Ambii Wins $10,000!

The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure – Sven Goran Eriksson

Quick Aside:

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SVBPC

Every year, San Jose State University hosts the Silicon Valley Business Plan Competition (SVBPC), a highly competitive competition which encourages innovation within the SJSU community. The competition is campus wide, open to all SJSU students and alumni, and boasts a high reward for the top 3 teams: $10,000 (first), $5,000 (second), and $2,500 (third).

More information on SVBPC can be found here: http://www.sjsu.edu/cob/svbpc/

Phase I

Every student(s) or team that wishes to participate in SVBPC is required to submit three items to qualify:

  • Business Plan
  • Pitch Deck
  • Pitch Video (60-90s)

Once entry closes, the top 15 teams are chosen based on the quality and preparedness of their three entry items.

Phase II

After the top 15 teams are chosen, they enter phase 2. This phase consists solely of a 10 minute business pitch, along with an 8-10 minute Q&A session from the judges. Here, the teams are further reduced to a final 8.

Phase III

Phase 3 is the final round of the competition. The remaining 8 teams must now do their best to utilize and act upon the feedback received from their judges in phase 2, as they must perform a final 10 minute business pitch with a 8-10 minute Q&A session to an entirely new set of judges, competing for the top prize.

Ambii at SVBPC

This was the first year Ambii has ever entered into SVBPC, and we were honestly not sure what to expect. We entered alongside 60 other teams and hoped to simply make the initial cut, especially since our pitch video (which was required to enter) was scraped together the day prior. But then again, I’m a (now graduated) college student who is used to last minute projects.

Semi-Finals

Once we had learned that we were advancing to the second round, we were ecstatic, and even though we already had about 10 pitch decks prepared from previous events, we got started right away with building a brand new deck from scratch; our pitch along with it. After a few long nights and tons of practice, we were ready for the first pitch.

We stood in front of the judges prepared as always, and delivered probably one of the best pitches I think we’ve ever done. Although we had done pretty well, the judges threw a number of difficult questions at us, and left us with some good advice for improvement. We left feeling confident, and eagerly awaited the results to ensure that we would make it to the final round.

Final Round

Although our preparation should have been done a week prior, Shariq and I found ourselves two days before the final presentation without any modifications to our deck or pitch; that needed to change if we wanted to win. We worked tirelessly for the remaining days to massively improve our pitch deck, and practiced pitching the resulting deck the night before.

Through all the chaos, we had messed up our sleep schedules pretty badly and had to prematurely end our work session the night before the final to ensure we would even show up to our 8:30am scheduled time (especially me; don’t even ask about my schedule). But of course, we did.

We arrived early and waited in anticipation. We were ready. Once the room was opened to us, we setup our equipment and waited for the judges ok.

6
Jake Motta (left) and Shariq Shah (right) during their final SVBPC pitch

Throughout our pitch, we hit a few rough points due to the changing of materials the day prior, but we made it through just fine. The questions that followed were tough to answer, but were manageable thanks to proper research and planning.

We finished. We sat. I got some orange juice.

The Results

Results were announced shortly after the next 7 teams presented. It was quite, and everyone was anxious. Also, there were sandwiches.

Everyone nervously awaited as the judges, and the winner from the previous year, congratulated everyone and spoke a few words on how far we had all come, and how far there was still left to go.

Finally, the results were announced.

2018 SVBPC Results:

3rd place: BAYbies’ Spot

2nd place: ParkStash

1st place: Ambii

5.jpg
Shariq Shah (Founder, left) & Jake Motta (Co-Founder, right)

We’d like to say thank you to SJSU, Dr. Anuradha Basu, and all of the gracious donors for this amazing opportunity, as well as congratulations to every other team who participated. This competition is no easy feat, and it is certainly not easy to come as far as we all have. Every team posed a very large challenge for us to overcome, and showed amazing potential.

Ambii has worked hard for the past year to get to where it is today, and although this is an amazing victory for us, it is only a small step in the road ahead of us.

Ambii’s SVBPC Materials

If you’re interested to see what Ambii used for SVBPC 2018, you can check out our final materials below.

Pitch Video

Pitch Deck

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Features and Futures

As you think, so shall you become. – Bruce Lee

This week in Ambii, we’re bring in a suite of tasty new features and updates that will really kick up the Ambii experience for everyone! Per usual, the Ambii team has been swamped with events, deadlines, code, memes, etc…  but we make it our mission to deliver timely updates in accordance to necessity and feedback, which by the way, you can let us know how you like Ambii, and tell us how you love or hate it by using below link:

Mmm… Delicious Feedback

Brief aside: I’d like to clarify that “Futures” in the titles refers to future features, not financial contracts.

BRING OUT YOUR DEAD PHONES:

We’ve update our look on mobile! It’s less broken now and has a cleaner interface so that you can easily add your music with a single button press, or navigate our sleek menu system to access an array of other options.

 

IT’S DANGEROUS TO PARTY ALONE! TAKE THIS!

No one likes to party alone. That’s why Ambii now has easily sharable links that you can send to anyone to have them join your party directly, without the fuss!

Simply copy the URL at the top of your page when you’re in a party, then send or post it anywhere to kickstart your party! It’s that simple.

For mobile users, we’ve even added social media integration for Facebook and Twitter so you can easily share your party with everyone (see above *left* picture)! This feature will be coming soon to desktop as well.

HEY, THAT’S PRETTY GOOD.

Some other improvements we’ve made this week include: searching songs and cloning!

Searching Songs:

Although it seemed like our song searching couldn’t be any better, you’d be correct. That’s why we had to break the rules of reality to bring a mind-blowing new experience to Ambii that includes song results as you type, view counts, song duration, and improved search results! It’s one thing to talk about it, and an entirely different thing to experience. I’d honestly be surprised if you’re still reading at this point and not already on beta.ambii.io to comprehend the magnificence that is our improved searching.

Screen Shot 2018-05-11 at 1.03.23 PM
Ambii’s new and improved search results!

Cloning:

This was a feature update that was heavily requested, as it was previously lurking elsewhere on the page. Clone has been working on its people skills, and has finally mustered the confidence to come out of shadows and into the light, so that the beautiful users of Ambii can experience it in its full glory.

I think what I’m trying to say is, you can now easily clone a party by simply pressing the play button at the bottom of the party screen instead of digging around the page for it.

FUTURES

Now that we’ve discussed the stuff we’ve completed, lets talk about the stuff we have yet to do. THE TO-DO LIST (at least for this month). For the sake of simplicity, I’m going to list everything out in rapid succession. Imagine this in a WHAM! BAM! kinda tone.

LOGIN PAGE: complete makeover

PINK POPUPS (toasts): shorter time display, click-to-dismiss, better mobile display

VIDEO QUALITY: video quality control in party settings

VOTING: improved feel + vote count display

CLICKY THINGS: more animations and responses when you click things

QR CODES: QR code generator to better share your party

OTHER STUFF: technical things and other improvements that I’m not sure we’ll get to right away

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this blog post. Please be sure to check out our current progress at beta.ambii.io and let us know what you think! We work hard everyday to ensure that the best product can be delivered to everyone, and are thrilled every time we hear back from you (even if it’s negative stuff).

Last note: be sure to spend time with your mother this Mother’s Day! They’re a special breed of superhuman that must be properly thanked for their relentless humanitarian efforts.

This Week in Ambii – 4/23/18

This Week in Ambii

Feature Galore

The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.” – Sven Goran Eriksson
Last week was a hectic week for the Ambii team, but we seem to have made it through. I’m not sure whether to be happy or sad that this week is only going to be more challenging though…
At any rate, this week’s Ambii update boasts a few new features that you’ll definitely enjoy! So let’s get to it!

MOBILE RESPONSIVE!

31113415_1766966183349748_3558274611101564928_nDon’t you hate that you can currently only use Ambii on your laptop or desktop? Us too. That’s why we made it fit inside your phone. You can check out http://beta.ambii.io/ right now on your mobile device to experience the best in social listening at the convenience of your smart phone.

The mobile site is very much under construction still, and we appreciate your patience as we hammer out all the kinks and wackiness that comes along with it. If you see any problems worth reporting, make sure to let us know (details below).

EXTRA, EXTRA!

If you haven’t see it yet, Ambii has just released it’s newest feature “Ambii News”, making it easier than ever to keep up with our updates, developer notes, and happenings!

This new feature can be found on the left-hand side of the page by clicking on the bullhorn icon. This section is also home to all of our social media links, so make sure to check us out on those platforms (ie: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn) as well!

Screen Shot 2018-04-20 at 5.36.40 AM

We make it our goal to communicate with our users as much as possible, so if you’re ever curious what the latest updates with us are, you’ll know where to look!

YOU TALK, WE LISTEN

In case you weren’t aware, Ambii is still in its beta phase. As such, there are still plenty of features that are under development, and enough bugs to decorate an insect museum. Your feedback is very important to us, so to hear your voice even better, we’ve included several feedback links into our beta site where you suggest features, ask questions, report bugs, and even take a general survey to help us understand your listening style better!  You can access these feedback forms by clicking on the Ambii logo in the top-left-hand side of the screen.

bugsquash

MORE TO COME

For today, those are all of the new features I’ll be reporting on, but believe me when I say we have much bigger, HUMONGOUS, GARGANTUAN plans for the not so distant future. Please look forward to that announcement soon, and enjoy your week!

What the heck is Ambii?

What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. – Unknown

The most frequently asked question I receive about Ambii is, “what is it?”. I don’t believe that I have explained the full concept online yet, so without further ado, I present to you:

Ambii: The ‘What’ Guide


The Short Version:

Ambii is a virtual jukebox which can be controlled through your computer or phone.

The Long Version:

Ambii Explained:

Ambii is a virtual jukebox and the world’s most experienced DJ, packaged as an app for both mobile and web. It is a music listening platform geared towards Social Listening; music listening which happens in groups of people.

Unlike Spotify and Pandora, which are meant for Individual Listening, Ambii is a platform for groups of people to listen to music together, providing them a new way to fairly curate music for their group either manually or through Artificial Intelligence, which plays music based on its current audience.

Through our platform, anyone can start a party and start playing music. Everyone else can then join the party, up-vote, down-vote, and add songs; Ambii will take care of the rest.

Ambii is unique in that it caters to the music preferences of everyone listening, rather than a single person’s music tastes.

Hypothetical Scenario #257:

You’re with 5 of your friends listening to music. The music is playing from your friend Derrick’s phone, which is connected to the speaker system. You think to yourself, “I know a great song that I’d like to put on”, so you mosey on over to Derrick and ask to borrow his phone. Derrick is annoyed because this is the 7th time he’s needed to give his phone out so someone can request a specific song, so Derrick decides to try out Ambii. With Ambii, Derrick can now easily setup a Party and let everyone join from their own devices. Now, everyone there can easily add songs that will be played over the speaker system without bothering Derrick. Derrick then went on to receive his PhD in every known educational field.

 

ambii_infogaph

 

The Ambii Experience:

Ambii currently has two listening modes: Music Queue and Party Radio

Through Music Queue, anyone in a party can dynamically add songs into the queue, actively adding what songs play next. Think of this like a lunch line, but instead of people lined up, it’s your music.

Through Party Radio, Ambii’s artificial intelligence will analyze everyone’s music preferences, actively choosing the best songs to play for everyone in the group without any user input needed. Think of this as a radio station which chooses it’s music based on it’s changing audience.

How Much Does Ambii Cost:

Ambii is completely free to use, but will have Premium and Subscription pricing models for those who want extra power over their Party. There will be more detail on the pricing structure once we work out all of our core features and market rates, but the bottom line is: it’s free to use! (unless you’re a business)

Quick FAQ

Q: Is Ambii like Spotify or Pandora

A: No; Spotify and Pandora only allow one person to control the music, while Ambii caters towards groups of people listening.

Q: Where does the music come from?

A: Currently, our music is played through YouTube. We plan to get music licensing down the road, but it’s VERY expensive and we’re broke.

Q: Can I use music from my phone or Spotify library?

A: At the moment, you cannot add music directly from an existing library. This is a feature we’re finishing up very soon though!

Q: Can I use Ambii right now?

A: Yes! You can try Ambii’s beta at: http://beta.ambii.io/, but be aware that this is not a fully functional release yet! Things are likely to be buggy or incomplete.

Q: Why can’t I edit my playlist

A: Ambii does not have playlists, it has weighted queues which dynamically adjust song priority based on social influence. Easy peasy.

Q: I still don’t understand Ambii

A: Ambii is a music app that allows groups of people to add music to a waiting-list from their phone or computer.

Q: When will Ambii be released?

A: Soon hopefully, because I have no job and my rent keeps going up.

Q: I have an idea for you guys, or would like to help out

A: I’m always happy to hear suggestions, answer any questions you may have, or talk with you if you’re interested (in Ambii of course).

You can contact me at: jake@ambii.io

A Q&A with Edward from the Growth Team!

Hello everyone! It seems like quite a few of our viewers at home enjoyed reading the last blog post by Ambii. So here is another one! This time we did a Q&A session with Edward Lee, who is responsible for the look and feel of Ambii’s social listening website and app. Through these two forms of media, you can create an account, starting queuing music and voting on tracks to curate the perfect listening experience for any type of party!

Before Ambii, Edward started his career by working on hardware. Eventually, he discovered the expanse of software in the Silicon Valley and that he would be much happier working on software products. With an eagerness to learn and a mind wired for creativity and functionality, Edward acquired his role with Ambii’s Growth Team and he has since been channeling his creativity and his passion for software to amaze all of us at Ambii. In the following interview, Edward tells us about his experiences with the Growth Team, as well as his personal take on what Ambii stands for, as it gets ready to face up against its competitors. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Q: What challenges do you face with your projects?

A: One of the biggest challenges I face are the constraints. I only have a finite amount of information to work with and my role requires me to use that information and channel my creativity to increase usability. What we possess and do not possess in terms of data and expertise is a major factor to consider when solving problems and it is important to overcome that shortage of information in order to create something that can face up against our competitors.

 

Q: What have you learned throughout your experiences with Ambii and the Growth Team?

A: I have learned a lot of UX and UI interfacing and now have experience with Adobe Photoshop. I consider feedback provided by stakeholders, cross-collaboration with other teams, and upholding a strong work ethic important. In addition, I have had the chance to start from scratch and make something aesthetically and functionally pleasing. Lastly, I am confident when I am being placed on the spot and I have to provide a solution to a problem.

 

Q: Why is Ambii the next big thing?

A: Ambii is the next big thing because there is no other platform like it. It takes the tediousness out of having to manually share music and makes social listening fun and enjoyable. It is also a part of the rise of the new age of software platforms and it is an innovative product that presents a brand new design and a user-friendly experience. However, the best part about Ambii is the story behind its inception, and I encourage all of our viewers at home to read the other blog posts by Ambii team members.

 

Q: What do you enjoy about working for Ambii?

A: I enjoy feeding off of my team’s energy. My role requires me to talk to different types of people, and I value that. I also appreciate my partner’s effort and work and I have a great time working with him. Knowing when to ask the right questions is something that you have to learn through interacting with different members of the team. What I enjoy the most is the opportunity to work on what I want to work on, and I believe that there are few other opportunities that are able to provide such freedom.

 

Q: What does Ambii mean to you?

A: Ambii is a chance for me to work on something I have never worked on before. Working on a software platform such as Ambii is much more enjoyable than working on hardware and I embrace this opportunity every day. To me, Ambii means creating the best ambiance for a social setting and curating the best music listening and sharing experience. It is also a chance for me to challenge myself and learn new things, all the while collaborating with others to create something that revolutionizes the way users can interact with one another.

 

Q: What is something that you want the viewers at home to know and understand about Ambii?

A: The best thing about Ambii is that it is made by students. Ambii is bootstrapped and there have been no contributions by industry professionals. Ambii is made by those that have noticed an opportunity in the market, want to create something unique and have the determination and commitment to never give up and push past obstacles. I hope all of our users and followers enjoy our hard work and are excited about Ambii’s release!

Here is a link to the beta version: http://beta.ambii.io/#/login

       Written by Sameer Sondhi

A Q&A with our CEO!

Hello everyone! This is Sameer from Ambii’s Marketing team! This week we are doing something different with our blog. Usually, we write about our connection and experience with Ambii and how she means the world to us. This time we’re releasing an exclusive Q&A session with our CEO, Shariq Shah, who took the time out of his busy schedule for an honest interview with me! I hope you enjoy reading this and I wish you all a Happy Friday!

Without further ado, let’s get to know our CEO a bit more:

Q. What inspires you?

Answer:  Honestly, it is my team that inspires me. I consider them to be family. I cannot help but feel inspired because I am surrounded by people who are spending their time and livelihoods to support Ambii. Many of these people have given up their jobs, sacrificed relationships, and extended their education to support Ambii, and I have to make sure that their efforts and compromises are well spent. Today, Ambii is held to the same level of esteem by some of the most successful startups in the industry. I know this because their founders hold me to the same level of esteem as they hold themselves to. I am motivated and inspired by that as well.

Q. How did one individual turn into a team of 20+?

Answer: I started working on the project by myself. I would reach out to my friends and pitch my idea to them. They would seem interested but would not commit to anything. Jake Motta was my first, real asset. The two of us would push each other to keep going and working hard. I would work in the IDEAS Lab where I was able to talk to a lot of people who shared my excitement for startups. Over time I found people that I could trust and my team naturally grew. I also leveraged connections with professors at SJSU. I would ask them if I could convince their students to do their class projects on Ambii. I would do this by pitching Ambii to the students in the room. The first semester that I was in the IDEAS Lab, I was able to gather a team of 4 students to work on the Android version of the application. Four turned into ten, with the addition of four core developers and two designers. By the end of last semester, I was able to recruit a business development team of two. The mentality that I used to amass my team was to talk to as many people with full transparency, connect with them beyond work and making sure that their time is well spent. I firmly believed in the idea that each member of my team should be able to witness the results of their hard work. It is absolutely important that each member is constantly growing, learning and enjoying their experience.

Q. What do you look for in a team member?

Answer: One of the most important traits that an Ambii team member should possess is honesty. Regardless of their level of expertise, they should be willing to learn and demonstrate a solid work ethic. They must have the drive and hunger to succeed, power through obstacles, and enjoy the challenge. Ambii means a lot to me and I want people who care about the success of Ambii to be a part of my team.

Q. What dilemmas did you encounter when starting Ambii?

Answer:  The first dilemma was the fact that I did not initially have the knowledge and expertise of software design and architecture. I failed several times in the beginning and even today, we are constantly fixing mistakes that I made when I was first learning how to build this product. Another dilemma was finding the right team members. Before I brought Jake onto the team, people would express interest but fail to commit. Jake and I were able to keep each other going and that is when I truly found the start of the company. Another dilemma was being a software developer trying to run a business. It was daunting and I knew I needed a business development team. I spent many hours learning about business development and I also audited Professor Basu’s V-Lab course to increase my knowledge of business development.

Q. What is your vision for Ambii?

Answer: After I graduate, I want to continue to work on Ambii. One of my short-term goals is to secure a reliable customer base in San Jose. In addition, I want to secure funding so we gain traction and continue to grow. My long-term vision is to establish a system in which everyone can be defined by their choice in music. People should be able to identify themselves through music and share that identity with others who may or may not have similar tastes. Ambii will be a social network that helps people discover new music and learn about other’s tastes. Finally, I want to explore something called location-based music. It is very rare to come across a music platform that incorporates this concept, and I want Ambii to eventually present this as a feature since it has yet to be touched on.

Q. What advice do you have for others who have an idea?

Answer:  I would say that your biggest asset is yourself and the people you surround yourself with. My advice is to focus on solid individuals who make you better and make you work harder. Value honesty and keep in mind that you are more likely to succeed if others are comfortable around you. Lastly, be prepared to work hard and work odd hours.

               -Sameer Sondhi

 

Destiny guides. Hard work pays.

Destiny paves for you the path towards success. However, it never gives you success. Success is always determined by the hard work you put in your work. That is the story of how I joined and became an essential part of Ambii.


When did I join Ambii?

During the Fall semester of 2017,  I was in need of a course titled ‘Software Engineering II’ in order to prevent a semester extension. When I tried to join, there were no seats available. I had lost hope! Fortunately, 2 weeks into the semester the Engineering department decided to open up a new section with Prof. Eswar Badari, who eventually became the bridge between me and the Ambii team. For this course, we needed to conceptualize and create an application as a semester project. It was during this conceptualization phase when my team and I were approached by a Shariq Shah, a computer science student who eagerly pitched an idea for a social music listening platform called Ambii (previously MusiQ) that he and his team were working on outside of this course. He needed an app, and we had the means to create it. My team was the only team in the class where each member possessed the skills needed to effectively create an Android application. After further discussions with Shariq and professor Badari, we decided to become a test case and join the Ambii team. This was the first time that a team was allowed to join an external project for a class.

As I think back, it seems as though joining Ambii was my destiny.


How did I become an essential part of it?

When I first joined Ambii, I was simply focused on leading my team on creating a good Android app. I was leading a team for the first time and my job would be to take care of a fixed schedule, be in continuous communication with my team and Shariq, and code the application. With time I became more and more communicative with the entire Ambii core team, and further delved into the other aspects within Ambii; thanks to events like Ideathon, conducted by IDEAs club at SJSU!

Leadership! changed the way I look at my life now (would discuss more in my next post). Little did I know then, that I would prove to be a good leader and the leadership skill is within me by birth. Initially, I wouldn’t say I was confident in being one. I just went along with my instincts while making decisions. An additional support and trust from the Ambii core team helped me build my confidence on my decisions. The happiness of achieving something not alone but collectively as a team keeps me more focused. Even though I always felt my work was simple and not at all tedious (maybe because I always enjoyed it), I have received constant appreciation from the team. I still don’t know what part of my work is so difficult that it deserves those appreciations, but I assume that it is for my best precision and alertness towards my work. These appreciations made me put Ambii work above my any other work, sometimes even school work. Probably, not the best trait to have as a student but I do believe in doings for the greater good. So, over the past few months, my commitment, contributions, and hard work has made me an intrinsic part of Ambii team.

Today, I am not only leading an AI team that focuses on creating the best passive listening experience for users but also co-managing our mobile app development team.

Destiny is to be on the path to success. Hard work is to gain success. – Aditi Ray

It has been only 6 months since my destiny made me join Ambii. In that short time, we have come a long way, as our hard work doesn’t count days of work, it counts seconds of work.

 

-Aditi Ray

I Quit My Job for Ambii!

Hello, Ambii Co-Founder Jake Motta here!

As the title suggests, today I’ll be discussing why I decided to quit my job of 3.5 years to work full-time on building a startup, but before I get there, I’d like to talk a little bit about my background, my previous job, and where I foresee Ambii within the next year.

About Myself

I graduated from San Jose State University in December 2017 with my bachelors in Computer Science. I am your run-of-the-mill small town individual who enjoys long walks to the fridge, gaming, and technology. I am very passionate about tech, and when it comes down to working (especially with tech) I am second-to-none in dedicating myself to completing the goals that I set.

I started working with Shariq Shah in June of 2017 on an interesting idea that he had come up with, a music collaboration platform called MusiQ. At the time, this project had piqued my interest as something that would be of benefit to me for both programming experience and application use, as it would help solve the constant power struggle of music during car rides with my girlfriend.

As time passed, we gained more and more attention within a small club called Ideas at SJSU, a club dedicating to nurturing startups within the school. With a solid startup idea and the excellent networking skills Shariq possessed, we were able to slowly build up a small team of core engineers who have helped shape our product into what it has grown into today.

Through the next 6 months our team steadily grew, gaining more and more members skilled in areas such as graphic design, business/marketing, front/back-end development, mobile development, and even artificial intelligence. At this current point in time, our team is roughly 16 members strong!

I’ll spare many of the details on transitioning from MusiQ to Ambii, and the many experiences, trials, and tribulations we’ve had along the way for the sake of sticking to the main point of this post, but know that this will be covered in detail shortly in the future as a separate post!

Previous Employment

Getting back to the main topic, Ambii was going from a project to a product very quickly. Throughout all this, I had been working about 30 hours per week at Microchip Technology (on-and-off full-time depending on my school schedule). I had been working at Microchip since I began attending SJSU late 2014, working hard every day to gain industry experience and make a stable income for myself in order to survive in the Silicon Valley.

Employees at Microchip taking a drone selfie. I’m in the back!

My job at Microchip consisted of many different responsibilities, but really boiled down to IT support and global software compliance. I was a very strong and recognized team member, and loved my team there. I can honestly say that my time at Microchip was well invested as I gained many real-world experiences and concepts than I feel I wouldn’t have had the chance to experience anywhere else, all thanks to the fantastic mentorship of my direct supervisor Agnes Lau.

I will admit that I may have overstayed my welcome at Microchip, being initially hired on as an intern for a 6-month period and then staying for 3.5 years, but the job provided me the freedom and finances to finish my education and steadily support myself through the years.

As Ambii grew, my desire to invest more of my time and effort only grew with it. The problem at hand was that working part-time at Microchip took more than half my day away, and rendered me mentally exhausted by the time I was finished. Add on to the fact that Microchip helped pay for all of my bills, it was hard to see any foreseeable future of leaving in order to pursue my passions.

This may not seem too much of a big deal to many, but let me break down my general expenses in the Silicon Valley:

  • Apartment = $1,680 /mo
  • Apartment Utilities = +/- 200 /mo
  • Internet = $60 /mo
  • Phone = Payed for by Microchip
  • Food = $300+ /mo
  • Fun = 😦

In total, I spend a rough $2,400 per month to live in the Silicon Valley, so quitting the job which pays these bills for a startup which currently pays $0 was no easy decision to make.

To be a bit more clear on my highly competitive $0 income, this means that Ambii is not currently revenue producing and has no funding at this time. In short, the goal is to fix that.

I doted on my decision for about 2 months, first switching from full-time to part-time, and eventually part-time to no-time. I came up with a full financial plan that granted me financial security for 6 months with no-income, and then set the plan into motion. With a swallow of confidence, and trust in my friends, I eventually worked up the courage to leave Microchip and focus everything on Ambii.

One saving grace for me is that after 3 years of working, I have built up a solid savings account… plus I don’t have any other financial obligations (loans, debt, kids, etc) to worry about, so I am at the perfect time in my life to (literally) bet everything I have.

The point of listing out my expenses is not to showcase anything other than the gravity of my decision to go from a financially stable job (with a possible future had I taken it) to a small startup with no income, all in the name of believing in the work that I am a part of.

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals – Henry Ford

The Future of Ambii

With that said, lets talk about Ambii. Currently, Ambii is gearing up to release its public beta sometime in March 2018 to web and mobile devices. We are working hard to finish this beta in order to gain our initial audience, get important feedback and testing results, and make any necessary changes before expanding out to our first few businesses. We aim to be revenue producing before May 2018, and receive funding after that in order to grow our team, our marketing, and our product.

Ambii is a unique platform which is unlike anything on the market today. We have many ideas in the back of our minds that we are eager to implement, but need to finish building our base application and audience before we are able to branch out on all sorts of fantastic new features. From music that follows you everywhere you go, to a social platform which helps you discover music in ways never before seen, Ambii aims to revolutionize the way that you experience music, because music is better together.

Please be sure to support us by liking us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn (links on the right), and by keeping up with all the latest Ambii news here on our blog! We very much appreciate your support and feedback, and hope you look forward to our future endeavors.

Jake Motta

The Birth of Ambii – The Inception

When you find an idea that you just can’t stop thinking about, that’s probably a good one to pursue. – Josh James

I was in the car with my close friend, Zahra. She was driving; I was the only other passenger. During our short commutes between San Jose State and Fremont we would enjoy sharing music with each other. She would share a song which would urge me to show her one of mine and the process would repeat indefinitely until we reached our destination.

However, this got annoying; I would play a song, then unplug my phone and hand her the aux. She’d have to look for the song, and after it played, I would take the aux back and look for my song. This process was incredibly tedious, and I thought, “There has to be a better way to share music!”

When I got home I looked for a few options, but I did not find any satisfactory solutions. I slept on it, but the problem kept bouncing around in my head. It seemed like such an elementary problem that still has not been addressed properly.

I mulled it over for some time and I decided that I, as a developer, would work on it myself. I started researching the different frameworks that I could use to build a working cloud based music queuing system which would address social listening properly. After a little bit of research I started programming. But first, I had to think of a name. After much contemplation, I came up with the name…. MusiQ.

What? You were wondering about Ambii? Well, that my friend is a much… much…. longer story.

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Don’t envy what people have, emulate what they did to have it – Tim Fargo

This month, the Ambii team will be focused on finishing up many crucial factors in order to successfully release our beta product to the world! What wondrous day should you be looking forward to you might ask? February 28th, 2018! There are many challenges along this road, and much work to be completed, but our excellent team of developers are excited to finish the Ambii beta.

We are very much looking forward to this release, and can’t wait to see many our eager users begin to use Ambii. After nearly 2 years in development, the time has finally come. It’s been a long road coming to this point, but the journey is only beginning for the Ambii team.

Please follow and help support us as we embark on this journey!