Saturday, November 10, 2012

Attention Brainiacs: Y Combinator on What They're Funding Now (not yet a brainiac? become one in ten days)

From YCombinator's Paul Graham:

The Hardware Renaissance
One advantage of Y Combinator's early, broad focus is that we see trends before most other people. And one of the most conspicuous trends in the last batch was the large number of hardware startups. Out of 84 companies, 7 were making hardware. On the whole they've done better than the companies that weren't.

They've faced resistance from investors of course. Investors have a deep-seated bias against hardware. But investors' opinions are a trailing indicator. The best founders are better at seeing the future than the best investors, because the best founders are making it.

There is no one single force driving this trend. Hardware does well on crowdfunding sites. The spread of tablets makes it possible to build new things controlled by and even incorporating them. Electric motors have improved. Wireless connectivity of various types can now be taken for granted. It's getting more straightforward to get things manufactured. Arduinos, 3D printing, laser cutters, and more accessible CNC milling are making hardware easier to prototype. Retailers are less of a bottleneck as customers increasingly buy online....MORE
So if you want to work on hardware, don't be deterred from doing it because you worry investors will discriminate against you. And in particular, don't be deterred from applying to Y Combinator with a hardware idea, because we're especially interested in hardware startups.

We know there's room for the next Steve Jobs. But there's almost certainly also room for the first .
And from Study Hacks:

Mastering Linear Algebra in 10 Days: Astounding Experiments in Ultra-Learning

The MIT Challenge
My friend Scott Young recently finished an astounding feat: he completed all 33 courses in MIT’s fabled computer science curriculum, from Linear Algebra to Theory of Computation, in less than one year. More importantly, he did it all on his own, watching the lectures online and evaluating himself using the actual exams. (See Scott’s FAQ page for the details of how he ran this challenge.)

HT on both posts: Simoleon Sense