For my reach out assignment I chose Harjeet Taggar, one of the 11 partners at Y Combinator.
Harj became a partner at YC when he was just 25. At 22 he went through YC for his company Auctomatic and sold it for $5 million. I had watched an interview with him on TechCrunch and was impressed at what he accomplished at his age. He also seemed approachable and easy going.
I asked Alex Andon if he could introduce me to a Y Combinator partner. Jellyfish Art did the previous batch of Y Combinator and still has office hours with the YC partners. He had office hours scheduled for July 20th with Harj. Before the office hours Alex briefed me on his new venture ideas and answered my questions. The video call consisted of Alex pitching Harj on his ideas. Afterwards Alex and I analyzed Harj’s reaction and shared more ideas. I didn’t talk directly with Harj myself. However, I benefitted tremendously from the experience. I hadn’t thought to ask Alex for details on his other business ideas. I also hadn’t thought I could get face time with a YC partner, though I have YC connection through Alex. I was inspired my Harj’s methodological questioning. I aspire to similarly analyze ideas without making brash assumptions or seeming too negative. I’m learning to be a collaborator rather than just a critic.
This past weekend I attended iOSDevCamp at eBay HQ in San Jose. I had a great time contributing to the open source mobile web framework iUI, meeting new people and seeing the demos. I was impressed by the turnout for women and people under 20. The hackathon had a welcoming atmosphere that I hope to see at hackathons I attend in the future.
My parents flew in on Tuesday and are exploring the area. On their first day we had Italian food at Café Delucchi near my apartment in North Beach. We have tickets tonight for Beach Blanket Babylon. BBB is an elaborate drag show and one of the major tourist attractions in SF.
Alex is hiring me part-time for the school year to work on Jellyfish Art and his early stage ventures. I look forward to earning extra spending money, deepening my experience with e-commerce web development and continuing to work with Alex.
This summer I grew as a person and a developer. I became more curious about how things worked and open to new experiences. Learning to program changed my life. I have access to more opportunities and social networks. I can immediately pursue my startup ideas. At the beginning of this year I began a lifelong journey that will include numerous challenges and rewards. This fall I’m taking a classes on iOS development and web application development. I plan on returning to Silicon Valley when I graduate. Whatever I do, I know it will be an adventure.