This is Ali. I’m so excited to work on an interesting project with you!

I’ve developed many apps and games for fun. Yet, I’ve always wanted to work on three serious ideas I had in my mind for a long time. But due to the time and energy limit, I could only finish one of them which fortunately turned out to be my first startup. It’s called Narengi (below)*. The other two ideas that I hope they interest you are: Boomerang and Guud.

Boomerang

A — totally different — social network based on Karma!
Wondering WTF Karma has to do with a social network? I’ll explain it in a bit.

All the existing social networks are formed around the similar boring concepts or interactions such as “like”, “swipe”, “share”, “follow”, “message” and “comment”. I know tons of people, incl. myself, are sick of such unreal and ineffective interactions which results in insincere deceptive feelings and of course time wasting. As a true solution for the human need for social interactions though, I think people would love and appreciate real safe communications in person. While I keep some of the details for those who are interested in a collaboration, I give you some scenarios which most of us — if not all — experience them very often:

  • I live in Isla Vista. I want to have dinner. I feel like having tacos. But, I have no one to go with 😔
  • I’m on campus. I feel like I want to go for a run, grab a coffee or go to the gym. But I have no one to go with 💔
  • It’s a beautiful Sunday, yet I’m already scared of Monday. I wish I knew people who play soccer. It helps to relax. 😟
  • A game between Warriors and Cavaliers is happening in town. It would be nice to go there and have a beer. But I have no one to go with and chill 😭

I’m sure similar moments happened to every one of us. But the thing is:

  • Am I the only one who has dinner every night? No.
  • Am I the only one who sometimes want to have a cup of coffee and have a whatever conversation? No.
  • Am I the only one who likes NBA and beers? No.

I’m positive you agree that I’m NOT the only one who does not want to always do those things alone. And most likely there are at least 2 people who are interested in doing the same thing at the same time. So, why not have an app which connects those people spontaneously and automatically. For instance, in the scenarios mentioned above, Boomerang pops up and says:

  • There is a person going to pick up Freebirds tacos right now. Do you wanna have dinner with him/her? 🌮🙃
  • There is a guy around library who wants to take a coffee break. He likes science and donuts too. Wanna meet? ☕🍩️🤓
  • There are a group of people interested in playing soccer on Sundays. Wanna join them? ⚽ 🙈
  • Beer and Warriors? Watching alone is not fun? I gotcha. There is a Warriors fan going there. She/He likes beer too. Wanna inform her/him? You also save money and trees by carpooling. 🤘🏀🍻

If all parties agree, they connect and meet with minimum hassle or interaction with the app.

How can this be implemented? Karma!

Karma is the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences. (Oxford Dictionaries)

Developing the learning algorithms would not be part of this course project but implementing the core of its services and the main platform is.
Interested? Let’s grab some coffee and discuss more details. I feel like I already need Boomerang to find some project partner with good Karma! 😎

Guud

Very often we have questions that we cannot find their answers by using existing search engines. Here are some examples of questions that I really cannot find my answer using Google, Amazon, Yelp or...:

  • My bike breaks are broken. I bought my bike for $120 and would like to fix them by spending not more than $40 if possible. Otherwise it’s not worth it.
  • My girlfriend sees a woman wearing a gorgeous dress in the lobby of our hotel in Norway. She could not talk to her. She just took a picture of the dress. When we come back, she wonders how she can find the dress in Southern California?
  • Some random plants started to grow in my mom’s garden. She does not mind them if they are not harmful to her herb plants. How can we make sure they are OK?

These are just some simple questions that I could not efficiently find their answers using Google, Amazon or Yelp. There is either no proper way to put such inquiries or their results usually do not satisfy me.

I think I have an idea for a new search engine which is based on real-time query-responses from “relevant people” and of course learning their interactions. Let me be more specific about “relevant people” with some use cases:

  • I ask Guud, “how can I fix my bike breaks under $30?”. It recognizes me and my request through my previous activities, my circle of people (e.g. friends on Facebook and Instagram), my location and so on. Then it directs my inquiry to the people who are interested in bikes, who know about bikes, who have asked or answered similar questions, who lives nearby and etc.
  • My girlfriend posts the picture on Guud and asks “Where can I find this? Any tailor recommendation in San Diego”. Similarly, Guud will direct her question to the right people who are potentially informative regarding the questions — based on factors such as those mentioned above.
  • My mom takes some pictures of the weird plants in her garden. She posts them on Guud and asks “Are they harmless to my basil plants”. Guud will guide the questions to experts and potential helpers in gardening.

In simple words, Guud orchestrates all inquiries and potential helpers. There would an infinite amount of details (including but not limited to the concepts of “credit scoring” and “expertise tagging”) that I would like to discuss them with those who are interested. I’m developing a prototype that soon would be ready. I’d be more than happy to have you as the very first users. You can subscribe to get updates if interested: Guud is not good, it’s phenomenal

We can discuss them with Bryce to tailor them properly to a course project — doable within one quarter. We may further develop it and build a startup. Can they make money? Hell Yea. While experts need to take care of this part, I’d be glad to share the basic business models I developed — if we happen to like working together. So, if it seems interesting to you, do not hesitate to contact me at ali@ucsb.edu.

Narengi (old project)

Founded by me in June 2015 and transferred in January 2017. I’m not currently with the acquirers, yet the original apps may be still available on App Store and Google Play. I designed a multiplatform online service (incl. mobile and web apps) with a focus on tourism — a trusted community of P2P online marketplace that enables people to list, discover and book short-term lodging around Iran.

Narengi is basically the Swiss army of traveling — a multiplatform community of P2P online marketplace enabling people to provide or receive various traveling services such as finding unique destinations, experiences, places to stay, partners, hitchhikers and so on. It’s currently in the acquisition process. While I cannot share more info about it, you may find the apps in app stores and learn about its technologies in my resume.

As the CTO of Narengi, I was responsible for:

  • Leading a group of highly talented developers: Android, iOS, Frontend, Backend & DevOps teams
  • Technical strategic planning to achieve business goals
  • Iterative and incremental product development management (SCRUM)
  • R&D on technologies, platforms selection, architecture and design patterns
  • Translating requirements into specifications: Quality, delivery and productivity

About me: I’m a PhD student and I love details :) I learned from the past to not call myself expert in any area but I believe I’m fluent in C/C++, Java, Perl, Python, Shell, JavaScript, HTML, CSS and self-confident with C#, PHP, Android Dev, iOS Dev, AJAX, JSON, MYSQL/MongoDB and Node. I have also worked as a developer in as Apple and Oracle. I know SOA, REST, design patterns, relational databases, TDD and SCRUM. I should mention that my experience with Ruby on Rails is next to none but I cannot wait to learn it.

I’m seeking for a group of talented hardworking passionate people who I can share my expertise and knowledge with them and of course, learn from them.

About you: I hope you have a solid understanding of CS, passionate about making an interesting practical project and love working in a team. Having experience with TDD/SCRUM project management tools (e.g JIRA and Trello) would be wonderful. Willing to focus on database side is a plus as I’m not very good at them.

I was extremely lucky to be told by many successful entrepreneurs that Boomerang and Guud are both nice promising ideas. I’m also often advised to keep them confidential as may other steal it. My forever answer to such ideologies is “I do not believe in possession or ownership of any kind — from a single penny to copyright, patents or intellectual properties. Don’t let the definitions fool you and live free.”

Peace.

I care and code. I love details. — Alifornia