Five Things You Didn’t Know About Me

January 20, 2007 Posted by Tyler Cruz

35 Days and counting until I move in…

  • Five Things You Didn’t Know About Me
  • Arbitrage a Bust…

Five Things You Didn’t Know About Me

I was tagged recently to post on this topic, so here I go.

5. I once dressed up and lip-synced as Hanson in front of the school

Yes, it’s true. I even wore a long blonde-haired girl’s wig. The school year was ending and I was in grade 11 I think. My band teacher decided to take a break from actual band and made everybody give a presentation to the class. We were allowed to choose whatever type of performace, as long as it was related to music.

Most students, therefore, opted to dress up and do a lip-snyc. I took a couple of my friends and a… very quiet and studious kid with gray sweatpants and glasses named Wilson, and created this big stage medly of performances. I opted to choose really lame songs and artists for fun. Hanson, at the time, was still fairly known and hated and an obvious choice.

What’s crazy is that I’m very reserved, and was very quiet and shy in high school. But for some reason I let it all hang out and I gave Wilson some instant fame, as he TOTALLY came out of his shell and was dancing all around the stage with the lights out and the strobe lights going… it was awesome.

Among out other ‘acts’ was breakdancing (I learned to do some basic breakdancing. My friend Den, Anders, and the Wilson kid agreed to meet up every morning for two weeks or so and learn and practice to breakdance) which was quite an extraordinary feeling when doing it in front of an audience with the strobe lights going and the music pumping, a western line dance, and even Baby Got Back, where Wilson, unbelievably, memorized all the lyrics and did a CRAZY hilarious dance. He was famous in school after that. Kind of like Carleton from the Fresh Prince.

4. I used to be in a band

Actually, at one point I was in 5 bands at once (Concert band, Jr. Stage Band, Sr. Stage Band, Jr. Combo, Sr. Combo), however I am referring to a small group called Blue’s Clues, although we had kept changing our name. It wasn’t a rock band or anything, but a jazz combo. We played jazz, funk, etc. Cool stuff, too, not Kenny G or anything, but real Jazz.

I played the piano and the keyboard with the best keyboard amplifier, the leader was a very good trombonist, a very talented drummer, tenor sax, bass, and for a while we had an AWESOME guitar player.

We played gigs around town, and even went on a tour to some of the mountains here including Whistler. Our highlight came, in my opinion, when we won Gold at the West Coast Jazz Festival, in the category ABOVE the one we were eligible to enter as. As a result, we were invited to come back next year as the showcase band.

We also did well when we went to Moscow, Idaho to play at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival.

I miss band and the jazz combo and all that. It’s a lot of fun travelling places and just doing the whole music thing… if you haven’t experienced it, it’s really something unique.

3. I play badminton

Yup. Short and sweet. I play badminton and I love it, it’s so much fun. I go twice a week, on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s and get back at around 9:30pm.

As a side note, I believe fellow web entrepeneur Jon Wheatley used to be like one of the best in England when he was a bit younger…

2. I used to be obsessed with chess

Yup. I haven’t really played in several years, but when I was a lot younger I was in absolute love with the game. I’d often sit on the floor in my room and play against myself for hours, or go over games from the chess magazine En Passant, to which I subscribed.

I played in numerous tournaments, however mostly school-related ones or ones on the island as we couldn’t afford to travel to the mainland or down to Victoria to attend them. Each year I usually won the following same route: school championship (where you play the same grade you’re in at your school) -> regional championship (where you play against all the school winners from all the schools around your area and neighbouring cities) -> provincial championship. I never made it past the provincials though, I suck 😛 After that is of course the nationals where you compete to be the best in your country.

I also played in adult tournaments… again I didn’t play in a lot even though I longed to, because it was too expensive for my parents. My best placement was when I placed 1st in the Victoria Labor Day U1800. I also beat Larry Christiansen (2500-2600 USCF rating) and Dimitry Tyomkin (2400-2500 I believe), who are Grandmasters, but it was online and they were 2-minute games 😛 (I’m much better at blitz than I am normal 40/120 time).

I quit chess as computers got more into the picture and chess became mostly book preparation (opening memorization) and less and less actual creativity.

1. I moved to Korea by myself at age 19

It’s true. I was very interested in Korea and took it upon myself to learn the language. I hunted down Koreans in my city.. literally hunting them down. I put up posters around town, went to the multicultural centre and asked (heh) if they had any Koreans. I went up to the college and looked for Koreans and approached them.

I eventually found some and would drive across town to their homes almost every day and would spend, oftentimes, 10-12 hours there talking and learning Korean.

I did this for many months, then after a year or so, again for many months with another lady. I got up to a pretty decent level… the Korean lady said I was at about a grade 4 reading level, and my pronunciation and listening was improving well too. My writing and reading were the best though; listening is always most difficult.

Here are two samples of the level I got to. Unfortuantely now I forget so much of what I learned, but I’m sure if I were to take it up again that I’d relearn it fast:

Shortly after, I moved to Korea by myself. What an experience, heh.

Arbitrage a Bust…

Many months ago I had mentioned that I was going to try the PPC arbitrage game. I also mentioned that I was going to break a cardinal rule of mine and partner up. My chosen partner was Bryan Le, however things did not work well.

It started off decent with us meeting several times a week on Ventrilo for voice conferences. We had sorted out our niches, how payment and ownership would work, etc. We then picked out six domains of our chosen niches. We did a fair bit of research before picking these niches as well.

I then went and researced some of these niches, writing (or regurgitating) custom content for the websites. I spent many hours doing this, and the one thing I learned from doing so is that I never want to do that again. It’s so not for me – it’s complete busy work and completely reminiscent of researching stuff back in high school and writing essays. So, at least I learned I never want to write the content again myself, and will have to hire out or get somebody else to do it.

Anyhow, to make a long story short, Bryan pretty much disappeared for several weeks. When he returned, I told him I couldn’t continue to work under those conditions and we split. I took two of the domains and he kept four (one was for our domain blog and another was a similar domain to one of our niches so it was an even split).

I can partly understand why Bryan was busy – I’m very busy too, but he had exams to deal with. However, when I do something, I want to do it. I thought Bryan would be more gung-ho about the arbitrage thing, which is why I originally chose him. I rarely ever partner, but when I do, I want it to be with somebody who has a very good work ethic and is very enthusiastic and gung ho. I want them to work harder than me (which isn’t saying much…). I care more about work ethic than I do technical skill or experience. I’d rather partner with somebody who puts in 3-4 hours a day and has not a lot of experience or success or poor design/programming skills, than I would somebody who’s a great designer but only ‘checks in’ an hour a week…

That being said, I’m still interested in the arbitrage thing – and I have two niches and domains to continue with it. I also have some cash to put into funding. So if anybody is interested in partnering with me on learning this crazy thing called performance marketing, you can contact me. Just remember that I’d want you working your ass off 🙂 And, I’ll admit that I’d be putting very little time in comparison myself…

Update: This opportunity has already been filled due to an overwhelming response, sorry!

That’s all for now.

Good luck and good earnings!

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Posted: January 20th, 2007 under Personal  

4 Responses to “Five Things You Didn’t Know About Me”

  1. Andrew Wee says:

    Hey Tyler,
    From my experience, it seems like 90% of partnerships don’t work out.

    And you’d spend a lot of time looking for the right people to work with.

    At the moment, I have a partner whom I was supposed to do internet marketing projects with.

    We set up a company, opened a corporate banking account, funded it and they’ve now taken a position doing backend IT support for a bank.

    Now a chunk of my cash is stuck in the bank and I’m soloing it.

    On the other hand, I’ve heard horror stories from my friends who decide to do business with their best friend. Somehow the friend skips town with all of their profit and their startup capital, and it’s something that I’ve heard over and over again.

    What I’ve learned is that if you take things a step at a time, work on parallel projects and see if your working styles are aligned, then you take it from there.

    It’s like dating. You have to get to first base, because if you go for home run on a first try, it’s not likely to last long, is it?

    Anyways, arb is something I’m looking into and picking up knowledge from all over the place, including WF.

    Hit me up and perhaps we can share our knowledge.


  2. crunchi says:

    Hey man, that’s really a long post!


  3. PigsnieLite says:

    And I wuz there when many of those things happened to Tyler.
    I could never go to Korea by myeself on the expectation of earning money as a tutor. However, I didnt know Tyler actually had musical leanings, I thought he wuz completely uncultured, hahaha!

  4. Hahahaha, I love Badminton too. It’s very poular here in Thailand. Never played it back home though. You should take up Thai as your next language project (It is really hard)



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