Hello. My name is James Maa.

Why did you start this blog?

Sometime in late-august of 2012, I attended a technology conference called the Teens in Tech Conference. There, I met a girl whom I was infatuated with and therefore trying to impress. During our conversation, she mentioned that she has a blog and encouraged me to start a blog.

The idea of starting a blog has always been circulating around my head. I read somewhere on Reddit a while ago that it’s a good idea write two highlights a day to stay optimistic, be grateful for the things you have, and reflect on day-to-day matters. I was also eager to share my life and thoughts to those around me. Meeting this girl was just the right impetus to start blogging.

Long story short, the girl never responded to me after I started this blog, but I carried on blogging. After some serendipitous blogging, I’ve come to discover that my writing has helped many others lead better lives. Since then, I’ve been trying to write more.

What do you write about?

I tend to write about lifestyle experiments I’ve done and document my experience in a way that lets other people try what I’ve done. I also make random musings here and there.

Why are your posts so long?

I prefer to be more thorough and long-form than incomplete but catchy. I’m not here to preach slogans, that’s what Twitter and Facebook is for.

Quick Stats

  • Born in 1994 in Hsinchu, Taiwan
  • Move around 11 times before turning 12 and settling in California
  • I attended UC Berkeley and graduated May 2016
  • I took two solo backpacking trips around Asia for 3 months at a time
  • I’ve interned at Yahoo and Pinterest and currently work full time at Reddit as a software engineer

Important Questions I’ve Wrestled With in My Life

My hope is that my writing can help others who share similar struggles to find solutions.

  • Fall 2012
  • Spring 2013
    • How do I meet the most interesting people in Berkeley?
    • What does “success” mean to me?
  • Summer 2013
  • Fall 2013
    • Just how many things could I possibly do?
  • Spring 2014
  • Summer 2014
    • What kind of qualities do I look for in a romantic partner?
  • Fall 2014
    • How can I be a better friend?
    • Who are people whom I’d like to spend time with?
  • Spring 2015
    • Is tech something I wanted to be involved in for my future? Or am I just buying into the hype?
    • Is being productive the most meaningful thing to me? What’s it like to be completely unproductive?
    • What other opportunities and lifestyles are there in the world?
  • Summer 2015
    • Is living a “boring” life something I would enjoy?
  • Fall 2015
    • What should I do post-graduation? What kind of lifestyle would I want?
  • Spring 2016
    • What are my religious beliefs? How can I empathize better with people of other faiths?
    • How can I learn to appreciate almost anything?
  • Summer 2016 – present
    • How can I make the most of my job and career?
    • How should I spend my adult life?

Top Goals


Media References


3 Responses

  1. Julian says:

    Hey whats up! My name is Julian ,and I just wanted to say I love you…..NO HOMO!! It’s just I’ve been reading your productivity guide semi-religiously for the past 3 months. Whenever I feel like my life is spinning out of control I always read it and get back on track. Just wanted to say thanks :}

  2. Josh says:

    Hey James ,
    I just wanted to take a moment to comment , give you some kudos.
    At the moment in my life when it comes to occupation, its a bit complicated.
    So i mean its obvious not everyone has the resources to go to a pristine school to get that
    piece of paper that says your legit. So I am trying to go about my education in a conservative yet effective manner. With that being said, As and individual trying to gain as much fire power and Intel as i can so i can tear it up once those mock ups come my way. So i just want to say , keep it up man . I appreciate the knowledge and time you took to help someone like myself up. Stay good hearten man . You truly helped some one today .
    Sincerely Fabian.

  3. Laurie says:

    Hi, James. I just found your blog today. Love the way you think. Are you familiar with Cal Newport’s work? Thanks.

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