April 23, 2014


Today I turned twenty-nine. As a new tradition, I'm writing twenty-nine things I've learned in twenty-nine years.

  • Whenever a friend is on your mind contact them.

  • If you believe but don't expect you will never receive.

  • Take time to understand your interest and values; it'll help you focus, live more, and get ahead.

  • Expectation is acting on what you believe (your faith) before you see it.

  • You'll never have a breakthrough year if you focus on a breakdown year.

  • Money is a medium. Wealth is value.

  • Goals should always be aligned with values.

  • Under schedule and you'll have meaningful time to reflect and engage in leisure.

  • Like what you have to do; don’t do too much of it; get the most out of the free time that remains.

  • Stand out by means other than simply outworking peers. Be impressive.

  • Maximize rewards and interesting opportunities afforded while minimizing time investment and schedule footprint.

  • I've defeated statistics but my impact in society is not done.

  • A certain substance is really good.

  • I finally came to the realization that I will never get "into" sports. It's just not me.

  • Leaving Facebook and Instagram wasn't hard. It only made Twitter more interesting and valuable.

  • Being a star was never in God's plans. Remember this and you'll be full of Earth.

  • I don't like seeing my mom cry; losing my brother was emotional and still is.

  • Node.js isn't that bad.

  • I feel naked without a wristwatch on. I like watches.

  • Shipping is hard. Fitting a culture unlike you is even harder.

  • Marriage is cooler than I imagined; Tamara makes it beautiful.

  • Time swiftly passes.

  • Learning to think big is easier when you focus on less and meditate.

  • Knowing people use software I've open source is soothing.

  • I was reminded recently that understanding how to perform CPR is important. Learn.

  • Tamara and I are living a pretty awesome life. I'm continuously happy.

  • Vinyl records sound warmer than digital records.

  • Tattoos will be in my near future.

  • I want an experience, not money, not celebrity.

December 29, 2013

2014 Goals

This is my first time publicly writing about my annual goals, or any goals for that matter. I typically write them in a notebook or my Mac's text editor, then share them with Tamara. This routine has worked okay, but its largely been ineffective and loose.

This doesn't mean Tamara hasn't been a good support person. She's always cheered me on. Usually through packaged messages, reminding me that I have moobs or need to follow through with X. The problem has been me not honoring those goals.

If I had a blame card to give out it would say, "Royce doesn't document or track annual goals wisely".

So for 2014 it felt right to put my goals out there. The plan is to reflect next December on what went well and what didn't, sorta like Justin Mares 2013 reflection post but with more swagger. I also plan to track everything on a domain (more about this below). Hopefully the experience is insightful.

Welp, here goes a new thing...

10 goals for 2014

  • Go on (minimum) 12 dates with Tamara.

  • Pay off debt (i.e., student loans) and have a net worth of $0 or more.

  • Read 12 books from front to back.

  • Write 12 quality and useful blog posts.

  • Recieve A+ grade on 3 CS graduate courses (Taking 3 classes at CU Boulder next year towards CS Masters).

  • Exercise 208 times for at least a full hour (At a rate of 4 times a week).

  • Reduce body fat by 8 percent. Currently at 26.6 percent. Note: Follow Twitter hashtag #moobdiet for updates.

  • Create one or more software-oriented products that generates $20,000 in revenue.

  • Go on a 1 mile jog with Layla once a month.

  • Increase emotional and spirtual energy. Note: I'll do this by reviewing techniques from Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time once a month, meditating daily, and showing appreciation often.

How I plan to measure

I'll be using a mix of Fitbit, Foursquare, Google Cal, and other stuff for measurement and progress. All data will be viewable at a new site (royce.io), which isn't up yet but will be soon. I'll be using APIs for most of the data, other data will be punched in manually. You can think of royce.io as a quantified selfie site that serves as a one-stop progress dashboard. I'll tweet about the new site when its shipped.

As far as that last goal, I hope to compile feedback from Tamara (pretty sure she'll have tons of it), local friends and family. I'll summerize this feedback along with stats from royce.io in the end of 2014 results post.

Anyway, wish me luck. Happy New Year! As for you...

What are your goals? Let me know on Twitter


December 22, 2013

Introducing Chrrp

Chrrp is an iOS app that alerts tech founders when something good happens. Using Stripe's API, Chrrp lets you know when a customer signs up or when you make money. It's like a Stripe pager.

Chrrp also provides recent info on sign ups, revenue, and charges, all in a simple yet newsy app.

Learn more about Chrrp

The Story

Early October, I was gchatting with my friend Brandon Brisbon. We had our normal exchange - Brandon talked about what he was working on and vice versa. Then out of habit we started talking about ideas. The convo went like this:

Me: You know what would be a good app?

Brandon: What?

Me: An app that plays MoneyBags by Rick Ross everytime a new customer or payment is added to Stripe.


Brandon: Hmmm yea its doable, but u think people would pay $X for that?

Me: I would.

A domain purchase and few lines of code later, we created Chrrp.

Download Chrrp now and let us know what you think. If you have a request, let's chat.

For updates, follow me on twitter.

November 30, 2013

Bye Facebook

A few weeks ago I deactivated my Facebook account. It wasn't planned or on the to-do list, I just felt indifferent about the service.

Before deactivating, I checked out my activity stream, liked a few posts, wrote a comment, and looked at my notifications. The normal routine. After a few minutes went by, I was still gazing at Facebook in bed, and by then my conscious had woke up and asked, why does Facebook deserve your attention?

Back in college, I enjoyed Facebook. I could view pics of me and my friends from the night before, keep up with old and new friends, find out about local parties, and stalk people without being judged. Facebook simply complimented my college experience. But even while attending college, Facebook didn't deserve my attention.

"in an age of personal technological revolution, we all need a more explicit philosophy for adopting tools. Without this clarity, we run the risk of drowning in a sea of distracting apps and shiny web sites." - Cal Newport

Times have changed.

Facebook isn't relevant (to me) anymore and has championed a new level of distractions called social networks. I'm not anti social networks, but I'm against the bad habits they implicitly promote.

I have limited time and rather focus on projects, hang out with folks, and learn new tricks.

So yea, that's that. Less social is more.

If you wanna see what I'm doing on the internets socially, Twitter and Instagram are now my Facebook.

August 08, 2013

Do Product Faster

My Mom thinks my line of work is magic. When I told her four months ago that I was going to be a Hackstar at Techstars Boulder, she assumed I'd be locked in a room making all the Internets. Well Mommy, it's sorta like that.

A Hackstar is a software or designer craftsman who has one primary goal: do product faster. What does this mean? Unlike Techstars founders, Hackstars have the luxury of focusing only on product and not other stuff that comes with founding a company. Whether building out features or designing web user experiences, Hackstars spend a good part of the three-month camp making all things product-oriented happen.

I had the pleasure working with two companies: Shopventory and Adsnative.

Shopventory is an inventory management tool for mobile point of sales (think PayPal and Square) ran by a duo of San Diego engineers. If you run a shop, use Square or PayPal, and have a guap of merchandise, you will perfectly understand the problem at hand. I helped them with features like accepting payments, inventory items from PayPal, and abstracting how data is modeled and stored to support future integrations.

Adsnative makes it simple to integrate high-quality content into the organic experience of, say, a mobile or web app. If you're a publisher or advertiser, you'd use this tool to make ads look like everyday content on your mobile or web site. I did several things for this group of Berkley guys like interface with YouTube's API to provide feeds for easy campaign creation, set up vagrant for easy dev setup, and re-factored a feed parser to better parse RSS and web articles.

Additionally, I helped build the official Techstars Demo Day app, which will be used to broadcast TS Boulder demo day and others. It's pretty sweet.

Techstars Boulder is like an exclusive summer camp that hooks Techstars founders up. Founders learn how to run a company with respect to being honest with themselves, and their team and mentors. They get exposure from wise and successful entrepreneurs and VCs like David Cohen and Brad Feld. The list goes on and on, and it sums up to a mind blowing experience. For Hackstars, we get to experience 99% of the program like the founders minus the pressure of making hard decisions and building a successful company. Plus, we get hooked up through getting-in early with companies that are deemed to be unfairly successful.

Techstars Boulder 2013, you've been awesome. The friendships gained, knowledge acquired, and the experiences and moments enjoyed will welcomely haunt me forever. Thanks to Eugene, Luke, and Techstars for the opportunity. To others I've shared drinks with including Crystal and Chase, I will cherish our time together.

As B.B. King once said, let the good times roll.

-- Royce (Follow me on Twitter)

Want the quick 'n dirty on becoming a Hackstar? Learn more about the Techstar Hackstar program.