Myc is one of the original reprogramming factors used to produce induced pluripotent stem cells. However, it is not necessary, instead its main role is to increase the efficiency of the reprogramming. The article by Scognamiglio et al (2016) helps clarify how. The authors show that Myc depletion leads to a reversible dormant state consistent with diapause. In this state, the cell sees its proliferation potential diminished but its pluripotency unchanged. The ability to coordinate the induction of this state should have important implications in cell differentiation.