February 20th, 1981
I am born in Peru.
My family moves to New Jersey.
I spend my high school years making 3D computer animated short films for fun. At this time I begin to come into the fullness of my geekdom and movie buff-ness, and develop a passion for story telling, so short animated films become my way of exorcising those creative demons.
I move to Brooklyn and enter Pratt Institute of Art and Design as a Computer Animation major. My time is spent in being mesmerized by extraordinarily talented artists and I am immersed in non-stop inspiration. While other animation majors students focus on courses in that field, I can’t help but explore classes in a spectrum of artistic disciplines, including film, graphic design, and photography. By the time I conclude my last class, I’ve realized a most important lesson: all knowledge is connected.
I start working in advertising.
I discover—and become addicted to—TED Talks. Like many people who are drawn into the world of TED Talks, it becomes a life goal for me to be worthy of that stage someday. To have an Idea Worth Spreading.
I spend my rare free time working on personal creative projects and teaching classes at schools like Pratt & NYU. One of these projects is directing a music video composed of 45,000 photographs. The video ends up on the front page of Digg, Gizmodo, and Wired, and is staff-picked by Vimeo. This is an exciting, exhausting time for me, but I’m not in a situation that allows me to dedicate myself fully to this kind of work.
I’m still in advertising… constantly working long nights and long weekends. I find myself increasingly dissatisfied creatively. My social life is nonexistent, and don’t get to spend enough time with my family.
I watch a TED talk by Stefan Sagmeister—The Power of Time Off. My life is changed forever. In his talk, Sagmeister (also a Pratt alumni) explains how his creativity has benefitted from shutting down his studio every seven years and taking a year off from work. I’m instantly inspired. I immediately start crunching numbers and looking at my savings. I figure out how much I will have to save in order to take a frugal year off from work, and start saving saving saving.
Feb 20th, 2011
I turn 30 years old! I quit my job! I start a year off from work so I can do all those things I’ve never had time for, like travel, spend time with my family, and focus time on my own personal creative ideas.
The first of these ideas is a project I call “1 Second Everyday.” The concept is simple: every day I record one second of video—something that will help me remember that day. I then begin chronologically compiling these tiny slices of my life into a single, continuous video.
The 1 Second Everyday idea begins as a fun way for me to chronicle my year off, but it quickly grows into something more important. It allows me to easily reflect on my life and to look back at my decisions. I start re-evaluating how I approached each day.
After only a few weeks of compiling clips, I’m able to look at the video and identify instances when several days go by without anything remotely interesting or outside my typical routine occurring. It starts encouraging me to wake up & seize the day.
I decide to continue doing this for the rest of my life.
March 27th & 28th, 2011
I forget to record a second. It torments me, but I learn a valuable lesson: when you’re not doing anything interesting, it doesn’t occur to you to capture the moment.
April 15rd, 2011
A once in a lifetime opportunity pops up on my Facebook feed. TED decides to hold the first ever TED talk auditions. I have doubts about anything in my life being worthy of the TED stage, but I’m plagued by the thought that if I don’t apply, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life.
April 23rd, 2011
It occurs to me that my 1 Second Everyday project might be an “Idea Worth Spreading.”
April 25th, 2011
(thank to the 1SE project, I now know exact dates for these notable moments)
I post my one-minute audition video to TED with just minutes to spare before the deadline.
May 6th, 2011
A dream comes true, and my life changes forever. I receive an e-mail from TED that out of hundreds of submissions, I’m one of 17 (including Reggie Watts!) to be chosen to audition live on stage at a special TED event in New York!
May 24th, 2011
TED talk day. Many fly in from around the world to audition, but I only have to take the subway. I’ve never been more nervous. Worst-case scenario… I tell myself to just speak from the heart. I walk off stage convinced that I was horrible. I unintentionally close off my talk by saying that I’d like to build an App that would make this easy for anyone to do. Ultimately, I’m happy just to have done my best and pleased that I now have a photo of me with a TED sign behind me. I’m convinced it’ll be my last Facebook profile photo ever.
June 6th, 2011
I fulfill a lifelong dream to drive around the USA to the West Coast, return through Canada… and do it slowly. My friend Schoneck and I head off, and will not return to New York until 95 days later.
June 15th, 2011
I get a phone call from TED, asking if I’d like to come speak at TED2012. I freak out! Somehow, I’m able to keep it a secret for the rest of the year.
October 26th, 2011
A catastrophic event hits my family. I don’t forget to record a second every day. It devastates me. Learn a valuable lesson, when you’re going through horrible times, it doesn’t occur to you to capture the moment… but my 1SE project forces me too.
December 24th, 2011
After 2 months in the hospital, my sister-in-law returns home in time for Christmas. In the months that follow, I’m grateful that I kept recording 1SE. Reflecting on the bad times allows me to better appreciate the good times. Before 1SE, this wasn’t easy to do.
January 11th, 2012
The secret is out. TED announces the speaker program for TED 2012. Now I can tell my friends and don’t have to freak out alone!
January 25th, 2012
Finally, after a long absence, I fly back to Peru to spend time with family.
February 20th, 2012
I turn 31. It’s a wrap for the first year of my lifelong 1SE project.
February 27th, 2012
The TED conference begins & I’m utterly overwhelmed in every conceivable level. I meet some personal heroes of mine included Bill Nye (the science guy). I mention to him how nervous I am about speaking at the end of the week. He replies, “if you weren’t nervous, it wouldn’t be worth doing”.
March 2nd, 2012
One of the best weeks of my life comes to a close as the TED conference concludes, and I give my TED talk.
June 29th, 2012
After a meticulous search for the right developers to team up with in order to bring my vision of the 1SE App to life, I get rolling with the über-talented crew of Alchemy50 here in Brooklyn.
November 27th, 2012
December 10th, 2012
December 27th, 2012
January 10th, 2013
We are putting the finishing touches on the Android version of the App.
I can’t give anything away, but I have some rather ambitious goals for the future of this project. Stay Tuned!