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In their element. In the zone. Who am I talking about? No, not Steph Curry. Not Tom Brady… nor Beyonce.

I’m talking about a tour guide I randomly encountered here in Manila. Yes, a tour guide.

I’ve been on a lot of walking tours the past 2 years. It wouldn’t be hyperbole to say this may have been the best one yet.

He’d erupt like a lightning rod of energy at times, mimic a dozen accents without a problem, and effortlessly use all his props: an old school cassette speaker, a binder of photos, and a pocketful of flower petals for exclamatory effect. …

“Stop it.”


When I was a kid, my mom would constantly tell me to stop shaking my legs. A nervous tic of mine that drove her mad because “shaking legs causes loss of wealth,” at least according to Chinese superstition.

Imagine my delight when I came upon the Kickstarter campaign for a nifty little toy called the Fidget Cube last September. It describes itself as a “desk toy for anyone who likes to fidget.” Each side has something you can fidget with: roll, slide, click, spin, etc.

The Fidget Cube

It was $22 after shipping for one, which is pretty expensive considering the kind of product it is. …

The Uruguay coast.

“We got robbed.”

I open my eyes. My friend said what? Was I dreaming? I’d only been asleep for maybe 2 hours.

I look around. My backpack, which was right next to my head, was gone. It contained my MacBook Pro, GoPro, and more.

I dash upstairs. 3 of my friends’ backpacks were gone too. A picturesque weekend in Punta del Diablo, a small beach town in Uruguay, ruined by a bold thief who broke in through our AirBnB window while we were sleeping.

Well fuck. Or more like… we just got fucked. #blessed


This wasn’t my first time dealing with a lost, stolen, or broken device. I’ve lost my iPhone during drunk karaoke. I’ve had random hard drive crashes where I lost all my data. …

“You want to increase the size of the pockets? To fit your new phone…?”

My tailor looked at me quizzically. He clearly thought this was a weird request despite the fact we see each other so often I’ve become his digitally savvy pseudo nephew that helps manage his Yelp. But no matter: I wasn’t going to allow a few shallow front pockets on my two favorite jeans (if you’re wondering: an A.P.C. and Acne) to ruin the experience of my new, big-screened iPhone 6S Plus.

I mention this story not to imply that I use tailors as father figures, but to convey the extent of my obsession over products and having the “best” experience. I probably spend too much time in this area than I care to admit, but it’s not exactly the hippest answer when people ask me “so what do you do for fun?” …

It begins as a tingly sensation. Most try to ignore it at first.

Bits of salt stick to my dirt bike helmet as I barrel down the Uyuni salt flats in Bolivia at 50 mph. Condensation builds under my bandana as I breathe into it. At 12,000 ft the air is thin so I have to gas it more than I’m used to.

In every direction lie vast plains of white salt as far as the eye can see. I have a strange feeling of being on another planet. This is no place for man, but I’m here anyway.

2 questions cross my mind. …

Read our story introducing here.

I’m a huge fan of deconstructionist content like Song Exploder that delve into the why and how of what people create (because people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it). In that spirit, in this section I’ve listed the reasoning behind key decisions for If you’re interested in something not listed here, feel free to tweet at me and I’ll add it to this list! It’ll be interesting to see if any of the positions we list will change based on the response we get.

  • We decided to use email to send idea reminders because it’s the most cross platform way to reach people. It doesn’t matter whether you’re on desktop, mobile, iOS, Android, Windows, or Mac. Email works for everyone. …

Remember the ideas you care about.

I wrote this “manifesto” when I was 21 years old. I’m posting it as proof of how cool I was. I mean… just look at the Bruce Lee background and the great typography /sarcasm

It’s a bit embarrassing to read back on this, no doubt. I sound like a Tony Robbins cultist, but it did help me through some tough times when I had zero idea what I was doing (a still frequent scenario).

Well, it did help me when I actually remembered them.

You see, a big problem I’ve had throughout my entire life is that it’s always been hard to live up to all these ideas I supposedly believed in because I just couldn’t remember them all. This applies to nearly everything. I read so many interesting articles or books or watch videos all the time where great ideas abound. …

You’re a product designer for hot software startup X. Your team is midway through implementing a design you came up with. Suddenly, one engineer exclaims “I really hate design detail Y, why are we doing it that way? Can we do it this way instead? Or get rid of it?” Your heart drops. Why are they bringing this up now when we’re so far into implementation?

The above problem can be boiled down to this: Your team should rarely be debating a new design after beginning implementation. …


Jono Lee

Working on something new

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