My 21st century wedding proposal with Paper for iPad

Proposals. Oh man. So much pressure to get this right and it is filled with social expectations! Having dated Dinusha for 6 years, it was my turn to pop the question. I honestly just didn’t want it to be lame.

After months of back and forth with a jeweller, I got the ring. I wanted to propose in a secluded beach. I picked Kingscliff beach as the my winner (Cabarita would have been good too).

I just felt like this proposal needed something more. It needed something that really speaks for the occasion and reflects who I am. Plus, I knew the ring wasn’t going to be a surprise. Having an extra element would be a lot of fun.

No, not a flash mob!

So I turned to my iPad.

This is “Book” by FiftyThree

“Book” is an accordion style printed Moleskine book. First, you have to digitally illustrate the pages using the “Paper” app. Then all you have to do is to pick and arrange the order of the pages and hit "Print".

I've always loved drawing. While illustrating a whole book takes a while, I felt that using a little bit of technology would make this a lot more reflective of who I am. And more fun! So I decided to give it a shot. I used the "Pencil" stylus (as you may have guessed, also from FiftyThree as well, given the super creative names) to illustrate on Paper for the Book.

I started the project by brainstorming ideas on what life events I should illustrate. I included things like the first time we met and talked, our Europe trip, favourite hike, our ‘alter ego’-toys which kept company in our 3 years apart etc. And finally a place to pop the question and make this contract binding :).

I ordered 2 copies — one of her and one for me. The order arrived just 2 days before the proposal! phew

I managed to find a secluded part of the beach. We sat on a sand dune with two apple ciders and some Noosa chocolates and watched the waves. Afterwards, I pulled out the book and reminisced through the pages.

The book was a complete surprise. She took her sharpie out and wrote “Yes”. Yay!

It was a month long effort. Drawing, erasing, redrawing, colouring and editing. It took me a while to understand and work around the limitations of Paper app. Towards the end of the project, I had developed a certain style in the drawings. There was a common theme running across with the “heart strings”. This caused me to revisit some of my initial work and redo them.

The best part for me is that I produced a piece of work that was truely cherished by Dinusha. Hopefully, it is something she could, keep forever. I think it spoke a lot more than the ring.

The engagement book was unique and creative. It reflected my personality well. While it is very much an analogue creation, I was still able to back up the digital drawings to Dropbox and iCloud.


Time for a reset

I have been writing my Squarespace blog for about two years now. Yet, I can never achieve a consistent writing routine. Months go by without any posts. Over the Christmas break, I thought about why this was the case.

While the blog represents my thoughts, they do not belong to a topic or theme. I don’t have a strong goal set to break droughts, or to police pieces that are quickly becoming novels. I have many abandoned posts in my iA Writer folder that have simply grown too large.

I’m getting organised this year. I “started with why”, like Simon Sinek prescribes.

So why does this exist? 

I believe there is a practical and meaningful way to live a good, healthy, balanced life in this technology dominated world.

Given that I am working in the industry, I have a unique insight to this crazy tech world. I want to explore and tell people about products and ideas that help me achieve a balanced life. I want to talk about how technology influences what I do.

Therefore, I am renaming my blog. It is no longer “Android with an Apple shaped heart”. It is a little more agile, little more relevant and a whole lot simpler. It is going to set the theme for the posts from now on:

Incrementally Better

Yes, it is a reset. If Star Wars, along with so many other Hollywood franchises, can do reboots, so can my blog. It’s gonna be awesome!


Brief Look Back at My 2013

There was a lot that happened in 2013. Here are some of the highlights!

I learned a thing or two about Marketing

Being a part-time indie developer, I am used to just focusing on the technical aspects of making apps etc. At the beginning of 2013, I figured out that this is just not going to fly anymore. Apps we made under M2D2 were doing badly due to our lack of marketing knowledge. We honestly couldn't find anyone who was as passionate and driven to do some marketing, free, on the side. At the end of the day, I learned to how to make a better app: one with a story.

We ended up increasing our sales by a whopping 100%. When you start at a couple of dollars, jump is significant!

M2D2 became a company #winning

Suneth & I made the best app we ever made to date. I managed to buy myself an iPad Mini Retina from my earnings as an indie app developer!

I made 2 YouTube videos

Back when I was a teenager, this was a huge passion of mine. I wanted to make videos. Eventually this got sidelined with other priorities. I finally got an opportunity to try it out with the introduction of our 60Hz app's second version. We decided we needed a video as part of my own marketing plan. Having no budget set aside, I did it myself.

I Learned Ember.JS & SASS

One of the coolest frameworks around right now -- Ember.JS. If you haven't tried you really ought to. It is hands down the best JS framework ever made to date (that I've read about / tried). We decided to adopt it at Vigil for our next project.

I bought a bicycle + UP band. Lost some weight as a result. Went to a Coldplay concert. Had many birthday cakes. Significantly reduced my time on Facebook. Kept up my hate for Samsung. Tried Airbnb. Got into UX properly. Rekindled my love for Rösti.

I decided love is worth the sacrifices #YOLO

Most of all, I had a GREAT TIME.

 

There's a lot coming in 2014 to look forward to. New product launches, app launches, Europe trip, remote working and much more.

My new year's resolution for 2014: READ LONGER, WRITE OFTEN.