Fast and loose race at a slow and steady pace!

The story of Bopgig is a long one –  and not without hiccups. 

2001: Final-year undergrad student enters MBA competition.

2003: Multiple PHP apps cobbled together. Later GrooveGuide is added – a free street-press magazine. Problem: lack of app integration and hence automated signups.

2009: Rethinking the business model and user experience. BopGig or GigPop?

2010: A working prototype launches. A Y-Combinator application occurs.

2011: Development moves from USA to Israel.

2012: Public launch and then a pivot into indefinite hibernation!

2020: Hibernation continues!


2010 – The Twitter UI gets an overhaul

March 2009:

pic 4 notes: (2010 screenshot)
(1) Browse pre-selected twitter accounts from a menu that is opened.
(2) Searchable list of celebrity accounts from @valebrity within a dropdown.
(3) 2nd and 3rd columns (middle and right) could be switched with the preference remembered between sessions.

  • 1st and 3rd columns floated into view (with fresh user data) whenever a user was selected within the middle column.
  • The basis of this site was done by a talented WordPress developer in Romania using newly released Web 2.0 tech according to my spec. I ended up building upon that foundation very substantially in the subsequent months. The site became unusable when Twitter changed their API in August 2010 but I still have the code and had fun building it. I initially launched it via a Techcrunch comment.

September 2010:


0:58: “We had a bunch of changes in mind that we’ve been wanting to do for a long time. And sometimes you can make them incrementally and sometimes it kind of takes a big rethinking. And so this was one of those times where we decided to take a big leap forward just to create the best product we can.” ~ Evan Williams, 9/2010

May 2020:

Brighter Days

From the time I moved into the Great Twitya Pad to the time I left, there was always something going on. Life could’ve been much worse though.

By May 2008, I found myself back at Hayarkon hostel, Tel Aviv:

Then, after pondering what to do, I decided to return to acting so I took these headshots and sent them to the talent agency who had already spotted me in Jerusalem in 2005:

This led to my first extras role since my 2005 role as a Roman soldier for a History/NatGeo documentary (Mount Zion):

At the hostel, another Australian guest took issue with me living at the hostel even after making ‘aaliyah.’ Regardless, I found myself wanting to leave anyhow.

Soon after I found the Great Twitya Pad while literally walking up the street (just after dark) with my bags after grabbing a newspaper. Whoever picked up my phone call first had my business. I was so keen to find brighter days.

Many people door knocked. I rarely answered because they were strangers.

Outside my door was another door into a corridor and groups would congregate, chatter, unlock the door and then close it behind them. So it was noisy but it didn’t matter. It was far better than nothing at all.

During my time at the Great Twitya Pad starting in mid 2008, I returned to Tsfat and attended a few tech events.

I’d also go rollerblading to Tel Aviv port and the skatepark.

I ended up in a number of film, TV and advertising productions including Bena and David and Kamal. I also acted with a small dog in a Chevrolet advertisement.

In February 2009 while working diligently on Twitya, there was a callout to do this supermarket TV ad. It was a welcome break (and brake) to my train of thought!

These activities continued into 2009 before I left to Jerusalem in early 2010. By that stage I had lost hair and developed adult acne in that apartment, which all soon dissipated. I had trouble with Hebrew but I felt I was moving forward regardless. I had already learned Hebrew in primary school for 6 years, so I could speak and read it pretty well.

So in terms of Brighter Days:

Seek, and you shall find – Luke 11:9

Believing is seeing!

A girl is mugged, but she ends up fine in a surreal incident for the author!

It is 25 June 2009 around 3am, and I am listening to news of Michael Jackson’s death (and his music) on my computer inside my apartment in Tel Aviv:


I was reading various people’s thoughts on Hacker News:

When I first heard of his death, “Never Can Say Goodbye” seemed like the most appropriate track for that moment.

But then I started hearing squeals (not really screams) from the street below and I thought they were coming from drunk girls and so didn’t pay too much attention:


However, the squeals persisted. After about 20 – 30 seconds I peer out and a woman is lying on the road holding her handbag with one hand, while a bagsnatcher is trying to yank it away from her. There is a bicycle on the ground between them. He is still standing up. I yell aggressively a few times at the man, he looks around (not at me,) lets go and sprints around the corner:

Interestingly, the street was empty and quiet at the time.

I go downstairs and the police have already been called by a bystander. The police arrive and I thought I saw the same man up the street again but an officer told me that he had already been apprehended in the area and was known to them.

I go to the station with the woman in a police car. She appeared unhurt (perhaps grazed) and was speaking Russian. She could have been a prostitute. Her handbag was damaged.

My witness report was emailed to the station officer later due to language difficulties.

I got a call some weeks later from a lawyer asking what I was doing up at that hour and I told them about MJ.

It was a surreal, very sad and unnerving night to say the least.

Eurekamp was a 2 day tech-workshop event. I attended the 2009 one (13/14 February) and met a number of interesting characters. The last Israeli one was in 2012. There is also a Canadian one for children.

Interestingly, I used one of the photos from it for Ormus King 1 (below left.)

– date above incorrect. Yossi Vardi sitting in right pic.

en.wikipedia.og/wiki/Unicorn#/media/File:DomenichinounicornPalFarnese.jpg (timecodes: 3.14, 3.22, 6:03, 10:38, 12:20) [Yosi Taguri – Eurekamp 2009]