2019+: No more to-do listing, schedule allotted time. Smile more.

Happy new year! and first post in 2019! something I’d like to improve and implement tenaciously this year is to de-habit to-do listing and form a habit of scheduling what can be done in the near term (day, week, month max).

By living the to-do listing, I realized it’s similar to opening up interesting tabs to read later. Tasks gets buried and offers an excuse to move on without resolution.

I still believe in the fail fast mentality, if something doesn’t work abandon it quickly and iterate on, move on. I have many personal projects that I use as foundations to validate techniques or hypothesis for my grand project. When I successfully validate the possibility and achieve success I consider the personal project finished. The problem arises when I try to expand the original hypothesis by desire to monetize the project or expand it into something super cool.

By allotting time, things at least get a chance to progress, and if it’s not worth it because of a greater priority. I can chuck it with resolution, identifying time cost, that the endeavor is not worth it. This will ensure fairness between my tasks and a trial of finishing projects completely regardless of worth, away from my fail fast mentality I’ve burned in.

As a learning experience, these next couple months, I will finish out what I started no matter what even after identifying it as not good use of time, like accumulating full fledge small projects to build reward feeling and habit. But such way seems very stubborn and wasteful of our finite time. Regardless I can see the benefits and first order would be this limited months of finishing what I start no matter what.

To have both or knowing when to use either, will be beneficial to me as a leader.

Also! I want to return to more lightness by smiling more. Life had been very maturing these past few years. : )

2018 Year in Review

Currently sitting in the lobby of a Berlin Hotel on New Year Eve, waiting to see fireworks at Alexanderplatz. It’s gonna be wild! I’m going to pick up where I last left off. Much has happened in 6 months.

Glad I can say I grew a ton in the latter half of 2018 in almost all areas. I am still pretty low from starting over but I have a more refined idea of what my path.

I want to focus my studies and technical skills to be strong in AI / machine learning. Had my first R&D software internship at Yaskawa. I just want to see my idea happen. Been a lot more open and made a huge push to talk to experts so readily available at UT and mentors in Austin.

Career

  • Interviewed with Aptiv (delphi technology) for self driving car system cool!, Google for software engineer, but I don’t know if I want to be considered for data science? Data jobs? I just like machine learning and want to grow in that direction.

Summer Internship at Yaskawa

  • Learned alot about working with people
  • Notice alot more job interested in my previous experience
  • Worked with hardware and software did everything. Dabble with machine vision and AI applications
  • Chang works at google verily now building surgical robot! Crazy!!! Davinci purposely didn’t want AI capability, google does
  • Frank know alot about everything
  • Everyone cool

Smart toilet

  • Really got it moving and putting myself out there
    • Talked to mentors
    • Bob focus on finishing out CS, CS + molecular bio strong toolset what I need, think about grad school, make decision after graduation pursue it strong. Introducer. Ghosted by Tom, coincidentally same med student I met Aiden who was going to AI talk by Microsoft was his mentor ( small world )
    • Mickey friend with atlas start smaller more basic just start collecting data to prove idea
    • Chetan toilet consumer focus more basic start small then come up and patent
    • Jim just prove the idea
    • Pitched to Julia Cheek diagnostics

LongHorn startup

  • Really put myself out there try to connect, grow and learn and get accepted into longhorn startup but ultimately failed because I didn’t have a product ready by class

YALLA

  • Rather than focus on one buyer who comprise of 90% of our revenue and under her control. We want to diversify the market with global instacart
  • https://www.fastcompany.com/40504053/these-entrepreneurs-are-transforming-the-middle-easts-startup-scene

AI

  • Super exciting finished course formally CS188
  • Want to be an expert
  • Will do fast.AI, andrew ng, and learn tensorflow
  • AI is so powerful game changing
  • I cant be the best but I want to be knowledgeable and this leverage the power for application and form a startup out of it. Will ultimately be useful for smart toilet.
  • Reading bad blood, master algorithm, and augmented
  • Want to see what I can do with voice kit and vision kit.
    • Will try to value add voice kit and sell

Pintos

  • Successfully finished it! It was brutal and ate all of my time for fall semester. Was on edge of failure. I met the most brilliant partner building pintos. There are so super talented people. Very useful for a specific technical problem.

Medicine

  • This is something I don’t think I’ll ever bury completely. But my window is closing or closed. I never stopped wanting to be a doctor, but I just want too much. I was young and naive not knowing how to walk. But everyone has to learn and who knows what would happen.
  • I would have graduated and been resident physician this year if I had not had my life changing experience and desire to do more. I am often think of Icarus. But it’s exciting and what I want to ultimately achieve I want to do more
  • This summer I lost a big chance to come back but maybe at the same time not. I remember tearing up crying. Desperation and realization that my door has closed for sure. Deep down I knew.
  • I messed up my order. Couldn’t learn medicine on own but could CS. should have finished MD then pursue tech. Shouldn’t have started over at the bottom. Regret. But no one would know what would happen. I want too much, and impossible to know.
  • I can still appreciate the power of tech to truly innovate healthcare it was not something I could do from within but perhaps my goal could still be achieved with the MD.

Mom

  • This is my biggest regret I cant help her faster takes time, messed up my path.

Middle age approaching late twenties.

  • Younger people definitely could take more risk and have a bigger window of opportunities.

Frohes neues Jahr!

things are going

It’s been a while, friend! and I’m pleased to say, things are going. I finished a pretty challenge course, and the next semester will be an even critical point. (yet again! but that’s good)

I snagged an internship where I am working on cloud robotics with one of the biggest industrial robotics company in the world. Luckily it touch on topics that interest me such as AI and IoT, well granted these are IIoT! I’m learning alot in a startup like innovation branch as part of the larger mothership.

I’ve learned firsthand how bureaucratic and slow-moving large companies operate. Fortunately our branch is their innovation arm, so we stay pretty lean and get exciting work done, all the while have the backing of a large company.

I’m getting paid to learn AI and cloud infrastructure at work, and while not working, I’m trying to knock out Andrew Ng’s Machine Learning course. The course is taking a while to complete because Octave performs horribly for me. It crashes too often and leaves me too frustrated to finish. I have recently switched over to MatLab, but realistically I probably want to build my skillset in python + libraries such as NumPy.

On the side, I have a bunch of ideas in the pipeline that I hope to complete by end of summer: Allergy AI iOS app based on recommendation learning, train my Google Vision Kit Raspberry Pi to be able to count cars that pass by my patio, and more easily to use Google Voice Kit Raspberry Pi as a smart alarm clock where I can schedule it tasks without speaking to it.

The Google AIY Vision Kit is especially exciting because it serves to augment my internet camera streaming interest. Basically make my current and potentially all internet cameras capable of being “smart”, to be able to identify objects and understand its environment.

Another interesting and personally motivated project is the Allergy AI app to identify what I’m allergic too. Even though I know I am hella allergic to cedar! It would be helpful to differentiate out other allergen to make my life physically better. Spring time this year was NOT FUN; itchy dry crusty swollen eyes and months of coughing and sneezing. I do not like taking any kind of medication, but this year I’ve actively sought out and took claritin. So hopefully this app will be useful to me and others suffering from allergy.

Finally I want to update my progress my startup. I’ve meet a couple of mentors who have given very helpful advices on moving forward with a prototype from funding to technical help.

See ya! Expect another post around August!

Time

It has been about a month since school started again. This month I’ve really learned and felt what it means to prioritize my time well. I have learned its importance by having completely utilized all of my time. I had no time left. It felt good. Knowing this, made me realize how much time I’ve wasted.

It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested. But when it is wasted in heedless luxury and spent on no good activity, we are forced at last by death’s final constraint to realize that it has passed away before we knew it was passing. So it is: we are not given a short life but we make it short, and we are not ill-supplied but wasteful of it… Life is long if you know how to use it.

– Seneca, On the Shortness of Life

This is my month of growth, and a month I’d never forget.

Returning to school to study full time computer science, working in a new field, interviewing for internships, networking, managing my online business, building and bringing my internet camera as part of home automation product to market, and finally unveiling my startup Flushed to investors to start moving and breaking things quick; and despite everything, I’m okay.

Everything is relative and the only person to measure is and should be myself. I had wasted a lot of time in the past. My days are full and time well spent. I don’t have time to lounge around or time to waste. I can feel it slipping and feel its invaluable life. I started to value time as it is my own life force. There is almost nothing more powerful than the realization and respect of this absolute truth. Time to move forward and disrupt healthcare.

With this newfound understanding of time, I realized I can’t baby this idea forever. I must attempt and make Flushed happen now. I want to make my vision a reality, and I know if I don’t do it, someone eventually will. I will see this through whether success or failure. I left medical school for this and I am excited! I’ve started revealing my startup Flushed to mentors, friends, potential cofounders, interviewers, and in the coming weeks, investors.

I want to see this happen. I will make it.

Wish me luck~
Andrew

Redesign

Hey yall! It’s been a while.

I’ve decided to redesign and reboot my personal website to separate out my personal blogging and personal branding. From the beginning of andrewtvuong.com, I’ve always been on the fence about creating a static front page (that’s also dynamic! What’s the term, dynamic static?) or let the page be the blog and have no distinction.

I chose the latter, but now I want to create a more permanent presence in the digital world. Ironically, in order to gain more ownership of myself, I would have to give up a very small bit of ownership to my blogging to strengthen the whole me. I am choosing to go with and try the former now.

In respect to the blogging part, I would like to combine my personal writings with Medium and try cross posting between the two. I do have some reservations for using Medium as I feel I am handing over a bit of ownership in terms of personality and branding in my writings.

Why I feel this is the right time to try? Well I want to restart my writing with a new audience in mind and shift a little bit away from more personal posts. My primary audience in the past was myself. I used my personal website more as a diary, which included a variety of thoughts and information, everything between professional and personal.

To be clear I’m not trying to hide my views or my life, I simply want to have a more focused website and personal branding. I’ve decided to make my personal website more public and less private. In doing so I have to keep my audience in mind and not write as if a diary to myself. I will be putting my old content on private viewing with the exception of my first post.

Everything has a place and time. I am in the process of putting everything in the right place at the right time.

This change in design would allow me to build out my static front page with dynamic functions! This will allow me to focus what I want to present about my personal branding and serve as a central page to various other platforms and brands such as my startup (currently under wraps)! Additionally, the separation of brand and blogging would allow me to also focus on my blogging content. It will be more professional and also more personal at the same time! Just more organized and consistent.

Sharing my blogging to Medium will send more traffic over to my personal website, and as a result, build my digital presence at andrewtvuong.com by increasing my search authority. By separating blogging and personal branding, the root page now being static would be the most focused rather than among many concerted pieces vying for space.

This rearrangement is exciting for me to experiment and grow, not just my website, but also as a person. I’ve also had a breakthrough as a person and want to move forward with only positive energy and desire, and not that of a desire to appease the past. I want this redesign to reflect my growth and energy.

Cheers!
Andrew

Internet of Things

I’m a huge believer in what software, or synonymously imagination, has to offer. Software has so many advantages from huge scalability, margins, and unlimited possibilities. The digital world unlike, physical, is built and given life by our imaginations.

At the same time, the fast moving world of technology have enter a time period where it is ready for control of existing physical objects with the imagination of software. Microelectronics, 3D printing, energy source, cloud computing, advanced software, mobile technology, environment, and acceptability have all reached a level where the growth will now be unstoppable and only the inevitable.

Internet of Things is basically giving the imaginary software from the digital space a physical presence to further progress and improve our physical lives. IoT will imbue physical objects and existing physical processes with a sensor to collect information on the environment. IoT allows for two very powerful reward of automation and data collection.

As a result of IoT’s sensors and automated processes, we will produce and collect a huge amount of real time data that is extremely difficult if not impossible for humans using traditional models to refit the trends based on a large constant stream of new information. Accordingly, we will need the power of AI to handle the collected data by learning on its own and continually updating its model.

The ultimate goal of IoT is to free up the only resource that is finite,  time. Almost any task is possible given infinite amount of time, but that’s not reality. Previous seemingly impossible tasks will now be realistic. In a similar vein, we will have much more efficient functions and save us time from doing tedious, nonsensical work that can and should take care of itself. We will have more time.

I am looking forward to Flushed, my IoT startup that I will turn idea to reality. 2017 is going to be a great year.

Still in the Sky

I wasn’t sure what to title my first blog post from a self-hosted site, whether it is actually a new start in my journey or just the interesting, unexpected flow of life.

I should introduce myself before going any further. I am a medical school dropout who chose to pursue technology with hopes to impact the world on a larger scale. I want to spend my life reaching my potential to help progress humanity to the greatness that humans are capable of.

I am very excited to build things as an entrepreneur and someone who greatly appreciates the inter-connective power of mobile apps and the Internet.

I hope to one day usher in a technology that may set me in the position to disrupt the status quo of injustice and suffering.

I will definitely go into more detail slowly about my journey prior to withdrawing from medical school to pursue my desire for greater impact.


I have returned to school for University of Texas at Austin’s computer science program. This time around having obtained a molecular biology degree already and entered medical school, I am much more seasoned and see with new perspective. I’ve realized after going through undergrad once, was that the education and grades earned weren’t what’s important (unfortunately grades alone is the most important factor for med school admission). In hindsight, I strongly believe the most important tradeoff for attending a university is for its resources of dense, highly motivated individuals, huge funding projects, and connections. It is much alike an accelerator/incubator if valued in that sense. Without a doubt I love the opportunities available for developers/programmers at UT and the strong, growing startup culture of Austin.

I didn’t really like the city at first, but it is definitely growing on me. I dreaded the weather, being sunny, humid, and very hot almost 80% of the year. The startup scene is also a double-edged sword, though amazing for what I want to do such as founding tech startups, the food is really a hit or miss that is much overhyped due to it’s nature of being edgy, modern, and widely endorsed by my young freshmen peers (ironically I guess I’m a freshmen too!!). Due to UT’s policies I have to trudge through filler courses I’ve taken already again such as psychology and marketing. The only classes I’m looking forward to are ones relevant to computer science and excitingly Long Horn Startup hosted by Bob Metcalfe (the man invented ethernet) and Josh Baer (founder of Capital Factory).

The startup seminar was the energy I was looking for when deciding to return to school, especially what I expected UT to offer, a vast network and smart individuals. I am definitely neglecting the irrelevant courses to make time for kindling my curiosity in this new field, especially enjoying solving problem with real tools; most importantly, building things.

Being a little late in the game, I am highly motivated to speed up the learning  through personal projects and even start building the technologies I dream of. I’ve grown to love reading books, especially about software development, website development, SEO, marketing, selling, history, and inspiration.

I am currently working on a few iOS projects that I hope to bootstrap to market and/or develop minimum viable products for accelerators/incubators.

In addition to building apps, I wanted to dabble into building my brand, with my personal website and blog as my headquarter. Owning and hosting this blog is a fun learning experience. I have a second domain askyforever.com that I will use to experiment and build using HTML/CSS to what this wonder WordPress powered blog looks and functions like.

I love taking risks and coming back for a computer science degree may seem contradictory, but I am living for others I love as well. So as much as I wanted to go all in, I have to consider their wellbeing as well. I needed a fallback, but entrepreneurship is by far the main game plan.

My name is Andrew Vuong, and I am a developer, entrepreneur, tech lover, and Med School Dropout.

This is only half of the story, my other half is living with me in Austin as well. 🙂

I’m excited to blog and share my exciting experience into the uncertainty of life. Follow my journey here or on:

GitHub/andrewtvuong


I’ve taken a leap of faith and have not quite landed yet. I hope I can be of great use to this world when I do.