Hi, my name is Ashu Desai and I’m currently a co-founder and game developer at Manifold Studios in Boston Massachusetts. I was born in Princeton New Jersey, near the home of my childhood hero, inventor Thomas Alva Edison. My family then moved to Asia for six years (Singapore and Hong Kong) before returning to America to live in the Bay Area. I attended Menlo High School and spent a year at UCLA studying Computer Science. I’m fortunate that at such a young age I’ve had incredible exposure to the world, having travelled to over 25 countries, and having learned parts of 4 Asian languages (Gujarati, Hindi, Japanese and Chinese). Although Italy is a close second, Silicon Valley is my favorite place in the world, and is the first in which I’ve really felt at home. The unique entrepreneurial spirit and emphasis on pursuing your passions and reaching for the stars would be considered naive and foolish in many cultures. But life is short, and sometimes being foolish is the best way to have fun.
I’ve always been curious about new technology and had the desire to be an inventor, but I really fell in love with computer science when I started coding my sophomore year in high school. I love the creative problem solving aspect of the subject and love how limitless the field is, if you can dream it, you can do it. The highlight of my experience with computer science was learning how to write iPhone apps. Two summers ago, I challenged myself to learn Objective-C instead of getting a summer job. The result was “Helicopter” which has been a small success (download it on the app store). Recently I decided to raise the stakes and leave school to pursue my interest in developing iOS applications. Like many successful (and many unsuccessful) entrepreneurs before me, I founded my first company in foolish hopes of one day putting a ding in the universe.
A few of my foolish philosophies of life:
One cannot possibly learn everything he will need in the future. Instead learn how to learn fast, so he can learn as the need arises.
Living is the moments that make our heart race and our mind race.
Sarve jana he sukhino bhavantu (Let everyone be very happy)
Kruvanto Vishwamaryami (Strive to make this world prosper)
— Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism)
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
— Albert Einstein
“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”
— Alan Kay
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
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