A New Start(up)

The time is nigh to build something new! I'm banding together with a couple of friends, both old and new, to search for problems worth solving.

We are currently looking for ways to distribute the future. During my time at the previous startup, I got to witness and utilize cutting edge AI technology. I slowly began to ask myself, "How can we bring these pieces of tech to Southeast Asia and use them in novel ways?".


The (Ex)-Weeb Gets to Work on a VTuber Startup

After many years since Make School, I finally got to re-unite with one of the co-founders of Make School to work on a new startup based in LA. Initially we were looking to help IP holders and communities distribute their 3D assets, but after a while we pivoted into VTubing (somehow).

We asked ourselves, "What does a fun, interactive & immersive VTubing fandom & viewing experience look like?". We brought in the latest tech, from high-end game engines to generative AI, and integrated them into our streams.

As a (former) avid enjoyer of VTubers & anime, I certainly never imagined myself putting my knowledge to good use!


I had so much fun building a multiplayer game in UE5 for our VTuber community. We essentially built a virtual space in-game where fans & viewers can interact with the VTuber during stream.

Later I got to dive into LLMs & Stable Diffusion to experiment with creating innovative interactive content. ComfyUI in particular was quite fun to play with to "animefy" various types of media.


A Foray into the Beauty Tech Industry

The thing about dev houses and startup studios is that you don't get to have full ownership over the product you're building. With this in mind, I left Oroboro to co-found Mecapan, a marketplace for beauty services.

Women in Indonesia were struggling to easily find and book beauty services for various occasions, and we built an app as well as a community around this issue.

There are tons of stories to tell from my time at Mecapan, like how we survived the pandemic and temporarily moved away from technology. Perhaps one day I'll write more about them–we shall see!


As CTO, I got to build an engineering team in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and owned product design & engineering. We built our app in Flutter amidst all the craze and our backend in Node.js with TypeScript.

I learned a ton from my time as CTO, from things like migrating a entire DBs in production to resolving post-hack issues. These are engineering stories to tell for another time & place!


A Digital Nomad Tries to Build a Startup Studio

After a couple of stints teaching iOS and giving talks at conferences, it was time to make money because I had none. Now you'd think that looking for an entry level software engineering role would be wise, but the young and naive me (and friends) decided to start a dev house instead without any prior experience. Fantastic decision-making!

We could barely scrape by for the longest time, but being a digital nomad at the time was very cheap so somehow I survived. I flew to a different city in Southeast Asia every month and got to travel solo which was an unforgetable life-changing experience.

After multiple struggles, we eventually stabilized (somewhat) into Oroboro. We built a small awesome remote team and spent time exploring what the ideal company looks like, how to build great culture and what a great product development process entails. While it wasn't the biggest success, the lessons we learned from working on Oroboro were invaluable.


We were young and naive so we decided to use all the latest "coolest" tech at the time. We built with React and React Native for UI and Redux for state management. I got to go deep into NodeJS for backend as well. But then we also invested in Kubernetes and Jenkins, our own DevOps flows, and boy they were something else alright!


SF & The Birth of a Technologist

If you decide to go for high school in the UK, we won't have money for college. – Adrian's Dad

Well, turns out he wasn't bluffing! Desperate to figure something out, I started learning Python on TreeHouse and eventually discovered Make School's Summer Academy. I applied and got in! (barely.)

Long story short, I built a game, made the art and designed the music myself. They really liked it, so I got to enroll at Make School Academy, their college alternative program. It was here that I got to meet my future co-founders, colleagues and friends (and later a boss as well). San Francisco was where everything began.


I learned software engineering & product design from Make School and decided to focus on iOS dev towards the end. Reactive UI was the latest craze at the time and somehow I got to learn it from ReSwift first instead of React! (Benji, my iOS instructor, was the author of the ReSwift library.)


The Entrepreneur Wannabe Begins His Adventure

Desperate to leave the bubble of reality I was in, I left Indonesia alone for a small seaside city in the UK called Torquay to complete my final years of high school. I had a fantastic time there with friends from around the world and even got to meet my future fiancé!

I enjoyed focusing on the arts, literature and physics for my IB diploma. I also had the amazing opportunity to join youth entrepreneurship programs, spending a summer at Wharton and flying back and fourth to Boston for an incubator at Harvard.

© 2024 Adrian Wisaksana