My name is Stephen.

I like to write and tweet.

I work, code and photograph.

Learn more about me and my blog.

Book Notes: The Psychology of Money

This is my favorite book of 2020, hands down. Morgan Housel put together a masterpiece about the fascinating human behavior behind money. Here's the notes I took.

How to Build Trust as a New Grad

As someone new to the workplace, you are keen to earn your reputation. The easiest way to do that is to build trust amongst your team and company.

Fruition 2.0

For those who don’t know, Fruition lets you add a custom domain to your Notion pages. After a super successful 1.0 release, today I'm announcing the 2.0 release.

How to Have A Successful First 30 Days at Your First Job

A lot has been written about getting your elusive first job as a new grad, but not much has been written about succeeding at that job and growing your career.

The Beauty of Notion

I researched thoroughly how Notion works behind the scene, and put together this report into Notion's data model that powers its impressive functionalities and intuitive UX.

Fruition: Inside Look

Fruition is a side project I made to use custom domains and pretty URLs for Notion pages, and this is the story of how it got to #7 on Product Hunt, 10000 visitors, and a lot of positive reviews from users.

25 Things I Learned At Age 25

If you only read one post on my blog, this is the one. I touched on growth, perspective, luck, money, comparison, balance, and a special #yolo category. I view this post as my guiding principles in life.

This Blog's Tech Stack

Come behind-the-scene to discover all the new tech I'm using to make this newfangled blog beautiful and lightning fast! Spoiler: it is very boring.

10 Years Ago

This is my version of the American Dream. In 2008, I came to the United States of America. In 2018, I graduated from Stanford. In between, I learned how to speak English, how to code, and more importantly, how to be a better person.

Graduated, Heartfelt Appreciation

I cried a little thinking about all the great memory I had at Stanford. These would undoubtedbly be the best 4 years of my life. Thank you to all my friends, TAs, and professors who had made my experience at Stanford truly unforgettable.

Stanford Essay: Starting from the Bottom

Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

Stanford Essay: From Fortune 1,000,000 to Fortune 1,000

Stanford students possess intellectual vitality. Reflect on an idea or experience that has been important to your intellectual development.

Stanford Essay: Map Madman

Virtually all of Stanford's undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate—and us—know you better.

Stanford Essay: Today You, Tomorrow Me

What matters to you, and why?

Things I Learned While Working in the Government

I interned at Alameda County's IT Department during the summer as a high school student. This is my first time working in the "real world". I learned a whole bunch of useful lessons.

My Setup

I shared the hardware, desktop apps, web apps, and mobile apps I used to get my work done. This genre of posts have always been my favorite to read. Now it's time to share my own.

On Networking

I value networking, because networking leads to infinite opportunities. People I have met at conferences over the years have changed my life. I wouldn't be where I am today without the like-minded entrepreneurs I got to know through conferences.

Work Freedom

After several years of freelance programming work, I explained why I loved the independence. Namely, the freedom of time, the freedom of location, and the freedom of creativity have really appealed to my personality and working style.

The Last 5 Years

This month is the 5 years mark since I arrived in the United States. It has been an incredible ride. Come join me as I rewind to 2008 when I first landed at San Francisco International Airport.

Complete Marketing Guide for WP Developers

A series of long guest posts I wrote for TutsPlus on how to market your WordPress plugins successfully. I touched on everything from idea validation, design, development, sales, marketing, PR, customer service, product iteration, data analysis, and more.

60 Post-Launch Strategies for Startups

A collection of strategies I learned about growing a project post-launch, covering promotions, connecting with customers, advertising, social media, business development, support, website, testing, tracking, interviews, guest posts, and development.

Launching Artsy Editor

This is the reveal of my distraction-free WordPress What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) editor project. Turns out this was two months before WordPress built their own version and released to the world for free.

Reaching Profitability Before Launch

It wasn't easy to get to ramen profitability before releasing Artsy Editor publicly, but I was certainly proud that I did it. There were many good product development, customer research, and marketing lessons learned in this one.

How Did I Get 38 Willing-to-Pay Customers Before Writing Code?

Artsy Editor was an idea to build a distraction-free WYSIWYG editor as a WordPress plugin. In 9 days, I showed 1000+ people my mockup, and 38 of them were already ready to pay for it. This is the post where I share how I did it and the techniques I used.

Emotional Roller Coaster

I shared some details about the ups and downs of working on entrepreneurial endeavors and freelancing projects as a high school student. Spoiler: it's not easy.

Chrome Web App Development Guide

Chrome Web App was a trendy topic in the web development circle around this time, so I used my experience with OhBoard to write a step-by-step tutorial on how to create a Chrome web app.

6 Tips on Getting Things Done Fast

Check out the methods I use to balance between working on multiple apps, freelance projects, school assignments, and still manage to stay productive.

Why $3.99, Not Free?

Learn the rationale behind the $3.99 price tag on my whiteboarding Chrome extension. tl;dr - I believe people get genuine value out of it - time saved, producitivity increased, work quality improved.

OhBoard Manifesto

I wrote down why I decided to build a Chrome extension that transforms your browser into a whiteboard.

iTunes Instant Manifesto

iTunes Instant is an instant search interface for iTunes. I built in on a whim one night, after seeing the success of YouTube Instant. It ended up going viral overnight on Twitter. The articles on the blogosphere soon followed. iTunes Instant ended up being my lucky home run.

Lessons Learned with OneExtraLap

Even though OneExtraLap never succeeded, I learned so much. I poured my heart and soul into it for 8 straight months, and I'm extremely proud of what I accomplished. This was my first crack at building my own thing, and I never looked back.

OneExtraLap is officially launching!

OneExtraLap is a social quizzing app I made. It was my first ever web app. Designing, developing, and marketing it was so exhilarating and nerve-wracking. I learned HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, and MySQL along the way as well.

Life Reflection

My first ever blog post. I was a little teenager, just rambling about life, at a time when my English wasn't even that great. This was when I first got a taste of the tech industry. This was also when I had so many random ideas for apps I wanted to build.

About Me

Dear reader, welcome to my site.