My daughter’s third birthday was coming up and she’s been really into music over the past few months. Over the past year, I’ve been hired as her personal deejay when we enter the car. We’re constantly singing “A Whole New World” or “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” together. It became clear that making something that can play her favorite songs was something she would love. Two weeks later this idea was brought to life.

Music Box with Virtual CDs

This has grown to be one of the most complex projects I’ve ever built. So here’s my journey.

The Requirements

So…


While spending so much time at home, I found myself being on my phone even more — often averaging 3.5hrs daily according to screentime. While there’s lots of good with having your phone nearby, I found it as a constant source of distraction. There are many studies out there discussing this topic so I won’t go there. Needless to say, I was looking for a better way to keep me away from my phone.

This is what I eventually came up with:

Following a mixture of methods from James Clear’s Atomic Habits and Marie Kondo — I wanted to find…


Over the past few months I’ve been going through an incredible journey of self reflection and discovery of “enough”— which I will detail in another journal. This journey has encouraged me reevaluate how I spend my time and money, making shifts in my thinking that leads to long term happiness — as well as short term happiness, as I now have a greater appreciation for what I already have. As we’re approaching Black Friday, I had the strong urge to not fall into the normal trap I fall into every year with trying to find the best deal. …


First off, gmail is a life saver. It is featured packed but also very proprietary. Things started to get more difficult when I tried to accomplish two things: 1) utilizing Apple’s native features and 2) a more adaptive inbox.

I am an apple user across the board (iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV). One thing I come to love was their togetherness, or what they call “Continuity” in iOS8 and Yosemite. This lead me down a rabbit hole of trying to use Apple’s native mail.app. …


it depends…

For anyone that has read The Lean Startup, they emphasize building a product based on MVP (minimal viable product), and iterate on that based on your customer’s needs and feedback. While this is great on determining whether you are really adding value to your users, you quickly become a trapped in becoming a client services company; tailoring your product to the market demands.

This assumption holds more true in some industries and products than other, and has been the case for the product we’ve built. We work in an industry with very few but large clients, this means that we’re…

Gilbert Chan

|| Build Something Together || Maker~ProductDirector~Collaborator

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