Founder Profile: Allen Tsai, Founder/CEO, Ekata Systems, Inc.

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Allen Tsai

Allen Tsai, Founder/CEO, Ekata Systems, Inc.

Name: Allen Tsai
Current Startup: Tapestry

Bio:  Ekata Systems was founded around a core belief that digital “space- and time-shifted” social interactions are anthropologically anti-social.  Ekata Systems has embarked on a mission to challenge the status quo that “social” should be asynchronous and purely digital by building mobile apps that re-emphasize social’s emotional, synchronous, and “analog” roots.  This is Ekata’s manifesto, and Tapestry is its first product.

Ansel Adams once said, “A photograph is usually looked at – seldom looked into.” Behind every picture, there lies a colorful story. Tapestry is a synchronized photo show-and-tell app that allows you to share your photographic stories with friends/family gathered around you. It attempts to recreate the around-the-dinner-table/around-the-campfire/around-friends-and-family atmosphere where simple photo-sharing turns into personal photo-storytelling.

Allen grew up in Los Angeles before coming up north to attend UC Berkeley, where he received his degrees in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, and Business Administration.  He traveled extensively for work, and has lived in Shanghai, Taipei, HsinChu,, Dallas, and of course, the SF/Bay Area.  When not tending to his work baby, he enjoys nurturing his 3 real babies (Chloe: 3 years, Annabelle: 8 months, Haley: 8 months…that’s right, twins!).  When his wife Lydia gives him a free pass, he tries to log some track time in his car and motorcycle.

Lessons Learned: There is a fine line between tenacity and stubbornness. You need to find a good balance between your vision and while also being open-minded enough to receive feedback from customers and mentors.

Staying Motivated: For me motivation is innate. Once I start doing something I commit to it and see it though. You don’t have to think about being motivated, you are. It’s like breathing, you are breathing or you aren’t.

I think that there should be less focus on motivation and more focus positive thinking. There are endless possibilities and a light at the end of the tunnel for someone who can respond to the challenge with a positive attitude.

Greatest Mentors: I am very fortunate to have worked for superiors who were able to guide me and help me grow as a professional. They empowered me to take risks, make my own mistakes and learn from those mistakes.

Want to learn more about @TapestryApp?  Connect on Twitter!

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Read more by Founders Network

Founded in 2011, Founders Network offers lifelong peer mentorship to over 600 tech startup founders globally. Our platform, programs and high-touch service facilitate authentic experience sharing, warm introductions and long-term professional relationships. Additional benefits include over $500k in startup discounts and promotion to 2,000 newsletter readers. Members are located in San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Toronto, London and other tech hubs. Each month our Membership Committee admits a new cohort of full-time tech founders who are nominated by an existing member.

Comments 5

  1. Allen, great way to look at motivation. It’s probably the only way to get things done with twins!

  2. “You need to find a good balance between your vision and while also being
    open-minded enough to receive feedback from customers and mentors.” Allen this is great, it’s all about strength and flexibility of you mind. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I agree with you about positive thinking, it’s the only way to survive in business. You need to be able to react well to bad news and move on with a new course of action.

  4. Wow, reading the Staying Motivated section back, one could be perceive tone as being arrogant! I swear I’m not! The point I think I was trying to make was motivation needs to be internalized (not that I’m so great and am always motivated). When a motivated attitude is interwoven into the fabric of your being, and couple that with a dose of positive attitude, the sky, if anything, is the limit.

  5. Another way to look at motivation is not a state of mind, but a situation combining who you are and the opportunity. There are several situations where you can be less than motivated and others where nothing can distract you from your goal. The key is finding the right combination that works best for you as an individual. One framework I like is the Jobs Theory of Motivation by Hackman / Oldham. In this theory, motivation is assessed based on 5 key factors: level of autonomy, skills variety, task significance, task identity, and feedback. Score high on all of these and you will be motivated.

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