Making Something People Love: @Shoptiques Founder Olga Vidisheva

So how did you make it happen?

While attending Harvard Business School, my girlfriends and I would drive to New York almost every weekend to go boutique shopping in Soho or on the Lower East Side. I again was shocked that we had to drive four hours for items we couldn’t just purchase online. We wanted to give women immediate access to the most stylish boutiques and bring them the same intimate experience and curated pieces online. If you live far away, are time-starved, or simply want to discover new boutiques, is your one-stop destination. 

May she continue to be a role-model for founders everywhere!

Damn. @hueypriest nails it with this quote on the power of pseudonymity on @reddit

A pseudonymous convention that let Redditors pick the name they use on the site perhaps contributes to the confessional tone of some discussions, said Mr Martin.

"There are certain things that people are uncomfortable talking about on Facebook or Twitter for professional reasons or do not want to talk about in front of friends and family," he said.

Using a fake name on Reddit gave them the chance to air feelings, attitudes and stories that they would not otherwise share, he added.

"Facebook makes me hate the people I know and Reddit makes me like the people I don't know," he said.


Preach, brother.

People taking notice of r/MaleFashionAdvice - @Esquire

It defies every inclination of the Internet, but the people on this board still don't seem terribly full of themselves. Most of the users will tell you they discovered the board after a struggle with depression or a hard-won weight loss, rather than a new job or an inherited wardrobe.

Another special subreddit community unlike anything else you'll find online. Give r/MaleFashionAdvice a try! Swag.

r/loseit is changing lives - via @dailydot

Perhaps the most astounding success stories in the history of r/loseit is 25-year-old John’s drastic transformation. Known as moderndaymerlin on Reddit, his before-and-after photo is the subreddit’s third-most popular post of all time and made the front page when he posted it last year. The Irish graduate student went from 420 pounds in 2008 to around 160 today.

John, who is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in astrophysics in Belfast, said r/loseit offered him the support and encouragement he needed to stick with his diet and newly active exercise routine. Today, he returns the favor by offering support to others.

“I’m really proud now that I’m able to start helping people and give advice,” he said. “It’s always so flattering — and just plain awesome — to hear people say that I’m now an inspiration.”

These days, John is equally active in another subreddit, r/travel. When he was at his peak weight, traveling wasn’t something he was able to do. Now it’s his passion, and he thanks his support system at r/loseit for helping him to discover it.

“My advice to any redditors looking to lose weight and get in shape would be to be aware of your support network, be it r/loseit, family, friends, your local health center,” he said. “There are always people to talk to and offer advice and support.”

Elizabeth was even more blunt in her gratitude toward the web community.

“Thank you, r/loseit,” she told the Daily Dot. “You saved my life.”

So awesome. Congratulations!

Is @reddit going to replace college for people who can't afford higher education? @io9

As we move into a future where distance learning becomes the norm because almost nobody can afford a full-time, four-year education away from home, we need to be thinking about what will replace our college social lives as well as our classroom experiences. Reddit is one possibility. Another might be real-life study groups that form out of online discussion boards on specific topics. Maybe colleges will realize that socializing is a crucial part of the university experience, and build Reddit-like social spaces into their distance learning services.

Still another possibility, which I'm surprised nobody talks about more often, is that fewer people will go to college. Vocational schools might become more popular. People who want technical jobs might demonstrate their proficiency by going out and doing scientific or technical experiments, then posting them online. The next generation may prove that they never needed four years of breadth requirements to do professional work the first place.


Very interesting; good evidence of this already happening organically is

I'm betting it's also going to look like TutorspreeGeneral Assembly, Codecademy, and MakeGamesWith.Us.

That's why I invested in all of them.

Y Combinator Alum @MakeGamesWithUs Turns High School Kids Into iPhone Game Devs

makegameswithus logo

MakeGamesWithUs is a new iOS game publishing company with a twist: its focus is on helping high school and college students to build games. MakeGamesWithUs us will take the kids’ creations, provide professional graphics and art and publish them in the App Store. The kids will own the code, and the company will own the graphics and take a cut of the sales. The company already has a few games built by students available, including Elemental Fury.

More kids learning how to code, then turning that education into actually building things people love? I love it! #proudinvestor

Y Combinator's First Batch: Where Are They Now? Great @keysersosa profile!

The death of Memamp, or ‘Reddit’s first employee’

The people that you meet on a program such as Y Combinator can be as important, if not more so, than the program itself. Especially when your idea fails, as happened with memamp founder Chris Slowe.

Chris had been working on creating a better desktop search since early 2004, knowing that no existing solutions were any good. Y Combinator was the perfect chance to build it with memamp, but sometimes even a great idea, hard work, funding and an opportunity like the Summer Founders Program still aren’t enough.

That summer Google released their own Desktop Search solution. Not only that, but Apple announced their intention to build and add Spotlight to their next OS X release. Memamp pressed on, but it was too much, especially with the difficulties of trying to write a multi-platform desktop app.

Something like Y Combinator throws up opportunities in mysterious ways. Following the Summer Founders Program and the early death of memamp, Chris’ co-founder and roommate Zak Stone moved up the street to Harvard grad school. This left Chris with two spare rooms, just as the reddit co-founders were in need of a new apartment.

“I was reddit’s first employee about 2 months later,” Chris tells me. Memamp may have been dead, but things were looking up.

I'm quite happy Steve and I moved in -- things couldn't have worked out better with Chris!