This is the personal webpage of Allen Cheng. Here are a few things you might be interested in.
Over the years, I’ve written a lot of book summaries. They’re comprehensive, logical, and coherent, just the way I like them. A lot of other people liked them too (a reader called them “truly amazing“and “the Moby Dick of book summaries”).
This gave me the idea to start Shortform. Our mission is to spread the world’s best ideas.
You probably have a lot that you want to learn, more than you possibly have time for. Imagine getting all the knowledge you want everyday—from books, articles, podcasts, and videos—summarized so you get the key ideas in a fraction of the time. That’s what we’re doing at Shortform.
If this sounds like something you’d like, sign up for Shortform here and get free book summaries.
Before Shortform, I co-founded PrepScholar and wrote a lot of popular guides (as well as overseeing our best-in-class product and content teams), so a lot of students and parents continue sending me questions about college admissions. I’d love to help as many people I can with my limited time.
The best way I’ve figured out is to publish all the advice I give publicly, on a newsletter and this Q&A page. This means when I help one student, I can help thousands.
What this means for you: if you send me a question, I will publish your question and my answer. Before publishing, I’ll anonymize your question, removing all identifying info (your name, email, high school, etc.), while still preserving enough info for context. Everyone wins—you get personal advice and thousands of other students benefit too.
I like advising startups and getting to know other founders in The Struggle (as Ben Horowitz calls it). Get in touch if you could use help on a problem or want to bounce ideas around.
Strategically, I’m most helpful in bootstrapped companies, getting to profitability, scaling from 1 to 100 people (and the management challenges that come with this), consumer products, and career track changes. (In contrast, I’m less helpful in raising huge VC rounds and B2B.)
Topically, I’m particularly interested in behavior change, education, healthcare, AI/NLP, and productivity. But I’m a dilettante and love learning about all the industries under the sun.
I maintain a few popular mailing lists along different topics. You can choose which lists you’re interested in, and you can unsubscribe anytime.
I’m currently founder at Shortform. Our mission is to spread the world’s best ideas. Imagine getting all the knowledge you want everyday—from books, articles, podcasts, and videos—summarized so you get the key ideas in a fraction of the time. That’s what we’re doing at Shortform.
I previously co-founded PrepScholar, an educational technology company. PrepScholar creates online learning programs that understand each student’s strengths/weaknesses and learning style, then customizes the learning experience. PrepScholar currently focuses on private education and test preparation. It’s bootstrapped and happily profitable.
I graduated from Harvard College with an AB/AM in Chemistry in 2009. I joined the MDPhD program at Harvard Medical School and MIT, and withdrew in 2013 to start PrepScholar.