Day 9: Write a review—a review for writers—of your favorite recent blog post or article. (See description for details.)
Write a review—a review for writers—of your favorite recent blog post or article. What ideas draw you into the article? But, more than the ideas, what writing choices did the author make that made it so good? What tools of representation—words, jokes, descriptions, metaphors, hyperbole, informal voice, call to action, etc.—did the author use that you also might use someday?
I picked this article because I wish to start a start-up one day, and the fact that someone could “unintentionally” get into YC really piqued my interest. It’s also, overall, an inspirational story with a simple call-to-action: start!
The first thing that stands out about the article would be the title.
“Unintentionally in YC: Leaving finance and landing in the world’s most prestigious accelerator without meaning to”
Anyone who’s ever dreamed of starting a start-up knows the two letters YC, and it’s always their goal to get accepted into YC. The target audience is already suckered in–unintentionally getting into YC is the pipe dream, and so the title provides intrigue.
Andrew starts the article with his before: “I’d crash on friends’ couches for the better part of two months” and then the after: “we’re working with the best civic and nonprofit organizations in the world, including the Gates Foundation, Kipp, and the White House.”
There is a stark contrast before his before and after, and everyone loves reading about the “rags to riches” hero story (even if the hero did not necessarily begin in rags nor end in riches). This sets the context for the story to follow, and invites the readers to join him in his journey.
Andrew begins his story with his little pet projects. It’s a logical place to start a story about start-ups. I would venture to say that the primary project of a start-up is rarely the first project of the founders.
When transitioning to his start into team-prototyping, there’s a full-size picture that has 5 words: “Dude, we need to talk.” Very entrancing and makes the reader wonder, “about what?”
The next “chapter” of his story is when he gets an offer from YC. This is signified by another full-size picture with the text, ““Hi Paul, Andrew, and Eric — This is not spam””
Given that the reader already knows that Andrew has gotten into YC, the reader automatically assumes that the quote came from someone from YC, reaching out.
The rest of the story details the team’s interview process and getting excited to begin a new chapter of their lives.
I really enjoyed the story primarily because it spoke to my heart, as an entrepreneur at heart.
Though the style in which the article is written is nothing special (except of course for the breaks in text via pictures), I just enjoyed the encouraging story behind the text, as well as the simple call to action at the end: “Just start.”