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Kawandeep Virdee

a.k.a Build the Shopify for NFTs, not another Amazon

A few weeks ago I partner with Noman to come up with an idea for NFThack. It’s mid-March 2021 and the obsession with NFTs is growing. We want a project that’s unique, creative, a bit out of the box. There’s so many financial things. It limits the imagination. We want to break out of that and show what else is possible. Noman introduced me to dfeatures, and I’m smitten by the idea of media dfeatures. That are interactive. What’s that mean? Nothing yet, let’s find out.

A screenshot of Confetti Vortex, an interactive art trading card
A screenshot of Confetti Vortex, an interactive art trading card

TLDR; We make an interactive art trading card

It’s called Confetti Vortex. You can play with the prototype. It’s fun. It works…

I had sort of an opposite approach happen in the last year. Rather than beginning with writing and then finding a way to connect outside of it, I moved connections from outside of writing towards my writing. I was running recurring virtual events, and soon the event invitations expanded to newsletter posts. I started publishing these on Medium and used the events to support my writing. The events were virtual drawing parties where we'd gather on Zoom and I'd share a few writing prompts and everyone would draw. At the end we'd share our drawings. It was a ton of fun. Each week I'd pick a different theme and set of prompts. Through the weeks a general theme emerged around using creativity to further understand ourselves and express ourselves. This became a theme I could explore through writing.

What are Apple, Facebook, and Snap planning to make using “contextually aware systems”?

Apple has won a patent that takes point cloud data in the environment and creates 3D reconstructions. Basically whatever the device is, there’s sensors that will be able to get spacial point data, and then a method to turn that into virtual objects for applications. From the patent abstract:

A voxel feature learning network receives a raw point cloud and converts the point cloud into a sparse 4D tensor comprising three-dimensional coordinates (e.g. X, Y, and Z) for each voxel of a plurality of voxels and a fourth voxel feature dimension for each non-empty voxel. In some embodiments, convolutional mid…

Hub Talk

As we explore growth, a recurring theme that comes up is building relationships — both with your readers and with other writers. Writing sparks new connections and strengthens existing ones. “Connecting with your audience after you publish a story is as important as the story itself,” writes Jenna N. Chambers, before diving into several ways to connect with your audience through responses, roundups, prompts, and reading their stories too.

What’s worked for you to connect with your readers? This includes ideas both on and off Medium, activities outside of writing, events, one-to-one’s, and more. Let us know in the responses! Just like our other discussions, I’ll share what I’ve found helpful too, and publish a roundup of highlights soon after.

At the beginning of last year I was like I’m going to figure out my finances stuff. Like forreal. I’ve always tried to and avoid it because the whole thing overwhelms me. All of the decisions for savings and investing and what if I pick the wrong thing. I’m getting older, I can’t keep putting this off.

So over the year not gonna lie I was super tempted to download Robinhood and start trading because everyone’s talking about it. But then also the markets are ??? I just felt like I’d get burned. What I was seeing around me during…

I like checking out google trends of different things to get a feel for interest or relevance of that thing. In this case I keep seeing NFTs more and more, everywhere, and wonder what’s the interest look like over time? It’s fascinating to me because the interest kind of skyrocketed as more and more wealth poured into them, like some sort of supercharged viral meme. Then I wonder, the faster it grows, might it be the faster it falls?

It’s still too early to tell in terms of future search interest going up or down.

I noticed that the bloopdance pitch wasn’t changing based on the accelerometer changes, i.e. from shaking the phone around or tilting it side to side. The frequency cutoff was still working, controlled by a vertical tilt of the phone.

Looking into it seems like there’s some issue with the web audio API in updating the frequency value. For some reason oscillator.frequency.value = pitch stopped working. I updated it to use another method to change the pitch: oscillator.frequency.setValueAtTime(pitch, context.currentTime) . This worked 🎉

However, very slight changes in the accelerometer caused the pitch to waver. I introduced some light smoothing to…


Was it useful to work on a draft even if the finished piece feels meh? Is it valuable to write and write if I find little reception? I’m finding myself having these questions as I work on longform essays. I’m putting more research, time, and thought into the works, and I’m noticing these discouraging thoughts show up. Is this really worth the time you’re putting in? This is nothing compared to the brilliant writing from [insert magazine here].

Julie Zhuo explores these creative tensions, in particular while working on novels during National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to get…

Right now I have a fav digital tool and fav analog tool for writing.

For digital it's using a meditation timer set for 30 minutes. Sometimes it can feel a bit overwhelming to start a post or get back into one. Setting a timer helps get things moving. Here's one I use:

For analog it's a fountain pen. I've been writing in a journal every day for years. Finding a pen that feels smooth and works well both literally and figuratively helps the creativity flow. Recently I picked up the Pilot Metropolitan pen. I've never used a fountain pen before, and this has felt pretty good.

Kawandeep Virdee

Writers @Medium, Editor of Creators Hub. Author of “Feeling Great About My Butt.” Previously: Product @embedly, Research @NECSI.

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