and asked "so, we're good to go?" I answered, "I think so man."
Before the proceedings for the other unlucky souls began, the judge called me and this random dude up, amongst a few others whose officers were absent. I approached the stand.
Judge: "You are Peter Hwang, correct?"
Me: "Yes your honor."
Judge: "Due to the failure to appear of the officer for your case, you are thereby exonerated."
Me: "Thank you, your honor."
I went to the side, signed some papers, and about a month later I got my $424 back. It was the sweetest feeling EVER.
However during those 8 months it took me to fight this ticket, my insurance thought I bailed on traffic school and counted a point on my record and bumped up my insurance, which I to this day am still fighting. That's a different battle altogether. I also had to go the DMV to present my exonerated evidence to have them remove my point from the database, which the insurance companies depended upon to come up with my premium. The point's been removed, but the insurance cost is still there.
Bottom line - this whole process is one that not many people have the time, wherewithal, or knowledge to go through. But at the end of this process is a potential big value. Hey, if the system's gonna make you pay, at least make them go down with you in the process.
Don't go down without a fight!
Enjoy and hope this helps anyone who has gotten a traffic ticket.
Whether you have a smartphone or a good 'ole flip phone, chances are, you probably text daily. Even with all the flashy and cool things you can do with your smartphone these days, texting still remains one of the most popular things to do with your phone. New report from comScore showed, in September of 2013, about 147.9 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones. That's a lot of smartphones out there. Annual research by Acision released on July 2013 indicated about 92% of U.S. smartphone owners use SMS. That's roughly 136 million text messages assuming only 1 text message was sent from each smartphone users. You can see how this number will definitely balloon up when we count in the fact texting is practically all we do, well, at least for me. I mean, the number is unbelievably high. You see why Peter and Peter are doing what we are doing. Businesses can benefit so much from Pladdow because the core idea of our app is deeply rooted on what these studies and findings confirm - SMS and social marking via smartphone is THE big thing right now. Trending. Consumers will benefit from efficient and prompt nature of our app for the services they need, and businesses will benefit from having consumers practically knock on their doors specifically wanting their services right now! We are extremely excited to see what Pladdow can bring for both consumers and businesses. Time to brainstorm and continue to try making Pladdow better before our imminent launch!
Seeing as both Peters are musicians, I thought maybe we can also post some of our own original works or covers from time to time. Fruityloop and Audacity have been the music software tool of choice, and I use Audio-technica AT2020 for vocal recordings. Still have long way to get more comfortable with these tools and, hopefully, you will notice the improvement in quality of sound as well as musical content as I upload more down the road. Enjoy!!
What's in a name?
The Urban Dictionary says the definition of a similar word, "bladow" is as follows:
when you know you just did something completely amazing OR got something SO right.... and you want everyone to know about it. you're the shit and basically, thats all there is to it.
"I just got a hole-in-one...bladow!"
"uhh no Jack, the capital of Washington is NOT BRAZIL. Its Olympia. BLADOW.
An onomatopoeic word. An explosive sound. Used to express excitement or dominance.
When my favorite football team scored that touchdown, I jumped up and yelled "BLADOW, sucka!"
How we came up with PLADDOW however, is after a series of coffee, beer, and coming up with all sorts of oddball names. We found firsthand just how hard it is to come up a name! Something that means nothing, but CAN mean something- something that can sound cool (we hope) that rolls off the tongue with finesse.
We also remembered the old song by Busta Rhymes - Bladow!! and wanted to pay tribute.
Herein is the genesis of our mobile app's name, PLADDOW! (how you like me now!?)