2018: Year in Review

Received $638.18 in donations – thank you to all

Grappled with depression on a couple of occasions, including the longest depressive spell I’ve ever experienced

Towards the start of the year, I set some ambitious goals to carry myself and the broadcast forward. Let’s recap:

Goals for 2018

Q1 Achieve financial independence
Q2 Sow seeds, keep the nose to the grindstone
Q3 Reap
Q4 ?
Become a millionaire by the end of the year

I started the year with some content experiments

Back when I was broadcasting myself playing video games, I wanted to get the attention of Team XIM. They announced the XIM APEX on New Year’s Eve, 2017, and after a quick search on YouTube, I tossed up this video that I made using iMovie on my iPhone while laying on my bed:

Using feedback gained from this piece, I then went on to create a more polished presentation

I was very excited by the reception: my YouTube channel began picking up steam. With this early success under my belt, I felt confident to take on the rest of the year, believing I had cracked the formula to growth on YouTube.

For years, I’ve known the importance of process, and I committed myself to capturing it. Even while I was a gaming livestreamer, I would broadcast my work in progress. I changed the format of my broadcast, livestreaming to document my waking hours: everything from preparing my morning coffee, to walking Paul, to my evening ritual. What better than embracing the magic of video?

Using the tools I had at my disposal, I experimented with a multitude of IRL streaming apps on iOS, eventually settling on Streamlabs.

Unfortunately, some of the earliest broadcasts aren’t archived, as I didn’t have my process together.

I set up an RTMP server for greater flexibility, and the frustration compounded

Having friends in the know is always a blessing. One of my childhood friends, Jeff, headed to China for work. He shared a couple of resources, and also suggested I reach out to Bryan, the guru. I learned about travel hacking and began implementing. While other broadcasters passed out business cards, I acquired business credit cards.

I experimented with manufactured spend at sufficient volume to cover my cost of living expenses, but I was hesitant to scale. After experiencing my first bank shutdown, I avoided getting deeper into MS.

My new lines of credit allowed me to invest back into the equipment and infrastructure that powered my broadcast. I acquired a 2017 MacBook to replace my 2011 MacBook Air. I also picked up an iPhone 8 Plus, choosing it over the iPhone X because I didn’t want to have to replace my olloclip lens kit. I shifted all my monthly recurring expenses over to my 0% APR card, and banked on my ability to produce a winning broadcast.

ankistar from the Asian Identity Discord

Witnessed a sudden boom in my Twitch viewership after I began showing my AR-15 in the weeks following Parkland. I took the opportunity to lead discussions, and had the privilege of interacting with a great many knowledgeable persons. Out of the discussions and late nights, I published my first post on Medium, Mass Shootings: A Game Theoretic Solution to End an American Epidemic.

I attended my first ever firearms course, offered by Monarch Defense

I invited my friend, Wesley Wilson, to join me on the air from prison.

On March 16, my Twitch channel suffered its first indefinite suspension. I remember the sinking feeling in my heart when I realized what had happened, but I attacked the problem with vigor, and was back in no time.

I went hunting for the first time

In the early hours of April 29, my fuel pump failed, leaving me stranded on Beltway-8 and I-45. I was headed back home following my second visit out to Andy’s hunting grounds. It took almost four hours for a tow operator to arrive and take me back home.

I was banned from /r/aznidentity

I experienced an American Express financial review. Although they terminated my accounts, the best possible outcome took place: I was able to get my Membership Reward points reinstated. I stopped trusting MacOS’s Preview app for handling PDFs.

I’m now sitting on 126,000 miles in my ANA account, enough for a Round the World business class redemption

At the end of May, I joined my parents for a roadtrip. We visited Rocky Mountain National Park and Arches National Park, along with a handful of state parks. I came back with a renewed sense of vigor.

Joseph, a good friend from college, stopped by Houston. We hung out on June 16, and shot.

I picked up a QuickJack, put it together, and got my car off the ground.

Received a phone call from an FBI agent

In the early hours of June 28, I received my second indefinite suspension from Twitch after hosting NDS TaLoN on my channel:

I remember going out to eat lunch one day with my mother, my brother, and his wife, and feeling terrible. My father had phoned ahead and ordered one of the house specialties, 八宝鸭, but I had little appetite.

On July 25 I took the GRE. When I retrieved my possessions from the little locker at the testing facility, I was surprised to learn that my parents were right next door. They treated me to a meal at Red Lobster.

With a heavy heart, I went back to the University of Missouri to complete my MBA. I brought my clothing, a fan, and a lightweight computing setup. Enrolled in all of two and a half credit hours.

Participated in Startup Weekend October 5 – October 7

On October 17, I flew out to Boston on IBM’s dime, and stayed a couple nights in Cambridge, MA to attend the finalist event for the IBM Vault:

I landed an internship offer, which I accepted. I’ll be attending orientation on January 16.

Tossed my art installation on August 11.

Grew more comfortable with social media. Live-blogged my trip to and from Houston for Thanksgiving.

Acquired my first Android phone, a Google Pixel 3 XL

Fired off a write-up describing my lifestreaming setup

Visited the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, AR
Discovered the joys of port
Hosted Wesley Wilson’s girlfriend when she visited Houston

Played the Final Fantasy VII Piano Collections version of the FF7 Main Theme

Caught a flat tire the evening of December 30

Goals for 2019

Finalize my lifestreaming rig
Reward myself for completing my MBA by redeeming a round the world business class itinerary, and bringing the show on the road
Land a six-figure full-time remote position

There’s a lot to look forward to – I can hardly wait.