The exact application that I used to get into the first-ever remote batch of Y Combinator

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Well, I guess it’s just that time of the year.

Days are getting shorter. There’s a bit of a chill in the wind. And founders all over the world are burning the midnight oil to get their Y Combinator winter application done.

My Y Combinator journey was not a straight forward one.

For the record, I applied six times. Was offered an interview four times. Interviewed twice. Got in once.

This post publicly shares the exact application that I used to get into Y Combinator’s first-ever remote batch.

I’ve gone ahead and added some notes and commentary as someone who’s graduated the program and, now, knows a lot more about how YC functions. …


Going through one of the toughest startup accelerator programs in a 100% remote environment

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This past week, I got the opportunity of a lifetime: to present live in front of 2,000+ of the top investors as a part of YCombinator’s Summer 2020 Demo Day.

Except, this demo day was like no other.

Unlike every other batch that YCombinator has ever run, Summer 2020 was the first-ever batch and demo day to be 100% remote.

So what was it like? Here’s my recount of the last 4-month.

Virtual Interviews

YC is notorious for its incredibly challenging interview. It’s quite unusual in that there’s only one… and it’s only ten minutes long.

That’s right.

Ten minutes of being intensely questions by 2–4 YC partners about all aspects of your business. …


Before you can be heard, you must be discovered

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Photo by Burst from Pexels

As we now know, podcasting is a booming industry.

But unlike other creator platforms like Medium, YouTube, Instagram, etc., podcasting has one unique difference: it’s completely decentralized.

Whereas YouTube is the place to go for user-generated videos and Medium is the place for user-generated written content, podcasting doesn’t have a natural home.

You can listen to podcasts on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Overcast, Spotify, Anchor, and a dozen other podcast players.

For listeners, this is great. You can listen to your favorite podcasts from the app/ecosystem of your choice.

But if you’re a podcaster, this is actually really bad for three main…


A clear cut approach for landing your dream job in an increasingly competitive market

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Photo by Avel Chuklanov on Unsplash

So maybe you like to blog in your free time. Or podcast. Or create hilarious Tik-Tok reels.

The act of creating something from scratch and sharing it with the world is a thrill for you. The feeling that you get as you put the finishing touches on your latest creation puts butterflies in your stomach. And the second you press “post”, you can’t help but start to contemplate what your next project is going to be…

If that at all sounds like you, then you’re a creator just like me. …


And the right way to find the personal and career development books that you should be reading

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Photo by Lysander Yuen on Unsplash

You’ve seen them. You love them… top ten reading lists. You’ve probably seen them disguised in some form.

Top Ten Books to Take Your Business to the Next Level

or

Top Ten Books to 100x Your Productivity

or my favorite…

Top Ten Books You Need to Be Reading RIGHT NOW if You Want To Be Making Six-Figures.”

Look, I love reading. I won pretty much every reading competition in my elementary school growing up.

In the pre-Netflix era, that’s just what you did. Reading was a way to escape the real world and for a moment to experience a more adventurous world than your own without any of the risks. …


Three resources and five tools to make your life easier

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Photo by Melanie Pongratz on Unsplash

Imagine that you’re a lumberjack whose job is cutting wood for a local village.

Business is good until suddenly a new lumberjack sets up shop in your village and starts to steal all your customers.

You hear that this new lumberjack is able to deliver orders in half the time as your shop. The reason being? He’s using a chainsaw while you’re using a 15-year-old rusty hacksaw.

The point is, the quality of our work is a product of the tools that we have at our disposal.

The same principle applies to the field of podcasting. The better the tools and resources you have, the more productive you’ll be — whether that’s the microphone you’re using, the editing software you work with, or even the course material/mentors you’re learning from. …


The 4 steps you can take to finding your calling

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Photo by Abigail Keenan on Unsplash

In 2016, I graduated with my Bachelor's in Computer Science from the University of Michigan.

Since then, I’ve made countless mistakes when it comes to my career. From starting a failed business to bombing my first performance review and nearly getting fired.

All these mistakes stemmed from one root problem: not loving what I was doing.

It turns out, most career-related issues can be traced back to this one simple issue: The job you have is not the right one for you.

Solve this one problem and the others will simply crumble away. Every work annoyance (long morning commutes, project meetings, performance reviews, etc…) doesn’t seem so bad if you’re doing what you love. …


What happens when you find a career that blends perfectly with your passion and lifestyle

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Photo by luo chris from Pexels

In the startup world, there’s a term that describes when a company has reached the promised land: “Product/Market Fit.”

Product/Market fit is what happens when a company delivers a product or service that is so in sync with what a market needs that it creates exponential growth.

Every metric goes haywire. Revenue. Growth. Retention. Customer support emails.

Customers want your product so bad, they’ll rip it out of your hands.

Every billion-dollar company in existence has experienced this moment in their lifetime, often more than once: Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Telsa, Tinder, WhatsApp, etc…

I think this exact same principle is something that can be applied to our own lives. I refer to it as “Work/Life Fit” and it describes the moment when you find a career path that is such a good fit for your passion and skill set that it completely changes how you live. …


In the new world, there’s no such thing as a 9–5 day

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Video by Taryn Elliott from Pexels

6:00 AM. Your iPhone violently buzzes to remind you it’s time to get up. Consciously or not, you can learn a lot about yourself in the next few seconds.

In those first seconds of the day, you’ll know how you truly feel about your work.

Either the idea of getting to work fills you with excitement… Or it fills you with immense dread. Surprisingly little lies in between.

One year ago, I was the latter.

I was working a mind-numbing desk job and hating every second of it.

Granted, I was a Software Engineer at Facebook, earning a cushy six-figure salary right out of college and enjoying perks that most would have killed for…yet I was miserable. …


When a dream job doesn’t feel so dreamy

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Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Despite being buried in student debt, I left my cushy job this past March as a Software Engineer at Facebook to start my own company. For many (including my parents), this was the craziest thing I could have done.

On top of that, I didn’t even have a business idea that I wanted to pursue. There was so much uncertainty in my future, but there was one thing that I was absolutely sure about: I didn’t want to be a Software Engineer anymore.

Don’t get me wrong — working at Facebook was my dream job. Was.

How could it not be? In 2015, it was one of the fastest-growing companies in the world with no sign of stopping. It had everything: talented engineers, ridiculous compensation, happy employees, etc… Don’t even get me started on all the free food. …

About

Ish Baid

Founder @ Virtually (YC S20). Ex-Facebook. Helping anyone build and scale an online school. (https://tryvirtually.com/) 🚀

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