W6D1 - Grow the puzzle around you


I've been a little distracted today, moving between browsers, V8 and JIT. Given the success of JIT, I'm a little surprised it's not more widely adopted by other languages, or perhaps, I just haven't noticed it before.

I also switched back to Python after time spent learning Go and Rust, in light of algorithm interview prep in the coming weeks. It took me a bit of time to adjust, but it felt liberating once I got started. It's like speaking a language without having to search for the words, allowing you to focus on the conversation itself.

Content: Grow the puzzle around you

I know I'm not in the Bay Area anymore when I have to explain what Y Combinator is. YC is a three-month startup school where founders receive coaching on how to refine their product and sell their ideas to investors. Its head-turning record of success has inspired hundreds of other accelerators worldwide, keen to replicate YC's investment and training philosophy (source: The Economist).

I admire how YC has an emphasis on nice people. Founders are assessed as to "whether they're good people or not", consciously avoiding "jerks but who seemed likely to succeed". YC open sources a lot of its material, for example the Startup School online course, and promotes founder-friendly investment terms.

It's been noted how the close-knit feeling might be diluted as the program grows; the 116 startups per batch in 2015 is now 197. What we can perhaps agree on is the wonderful content made available. I'll share my favorites over the next few days, the following by Jessica Livingston.


You are a jigsaw puzzle piece of a certain shape. You could change your shape to fit an existing hole in the world. That was the traditional plan. But there’s another way that can often be better for you and for the world: to grow a new puzzle around you. That’s what I did, and I was a pretty weird-shaped piece. So if I can do it, there’s more hope for you than you probably realize.