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my top 10 articles from 2020

my top 10 articles from 2020
Photo by Elizabeth McDaniel / Unsplash

Here, I highlight my top articles from 2020. I'll be doing this for other years soon.

2020 was a year for the books.

For the world, but also for me:

  • 2020 was the first year I wrote daily
  • 2020 was the year I worked on a startup
  • 2020 was the year I finished my gap year and started working full-time

I wrote daily from Jan 20-Feb 20.

Here are my 5 favorite articles from the first time I wrote daily:

  1. How To Read More and Better: My Lightweight Reading System — this is still how I read
  2. Copywork: A Proven Method to Improve Your Writing — I'm still so big on this and try to make time for it
  3. How to Keep In Touch With Friends Over Text — short article but I think about it a lot when sending "maintenance texts"
  4. I Used a Gap Year To Change My Identity. And It Worked! — if anyone is considering a career break, read this. I sent it to a friend recently
  5. The World Is Made of Infinitely Many Bubbles — I reflect on the Waterloos of the world

Honorable mention: Bigger Is Not Better: A Response to My Good Friend Ray. I still hold a similar writing ethos. More than anything else, I still want my writing to be accessible.

I grew my startup in 2020. Then I shut it down.

In 2020 I was obsessed with the topic of product-market fit.

I read all the books, I talked to all the founders in my network, and I spent time in the trenches, trying to figure it out for my own startup, Quickapply.

All that shows in my writing here.

Here are my 5 best articles on startups from that time:

  1. In Search of Product Market Fit: Education for the First 100 Days — lmao I disagree publicly with Paul Graham in this one
  2. How to Flail at Doing a Startup, Part 1: The Story So Far – I build an MVP, test it, and consider the merits of the startup idea (Nov '19)
  3. How to Flail at Doing a Startup, Part 2: Product/Market Fit Update — I test the MVP again but use the Superhuman product/market fit survey (Feb '20)
  4. How to Flail at Doing a Startup, Part 3: A Wild Cofounder Appeared — I consider more to the business, like cofounders and competition (May '20)
  5. The Essential Guide to Grabbing More Software Engineering Interviews 🌟 — The students that used Quickapply loved this article (it was originally on the Quickapply site). I spent a month writing this piece of content marketing, working with an editor from Upwork

Honorable mention: for some reason this article is my most popular on Medium. It's about the startup ideas I had that I didn't pursue. I know, I got some flack for calling Indian people cheap in the article 😅

Ultimately I shut down the startup in Dec 2020. We were able to grow Quickapply to over a thousand users, and made a quick buck that fall recruiting season. We also got an interview with YCombinator. But in the end I got burnt out and didn't have the energy to figure out the remaining challenges for the business.

You're holding a time capsule in your hands.

This is my 2020.

Take a moment to think back. What was your 2020?