Trance
Skopout

When I started the year, I had big plans for music. I started playing piano in August of last year, exactly a year ago. When 2013 turned the corner, I never had it in mind that I would create an app and a business from the ground up.

I got to know Muhammad at the gym where I live. He used to workout there with his brother Ali. A friendly guy with a seemingly warm nature. I remember thinking, “Gee I gotta be careful with this guy. Muslims can be sensitive and socially conservative, and I’m a loud-mouthed New Yorker.” By chance we decided, you know what why don’t we try hanging out. It turns out he’s one the realest people I’ve met since I moved to California, and definitely someone I can look up to. One evening we met for tea and talked about our hobbies and interests. Photography, Piano, Kids, Traveling, and so on. No where in that list was anything about making apps.

We proceeded to hangout after that and Muhammad would come over and listen to me play piano. He really enjoyed seeing me play live. I could tell he was a guy with a lot of passion for the things he liked. I would always encourage him to maybe give it a try, or at least go back to his photography hobby. He would always say how little time for that. I laugh at that now, knowing just how much time each us has put into this collective undertaking. You really do make time for what’s important.

So one afternoon I ran into Muhammad after a workout. He wanted to ask for my professional opinion and advice on an idea he had come up with, with a friend called Brian, who is our other Co-Founder. He wanted to know how feasible the idea for an app might be and whether it was even remotely possible. I just so happened to be a Software Engineer at the right place at the right time. The rest, as they say, is history. That’s my copout to keep this somewhat short. I’ll post more backstory on the Skopout facebook page for those interested.

I never would have imagined that we could take this idea from our mind, from the walls of my apartment, from the late-night discussions, and bring it to life, to my fingertips. Almost anyone can come up with a novel idea. But to make it *real*! There’s something truly special and remarkably satisfying in that.

Well, I’ve been cooking this thing for about 5 months now. As a three man team with me as the only Engineer, we’ve had to make due with what we could. So here it is, Skopout (beta). Yes beta because we reserve the right to make mistakes along the way and to drastically change things to keep it alive.This is my first time making an app.

I would like to thank all the alpha testers for their support:
bbakas, dudushi, aminam, lauraloo, jaboory89, danil, mliam, seconstantine, djaff, flowelectriko, highyellowstyles, rich, a24le0la, jaquirog, periklis, alphapack, desertrider, wellington, loosechange, ttrip, amado, yiannikos, ashami, kmo917, jwellington

Thanks for being our guinea pigs. Your feedback really helped us refine and tune the app to what it is today.


To be honest I have no idea where thing will go. I don’t think any of us do. We’ve got a dream, and a vision, but all we can do is put it out there and see where it goes. But at the end of the day, we can point our fingers to that app that’s on the market and say, “You know what, I made that.”

Trying a little something on. #HadToBuyTheCoat though (at Zara Clothing, Farmers Market @ The Grove)

Trying a little something on. #HadToBuyTheCoat though (at Zara Clothing, Farmers Market @ The Grove)

DAT summertime #SoCal #CoffeeBreak  (at Starbucks)

DAT summertime #SoCal #CoffeeBreak (at Starbucks)

Hey there. I just read your latest post and I was surprised that you have been to Istanbul, which is one of my home cities. A Dominican in Istanbul sounds definitely more eccentric than that Kanye song, you know what haha. How did you like it there?

What can I say, I’m an eccentric kind of man.

I loved it there. It definitely forms a part of my identity now. People always ask me: of all places, why did you go to Turkey? I don’t know if there was any one answer. The place just called to me for multiple reasons.  I went by myself back in late December 2010 and stayed over 3 weeks past the new year. I needed that at the time. None of my friends at the time wanted to do anything that crazy, but I didn’t let that stop me from going.

I took a journal with me and I wrote everything I could about my experiences, easily filling it up. It’s a very valuable item of mine that sort of captures who I was 4 years ago. When I started this blog, I digitized my adventures there. If you look back or search my blog for the #Turkey tag, you will see them. Be warned though, they are very verbose, and I rant a lot. I stopped about half-way through the journal though. I should continue sometime…

I didn’t do much exploring of the eastern Asian-half of the city. I fell for too many of the tourist traps. I was a broke college student back then, and I loved eating street food. 

I was tagged by nickiefairview :

Five random things about yourself and then pass it along to ten of your favorite followers.

1. Growing up as an overweight kid in an image-conscious school system was no easy feat. One day I told myself I had enough; I was going to do whatever it took to get myself in shape, and be sexy like the friends around me. My best friend, Joel, was my role model. I remember 15 year old me doing situps in my room with his shirtless picture (It was on Sconex if you remember what that is), telling myself, “I want to have abs just like him”. Of course at the time I didn’t know that exercise was only roughly 35% of the equation. After I figured that out, I was at 5% body fat in college. Now it is my friend who wants to look like me. I hope he doesn’t read this.

2. I love studying and learning languages. Right now I’m working on Italian and I love it. It comes so naturally to me as a native spanish speaker. I also know a little bit of Turkish from my time in Istanbul. I have it written down on my goal sheet that I want to know 7 languages before I die.

3. I’ve been working on app for the past 3 months. I started the company with 2 friends back in March, and I’ve been developing the app and infrastructure ever since. We’re going beta in a about a week. I’ll let you know when we’re on the Play Store. In the meantime, check out some stuff here:

website, and some videos: 1 2 3 4

4. I took hip hop dance classes for a while, and it was really fun. I gave up in favor of Salsa and Bachata class. I struggle learning physical things in a class though. I haven’t “graduated” past the basic/intermediate classes. I just go every other month to the same classes. I contemplate giving up entirely sometimes and resign myself to things that I’m actually naturally good at, like piano and music.

5. I took a motorcycle riding course this year with the hopes of getting my motorcycle’s license. I failed the class. It was a big slap in the face and I have since given up on it. I suck at learning things mechanical activities in a class (like dance). It’s a wonder I did so well in school. I was depressed for a little bit because of it. Maybe someday I’ll go back. Oh well, you can’t be good at everything right? Well, Theodore Roosevelt was.

Tag: 

{

thesingletwenties

boringerik

amindfulmess

falekakala

@status-diplomatique 

id3productions

esterkittylicious

@reachingev 

}


Some of these tags don’t work. Hopefully you get the message.

sirwellingtonz:

Ok I’ve just about had it with this guy at work. I don’t need to be micro-managed; I’m an engineer, and a damn good one; I know what the fuck I’m doing.

I’m going up the chain about this. I really don’t need every single line of code that I write reviewed, or second-guessed on every piece of technology I choose.

Damn now I feel kinda bad, lol. I think I hurt the guys feelings. Sometimes I let the Type A in me take over.

I spoke to my manager and communicated my concerns. Now the guy is super apologetic and takes me out to coffee. Spent over an hour frantically appeasing me.

That’s what you get for stepping on the Scorpio’s tail one too many times. Now you know where the boundaries are. Poor guy.

A man can dream

I think I’m addicted to my comforts. I spent so many years living in poverty growing up in the Bronx that I cling to this new-found wealth so tightly. Ever since I graduated college and started my career, I’ve not been short of any monetary wants. So comfortable that at times I feel out of touch.

I don’t wanna work forever. I just wanna play piano, learn Italian, read books, practice my dancing, and travel the world. I wanna live in Italy for a while. 

I wanna save money so I could live for a year without needing to work. I picture myself being humbled letting go of all the comforts I currently have. I think that’s healthy. 

You love em so much. The kind of love that’s irrevocably intoxicating when returned, yet disastrously poignant when it’s not.
Sir Wellington

"I wanna spread you out like cheese baby"

I don’t really use pick-up lines, but what do you think of that one? Funny? Corny? Eye-roll worthy? 

Ok I’ve just about had it with this guy at work. I don’t need to be micro-managed; I’m an engineer, and a damn good one; I know what the fuck I’m doing.

I’m going up the chain about this. I really don’t need every single line of code that I write reviewed, or second-guessed on every piece of technology I choose.

Halfway through my drive to work I realized I left my trunk open. LIKE A BOSS. Totally got outta bed without my marbles today. Oh what will the day bring?

What if you were all alone on this planet. What would you do?

I don't know from which account I followed you, this one of "sparklegatsby" (I use both) but your account is wonderful. You have such detailed thoughts & it's interesting

I don’t seek attention, but I can’t lie; it is very nice to have your work appreciated. Thank you so much =D

Ya Tu Sabe ;-)

-Sir Wellington

"The final dying sounds of their dress rehearsal left the Laurel Players with nothing to do but stand there, silent and helpless, blinking out over the footlights of am empty auditorium. They hardly dared to breathe as the short, solemn figure of their director emerged from the naked seats to join them on stage, as he pulled a stepladder raspingly from the wings and climbed halfway up its rungs to turn and tell them, with several clearings of his throat, that they were a damned talented group of people and a wonderful group of people to work with."

What a great intro to a book. Just the right level of detail combined with a hastened pace to keep things sharp but relevant. The environment here is described in motion, not as a static scenery in monotonous detail. Charles Dickens take notes (To be fair he got payed by the word, encouraging him to ramble).

#RevolutionaryRoad #RichardYates #Novel #Literature #Literacy  (at Starbucks)

"The final dying sounds of their dress rehearsal left the Laurel Players with nothing to do but stand there, silent and helpless, blinking out over the footlights of am empty auditorium. They hardly dared to breathe as the short, solemn figure of their director emerged from the naked seats to join them on stage, as he pulled a stepladder raspingly from the wings and climbed halfway up its rungs to turn and tell them, with several clearings of his throat, that they were a damned talented group of people and a wonderful group of people to work with."

What a great intro to a book. Just the right level of detail combined with a hastened pace to keep things sharp but relevant. The environment here is described in motion, not as a static scenery in monotonous detail. Charles Dickens take notes (To be fair he got payed by the word, encouraging him to ramble).

#RevolutionaryRoad #RichardYates #Novel #Literature #Literacy (at Starbucks)

Now did you know that what you see in the mirror is not actually you. It’s a 180° horizontally inverted version of you. We identify more with this projected self image than our real one. We tend to think of this flipped version as more attractive because of that. In fact if you ran into the “real” you in the street, you probably wouldn’t even recognize yourself.

Now did you know that what you see in the mirror is not actually you. It’s a 180° horizontally inverted version of you. We identify more with this projected self image than our real one. We tend to think of this flipped version as more attractive because of that. In fact if you ran into the “real” you in the street, you probably wouldn’t even recognize yourself.