In the last 5 years, I quit my corporate job, sold my startup company, was diagnosed with a rare brain disease called Moyamoya, and now my first ever board game is fully funded on Kickstarter. I'm here to tell you that life is short so go do that ...
Hello, my name is Wonmin Lee. It's pronounced like one minute.
I'm here to tell you about my experiences and hopefully convince some of you to quit the rat race and pursue your dreams. Life is short! You never know what's going to happen.
In the last 5 years, I...
- quit my job as a corporate slave.
- founded a startup with my brother and sold it to a competitor in 2019.
- was diagnosed with a rare brain disease called "Moyamoya" disease.
...and now I'm making a board game about being promoted at a cut-throat corporation. The gameplay is super unique (not that I'm biased or anything) with elements of Mario Kart and Yu-Gi-Oh mixed in.
It's called Welcome to Sysifus Corp. It just recently passed the 100% funded mark on Kickstarter and I cannot believe how blessed I am to have come so far!
Some other notable stuff (in no particular order) that happened in the last 5 years but couldn't fit into the 300 character limit:
- fell in love twice and broke up twice.
- met my current girlfriend who is super supportive and just all around amazing :)
- learned Japanese and passed the JLPT N1 and N2.
- created a NYC Terrace House watch group of almost 200 members. (Before the whole scandal and the show getting canceled. RIP Hana)
- met a bunch of Terrace House members.
- got a cat. His name is Lou.
- logged over 400 hours of Animal Crossing and probably the same amount on Genshin Impact. But neither game comes anywhere close to DOTA2.
Moyamoya disease is a rare blood vessel (vascular) disorder in which the carotid artery in the skull becomes blocked or narrowed, reducing blood flow to your brain. Tiny blood vessels then open up at the base of the brain in an attempt to supply the brain with blood.
— Mayo Clinic —
My neurosurgeon says I am not at critical risk right now but all Moyamoya patients are just basically ticking time bombs until they eventually have a stroke so he recommends surgery sooner rather than later. I'll be getting a STA-MCA bypass surgery.
I just got my COVID-19 vaccination thanks to this rare brain disease (Phase 1b of New York State) so I got that going for me, which is nice. And I will hopefully schedule my brain bypass surgery sometime after receiving my second vaccination shot in April.
If you or someone you know has Moyamoya, please encourage them to join the Moyamoya patients Facebook group!
Fun fact, "moyamoya" (モヤモヤ) means "hazy / murky / foggy / fuzzy" in Japanese and I think it's so funny how I learned Japanese and then was diagnosed with a rare Japanese brain disease.
Board game - Welcome to Sysifus Corp
I started making this game in my parents basement back in May 2018. There were three reasons why I wanted to make a board game:
- My father owns a printing company so I thought I'd have a competitive advantage.
- I wanted to make a game but I was super burnt out of coding at this point (knee-deep in start up stuff).
- I saw this Reddit thread and thought, why the hell can't I do that too?
For those of you out there who are interested in making a game, I'd highly encourage it, but with some caveats—namely, don't fucking underestimate it.
It took me three whole years of blood, sweat, and tears to get it to where it is and if I had known it would take so long at the beginning, I'm not sure I would've done it. But looking back, boy am I a different man from when I started (see what I did there?)
My startup - DomaHub Domains
DomaHub was a company that helped domainers (people who buy / sell domains) make sales landing pages for their large portfolio of domain names.
I know what you're thinking. Wow that's the sexiest idea I've ever heard, are you single?
The answer is no I'm not.
How did we come up with the idea?
Well at the time I was dating a lovely girl and our 100 days anniversary (which is a thing in Korean culture) was coming up. I wanted to do something geeky that involved web development because that's what I was good at. That gave me the idea of trying to buy the website www.happy100days.com to make a cute website for her. But then I thought, "I don't actually need the domain name for the entire year—I only need it for a day. I wish I could pay like $1 to just rent it for 24 hours..."
And thus the idea of "renting domain names" was born. Think about being able to rent www.happybirthday.com (currently on sale for $5 million USD) for a few bucks to send to a friend. Or www.imsorryimdumb.com for a few hours to apologize to your girlfriend? (true story).
Stupid idea? Maybe. Didn't stop me and my brother from throwing several years of our prime youth into it. Here's a photo from when we made our first $5.
I also emailed the mods about proof of the major stuff but they never responded to me. Please let me know if there is anything else I need to do!
Thanks for reading and please AMA!