1st Place + $18,000!

For the last 4 weeks I’ve been competing in the Pioneer.app + Lambda School Tournament and today I am happy to announce that I took 1st Place on the Lambda Leaderboard!

Pioneer is an attempt to find the most brilliant people in the world, “Lost Einsteins” wherever they are, and help them achieve their goals. It was founded by Daniel Gross and funded by Stripe and Marc Andreessen.

The Lambda+Pioneer leaderboard wasn’t the only challenge though. Also managed to win 6th and 27th on the Pioneer US-West & Global leaderboards as well.

I couldn’t have done this without the contributions and magnificent work from my teammate & project partner Ivana Huckova, she is a champion level JS Software Engineer.

Many long days/nights of work to get to this point. Over 370 hours in one month. $1300 of Amazon Web Services (AWS) compute processing. We successfully took our idea of AI powered auto-moderation, built a proof-of-concept (hackersalt.com) from scratch, then identified two potential business models. We’ll be launching those products in a few more weeks.

I believe these products will make the internet a better - less toxic - place to be.

Significant Competition

This competiton was fierce and included participants who have either been through Y-Combinator before or are currently in Y-Combinator. There were also a large number of participants. It was inspiring and humbling to compete alongside them all.

Me vs Me

At the end of the day the format of this compeition is me vs myself. Will I hold myself accountable? Will I set ambitious goals and exceed them? Will I communicate my progress succinctly and effectively?

The only reason I placed where I did is because I encountered every one of these questions each week and answered them with a resounding “YES”.

This is my personality, and I’m greatful for the opportunity to showcase my tenacity, grit, and persistence. Outside of actual startup success it’s not very often you can find an opportunity for these traits to be on display.

The Data Science

The models I trained, built, and iterated for this competiton may not have been the most novel or ambitious, but they were effective & deployable.

So often we see projects that miss deployment deadlines or get held up in an endless cycle of marginal improvement.

If it doesn’t ship, it doesn’t help. If it isn’t helping, it isn’t creating value.

This is why when it comes down to “Done vs Perfect” I am on the side of “Done > Perfect”.

Update: 05/24/2019

The final standings & scores have been calculated:

  • My Score: 3667
  • Lambda School Leaderboard - 1st Place
  • US West Leaderboard - 7th Place
  • Global Leaderboard - 28th Place