About Jake

That silly pile of rubbish

Game Shows

I am deeply in love with game shows. So much so that I have invented several of them and have hosted several episodes of one called To Say the Least. You can hear episode 9 below or listen to test audio from a new game show concept I'm perfecting called Word Up.

The reason I love game shows as much as I do is because they manifest three of my favorite elements of humanity in their purest form.

  • The element of play.
  • The balance between rewards in a meritocracy and the randomness of fate.
  • A chance to change one's personal situation in a very public forum.

I consistently bring these gaming principles to the work that I do.

Games

I also invent and develop other games that aren't so game-showy.

Groupthink

One is called Groupthink, which actually was invented by my friend Jon Bell, but I turned around his idea and improved on it. The object of the "game" is to create sentences with your friends. You put a word into the sentence and have to wait until someone else adds a word before you can add your own again.

I developed the game interface through an IM client and SMS gateway, meaning you can IM it or text it to play the game. It was written in PHP and has a MySQL backend. All of the finished sentences are posted to Twitter

I developed a version for frog and am currently deploying that version for the world at large. I made a video to highlight the new features I developed for the game. Take a look.

Lohai

I have also invented a trick-taking card game called Lohai. The object of the game is to take the most or the least number of tricks in a round to win points. It uses a modified deck of cards with several new specialty cards that alter a given trick. After much prototyping and play-testing, designing and redesigning, I am proud to announce it will be ready for purchase in February 2013.

I designed many deck concepts. One kind of boring concept is below.

Boring Lohai cards

But a much more exciting concept is in the works now. I hope to have this game published by 2013.

Awesome Lohai cards

Comedy Writing

One of my friends created a "mockuvational" optimal life coach character called Dwell Taylor and approached me about lending a hand to provide booth support for a live performance. I saw the potential in the character and, in 5 months, became a full co-writer for three full one hour one-man shows performed at the Jewelbox Theatre at the Rendezvous Bar in Belltown: iRisk, iFail To Succeed, and iSoar All Over.

Finances

I am completely nerdy about investing and personal finances. This was borne from my reckless relationship with money I had in the past. I had the entirely unpleasant experience to tell my partner, who I had been with for three years and had been handling the bills for, that I had racked up $23,000 in credit card debt. In a short time, we had payed off that debt, saved up 6 months of living expenses, and have started on a four-year plan to be completely debt free, house and all.

In my personal debt rehabilitation, I had taken the advice of luminaries such as Suze Orman and Dave Ramsey. However, my personal favorite is consumer expert Elizabeth Warren. Her book, All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan really spoke about the traps that are set by banks and other financiers to keep you in a lifetime of debt. She is my idol.

I have paid my lessons forward to several co-workers, family members, and friends to help them establish a good relationship with their money. I hope to one day become an expert in the field and help marginalized communities, like LGBTQ people, racial minorities, and religious minorities, to control their finances, bringing the focus away from money and on to making their communities stronger and more vibrant.

Personal Responsibility

I believe in a strong moral ethic which includes taking responsibility for your actions. I demand this out of teams I lead and people I am friends with. With this comes a healthy dose of understanding when mistakes happen. This standard of responsibility and understanding helps teams focus not on pointing or shifting blame but instead on taking risks and doing great work.