January 28, 2020
Diego Saez Gil is the founder of Pachama. Pachama is building a marketplace where companies can support carbon offset projects.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.Y Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year.Learn more about YC and apply for funding here: ***Topics00:00 - Welcome Gustaf and Diego 01:19 - Diego's background06:50 - What is Pachama?09:25 - Using remote sensing to track carbon11:37 - Connecting disparate groups13:04 - How much carbon does a typical company offset?15:28 - How big is the reforesting opportunity?17:09 - What are the incentives to offset carbon?18:40 - Why don't people trust carbon offsets?20:33 - What are the different forest conservation methods?25:20 - How does Pachama use technology?29:00 - Growth challenges30:20 - Who are the customers?32:12 - The future of the carbon market32:48 - Fundraising for a climate startup37:50 - Advice for people that want to start working in the climate change space.41:38 - Climate policy43:23 - What are the most important things happening in the space?45:10 - The benefits of agroforestry and permaculture
December 18, 2019
Amber Atherton is the founder and CEO of Zyper (YC W18).Iba Masood is the cofounder and CEO of TARA (YC W15).The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.Y Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year.Learn more about YC and apply for funding here:  ***Topics00:00 - Intro1:16 - Seed fundraising for Zyper and Tara3:26 - Tara's pivot4:31 - Series A fundraising for Zyper and Tara18:11 - Evaluating investors23:46 - Meeting with associates and partners30:35 - Raising a Series A as a female founder39:31 - Fundraising psychology 41:46 - What not to do when fundraising 45:01 - Talking to portfolio companies about investors46:21 - What it's like to run a Series A stage company 1:00:41 - The most important piece of advice for fundraising
December 11, 2019
Laks Srini is the cofounder and CTO of ZeroDown. Before that he was the cofounder and CTO of Zenefits.You can find him on Twitter at @laks_srini.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.Y Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year.Learn more about YC and apply for funding here: ***Topics00:00 - Intro00:30 - What is ZeroDown?1:50 - How did they test the idea?3:50 - What did they learn from companies that failed in the space?8:00 - Breaking down the product11:25 - ZeroDown's customers13:35 - Expanding to other markets15:50 - What if a downturn happens?17:10 - ZeroDown's hiring strategy20:10 - What are their hardest technical challenges?22:05 - ZeroDown's breadth and product strategy26:40 - Customer interviews28:35 - Should everyone own a house?29:50 - Home ownership in the future32:45 - Build something you really want to see in the world34:40 - Working with his cofounders was the most important consideration
December 4, 2019
Matt Cutts is the Administrator of the US Digital Service and previously he was the head of the webspam team at Google.You can find him on Twitter at @mattcutts.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.Y Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year.Learn more about YC and apply for funding here: ***Topics00:00 - Intro00:36 - Working at Google in 20002:48 - Did Google's success feel certain?3:53 - Building self-service ads7:23 - The evil unicorn problem8:23 - Lawsuits around search10:48 - Content moderation and spam14:38 - Matt's progression over 17 years at Google17:18 - Deepfakes18:43 - Joining the USDS21:03 - What the USDS does23:43 - Working at the USDS26:43 - Educating people in government about tech28:58 - Creating a rapid feedback loop within government31:48 - Michael Wang asks - How does USDS decide whether to outsource something to a private company, or build the software in house?32:58 - Spencer Clark asks - It would seem that the government is so far behind the private industry’s technology. To what extent is this true and what can be done about it? How should we gauge the progress of institutions like the USDS?36:03 - Stephan Sturges asks - With GANs getting more and more powerful is the USDS thinking about the future of data authenticity?38:23 - John Doherty asks - How difficult was it to communicate Google’s algorithm changes and evolving SEO best practices without leaking new spam tactics?40:18 - Vanman0254 asks - How can smart tech folks better contribute to regulatory and policy discussions in government? 42:38 - Ronak Shah asks - What's your best pitch to high-performing startups in the Bay Area to adopt more of human centered design (something that the government has been moving towards surprisingly well, but that some fast moving startups have neglected resulting in controversy)49:58 - Adam Hoffman asks - What are legislators, the government, and the general populace most “getting wrong” in how they conceptualize the internet?51:33 - Raphael Ferreira asks - Is it possible to live without google? How do you think google affected people in searching for answers and content, now that’s we find everything in just one click?55:23 - Tim Woods asks - Which job was more fun and why?57:13 - Working in government vs private industry1:00:48 - Snehan Kekre asks - What is Matt's view of the ongoing debate about backdooring encryption for so called lawful interception?
November 27, 2019
Cory Doctorow is a blogger, journalist, and science fiction author. He’s also the co-editor of Boing Boing.Joe Betts-Lacroix is the CTO of VIUM and an Expert at YC.Y Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year.Learn more about YC and apply for funding here: ***Topics00:00 - Intro00:32 - Adversarial interoperability 7:55 - So what should founders do?13:55 - Copyright19:55 - Remixing 27:00 - AT&T29:50 - Firms and state-like duties31:25 - Medium-term suggestions for founders39:25 - Conspiracy theories51:50 - Science fiction and predictions 56:55 - Peak indifference model
November 13, 2019
In this week’s lecture YC President Geoff Ralston shares parting advice for all the founders that participated in Startup School.If you want to sign up for next year’s edition of Startup School, you can put your name on the waitlist at Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year.Learn more about YC and apply for funding here:***Topics00:00 - Intro00:31 - Geoff Ralston's Parting Advice00:51 - There is no one path3:19 - Find your path3:26 - Focus on what matters4:14 - Startups are hard4:46 - Things will go wrong8:04 - Determination10:21 - Default to action11:31 - Don't just not be evil. Be good.13:56 - Summary
November 6, 2019
We've cut down the tenth week of lectures to be even shorter and combined them into one podcast.First, a lecture from Ali Rowghani. Ali is a partner at YC. His lecture covers how to lead.Then a lecture from Kevin Hale and Adora Cheung. Kevin and Adora are both partners at YC. Their lecture breaks down this year’s Startup School by the numbers and they share tips on what helped companies most.Y Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year.Learn more about YC and apply for funding here:***Topics00:00 - Intro00:36 - Ali Rowghani - How to Lead1:36 - Ali's background2:56 - There's no single archetype for a great leader so be yourself5:16 - Great leaders think and communicate clearly9:56 - Great leaders have good judgement about people12:56 - Great leaders have strong personal integrity and commitment13:46 - The transparency test14:41 - The best way to measure great leaders is in terms of the amount of trust they engender in the people that work with them15:21 - The science of trust16:08 - The art of trust16:36 - Optimize for trust17:40 - Kevin Hale and Adora Cheung - Startup School 2019 by the Numbers19:24 - Startup School grew during the course20:24 - Did SUS make a difference?21:14 - 106 SUS companies were accepted into YC23:17 - How can you replicate their success?23:44 - Be clear and concise26:59 - Edit your company description28:04 - Weekly updates submitted28:39 - Top 7 biggest obstacles for SUS companies29:04 - Top 7 KPI movers29:59 - Top 7 user insights31:04 - Average startup weeks to launch31:54 - Average hard tech or biotech startup weeks to launch32:54 - % of weekly updates from launched startups33:34 - Group sessions33:59 - Companies got better at explaining their ideas, selling themselves, and getting others excited35:09 - Founders like qualitative feedback36:09 - No shows37:19 - Morale37:49 - Technical, launched, full-time, revenue generating, non-flaky, non-solo founder startups that talk to users are happier41:14 - Summary
October 30, 2019
We've cut down the ninth week of lectures to be even shorter and combined them into one podcast.First, a lecture from Carolynn Levy. Carolynn is a partner at YC. Her lecture covers modern startup financing.Then a lecture from Jared Friedman. Jared is also a partner at YC. His lecture focuses on advice for hard-tech and biotech founders.***Topics00:00 - Intro00:33 - Carolynn Levy - Modern Startup Financing1:33 - The basics: form a corporation, need money to grow?, sell a part of the company2:58 - Fundraising terms3:58 - What has changed: structure, access, focus5:10 - What hasn't changed: preferred stock financing, valuation and dilution, communication6:42 - Old way of raising early money: Series A preferred stock financing8:33 - What was broken?9:33 - The transition: bridge loan financings10:46 - Realization: convertible promissory notes are a better way to fund early stage startups12:01 - Modernization of the convertible - SAFE (Simple Agreement for Future Equity)14:03 - When do priced rounds happen?15:12 - Is modern early stage financing perfected?18:01 - Takeaways19:30 - Jared Friedman - Advice for Hard-tech and Biotech Founders20:25 - What is a hard-tech company?21:35 - Why start a hard-tech company?25:06 - YC is the largest bio and hard-tech seed investor in the world25:49 - How much of YC's advice applies to hard-tech founders?26:33 - How do you make progress when you have a "heavy MVP"?31:49 - How do you prove people will want your product, if you haven't built it yet?32:57 - Letter of Intent34:10 - Fundraising for hard-tech and biotech companies36:15 - Final thought
October 23, 2019
We've cut down the eighth week of lectures to be even shorter and combined them into one podcast.First a lecture from Adora Cheung. Adora’s a partner at YC. Her lecture covers how to prioritize your time.Then a lecture from Kevin Hale. Kevin is also a partner at YC. His lecture is the second part of his talk on how to evaluate startup ideas.Y Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year.Learn more about YC and apply for funding here:***Topics00:00 - Intro00:32 - Adora Cheung - How to Prioritize Your Time2:12 - Real vs fake progress4:10 - How to determine if you're prioritizing the right tasks4:42 - Keep a spreadsheet of ideas related to moving your primary KPI7:32 - Grade the new and old ideas once a week based on potential impact9:52 - Consider the complexity of each task11:32 - Don't try to do everything at once11:52 - How do I know I'm prioritizing my time well?13:42 - What if I can't complete my tasks in time?14:02 - Maker's Schedule, Manager's Schedule 15:32 - Moving fast16:47 - Kevin Hale - How to Evaluate Startup Ideas Pt. 218:52 - How to apply to Y Combinator20:17 - As a YC partner, you don't need to sell me21:12 - Can I understand the idea? Am I excited by it? Do I like the team and want to work with them?21:47 - How do I describe my company in a very efficient manner?22:52 - Making your idea legible25:12 - Things to avoid when describing your company27:34 - Be conversational28:02 - Avoid jargon, no preamble, and be reproducible28:47 - Nouns: what are you making, what is the problem, and who is the customer32:47 - Using the X for Y formula of explaining your startup36:57 - Be concise without leaving out the key nouns40:47 - How to adjust a description
October 16, 2019
We've cut down the seventh week of lectures to be even shorter and combined them into one podcast.Kevin Hale gave both lectures this week. Kevin’s a partner at YC and cofounded Wufoo. His first lecture is on how to improve conversion rates and his second lecture is on pricing for startups.Y Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year.Learn more about YC and apply for funding here:***Topics00:00 - Intro 00:27 - Kevin Hale - How to Improve Conversion Rates1:02 - Why we care about conversion rates2:02 - Shareware conversion rate is .5%2:22 - Casual download games is 2%2:32 - Freemium SaaS range from 1.5 to 5%3:57 - Knowledge spectrum5:52 - The one button interface6:37 - What is the call to action? And the magic moment.8:02 - What is it?8:38 - Is it right for me?9:02 - Is it legit?9:22 - Who else is using it?9:52 - How much? What's the catch?10:39 - Where can I get help?11:30 - Kevin Hale - Startup Pricing 10113:15 - Monetization gives you the biggest bang for your buck14:35 - Price thermometer16:35 - Mistake 1 - Prices are too low16:55 - Mistake 2 - Underestimate costs 17:08 - Mistake 3 - Don't understand your value17:27 - Mistake 4 - Focus on wrong customers18:05 - Sales and profit over a product's life19:20 - Why is pricing innovation hard?21:27 - How to optimize prices 22:32 - $1B formula24:05 - Price and complexity26:55 - 10 - 5 - 20 rule28:20 - Summary
October 9, 2019
We've cut down the sixth week of lectures to be even shorter and combined them into one podcast.First a lecture from Tim Brady. Tim’s a partner at YC. His lecture covers the importance of building a good culture early and shares six things that you can do now to help create a solid foundation for your startup.Then a lecture from Dalton Caldwell. Dalton is a partner at YC and he’s also the head of admissions. His lecture covers pivoting and his advice on how founders should think about it.Y Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year.Learn more about YC and apply for funding here:***Topics00:00 - Intro00:38 - Tim Brady on Building Culture1:13 - Culture is behavior and the right behaviors support a good business 4:38 - Six things new startups can do now5:00 - 1. Be proud of the problem you are solving7:31 - 2. Create a long term vision that others will follow9:36 - 3. List your values then model the behavior12:34 - 4. Align your culture with your customer14:49 - 5. Discuss the importance of diversity to your company16:43 - 6. Put a hiring process into practice. Plan to evolve it.18:24 - Dalton Caldwell on Pivoting18:53 - The term "pivot"20:20 - Why pivot?21:33 - Good reasons to pivot22:35 - Good reasons not to pivot23:13 - Why people take too long to pivot26:01 - Anecdotes27:22 - Product market fit28:34 - How to find a better idea30:40 - It's ok to not work on an idea that requires venture capital31:34 - Venture vs. non-venture scale ideas 32:52 - When is the best time to pivot33:48 - More pivoting thoughts 35:07 - Idea quality scores37:11 - Brex39:51 - Retool 41:37 - Magic43:22 - Segment45:16 - Dalton's summary
October 2, 2019
We've cut down the fifth week of lectures to be even shorter and combined them into one podcast.First a lecture from Kirsty Nathoo. Kirsty is a partner and CFO of YC. Her lecture focuses on the most common mistakes startups make with their finances and how they can avoid making them.Then a lecture from Kevin Hale. Kevin is also a partner at YC and he’ll talk about the importance of building a successful working relationship with your cofounders and processes you can use to do so.Y Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year.Learn more about YC and apply for funding here:***Topics00:00 - Intro00:38 - Kirsty Nathoo - Startup Finance Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them2:08 - #1 - Not knowing what to look at: bank balance, money coming in, and money going out2:56 - Burn3:41 - Runway4:59 - Growth rate 5:48 - Default alive - and - #2 - Not looking often enough: every week9:04 - #3 - Under-Representing Expenses 12:27 - #4 - Out-sourcing responsibility15:11 - #5 - Scaling too quickly20:08 - #6 - Letting runway get too low before fundraising - 23:21 - Kevin Hale - How to Work Together24:49 - Everyone fights25:43 - Four things to avoid: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, stonewalling27:40 - Make a plan before you fight: divide and conquer31:11 - Know thyself - - Document a process36:20 - Use nonviolent communication37:19 - Observation vs evaluation39:16 - Emotions vs thoughts - - Universal needs43:38 - Requests vs demands45:46 - How to Deliver Constructive Feedback in Difficult Situations - - Pay down your emotional debt47:18 - Practice having level 3 conversations
September 25, 2019
We've cut down the fourth week of lectures to be even shorter and combined them into one podcast.First a lecture from Kat Manalac. Kat is a partner at YC. Her lecture focuses on how startups should think about launching and why you should do it repeatedly.Then a lecture from Gustaf Alströmer. Gustaf is also a partner at YC and in his lecture he covers how to measure product market fit and growth channels.Y Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year.Learn more about YC and apply for funding here:***Topics00:00 - Intro00:35 - Kat Mañalac - How to Launch (Again and Again)1:51 - Ways to launch2:14 - Why launch continuously?3:15 - Silent launch4:25 - Friends & Family5:40 - Strangers7:03 - Online communities12:08 - Request access13:29 - Social media15:13 - Pre-order16:13 - New Product or Feature17:42 - Build your own community19:20 - Launching isn't one moment in time19:48 - Gustaf Alströmer - Growth for Startups21:06 - Most startups have nothing22:13 - Do things that don't scale27:13 - Startups take off because founders make them take off28:23 - Measuring product market fit31:20 - Retention34:33 - Worse ways to measure product market fit35:23 - Bad metrics to measure as product market fit36:18 - Growth channels and tactics38:17 - Conversion rate optimization41:26 - Growth channels to explore45:33 - Referrals and vitality48:05 - Paid growth50:09 - Search Engine Optimization53:00 - Making decisions using A/B testing55:02 - Summary
September 18, 2019
We've cut down the third week of lectures to be even shorter and combined them into one podcast.First, a lecture from Anu Hariharan. Anu is a partner at YC. Her lecture covers nine common startup business models and the metrics investors want to see for each.Then, a Q&A with Anu and Adora Cheung. Adora is also at partner at YC. During their Q&A they’ll answer questions from Startup School Founders on how investors evaluate startups.Y Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year.Learn more about YC and apply for funding here:***Topics00:00 - Intro00:39 - Anu Hariharan on Nine Business Models and the Metrics Investors Want1:44 - Enterprise4:09 - SAAS8:55 - Subscription11:33 - Transactional14:44 - Marketplace19:04 - E-commerce21:14 - Advertising23:12 - Hardware23:44 - Common mistakes25:35 - Anu Hariharan and Adora Cheung on How Investors Measure Startups Q&A26:07 - Team, product market fit, and market opportunity27:10 - What if the founder doesn't have experience in the are in which they're building a product?28:19 - How do investors know you're moving fast?29:40 - Local vs remote30:40 - Evaluating solo founders31:45 - Clarity of thought33:35 - International founders35:17 - Solo founders36:21 - Should I fundraise?38:33 - How does an investor evaluate a company with a heavy MVP?39:36 - How do you avoid investors who say "it's too early for us"?40:06 - Is it sensible to engage with investors before product market fit?40:26 - How do you find the perfect investor?41:21 - What are the best approaches for minority female founders to gain visibility within VC?42:36 - How do investors come up with valuations?
September 11, 2019
We've cut down the second week of lectures to be even shorter and combined them into one podcast.First, a lecture from Michael Seibel. Michael is CEO and a partner at YC. His lecture is about How to Plan an MVP.Then, a lecture from Adora Cheung. Adora is a YC partner and a cofounder of Homejoy. Her lecture is about How to Set KPIs and Goals.Last, a lecture from Ilya Volodarsky. Ilya is a cofounder of Segment. His lecture is about Analytics for Startups.Y Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year.Learn more about YC and apply for funding here:***Topics00:00 - Intro00:43 - Michael Seibel - How to Plan an MVP1:25 - The goal of a pre-launch startup3:10 - Iterating vs pivoting3:59 - Lean MVP5:06 - Heavy MVP6:19 - Launching7:35 - Learning is easier with an MVP8:07 - How to build an MVP quickly10:17 - Adora Cheung - How to Set KPIs and Goals11:51 - What are the right KPIs to set?15:50 - Revenue or active users16:28 - Why choose active users?18:55 - Biotech or hardtech KPIs20:25 - Secondary metric21:25 - What if you haven't launched?22:20 - Setting goals23:47 - How fast should you grow?25:13 - Defining your own goals28:40 - Tracking progress30:27 - Ilya Volodarsky - Analytics for Startups30:46 - Why analytics?31:36 - Funnel32:51 - Collecting data, analytics, and data flow34:16 - Metric - Signups per week35:28 - Metric - Retention cohorts36:30 - Which metric to pick?36:57 - Have I reached product market fit?37:27 - Metric - Revenue37:51 - Dashboards38:35 - Advisor updates39:01 - The startup stack42:13 - Recommendations for the MVP process
September 4, 2019
We've cut down the first week of Startup School lectures to be even shorter and combined them into one podcast. First, a lecture from Kevin Hale. Kevin is a YC partner and a cofounder of Wufoo. His lecture is about How to Evaluate Startup Ideas.Then, a lecture from Eric Migicovsky. Eric is a YC partner and the founder of Pebble. His lecture is about How to Talk to Users.Y Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year.Learn more about YC and apply for funding here:***Topics00:00 - Intro00:43 - Kevin Hale on How to Evaluate Startup Ideas2:04 - How can I predict if an investor will like my idea?2:50 - A startup idea is a hypothesis5:44 - Problem6:59 - Solution8:16 - Insight8:57 - Unfair advantages13:45 - Two beliefs about startups15:19 - Eric Migicovsky on How to Talk to Users17:36 - Three common errors people make when talking to users20:20 - Five questions to ask in a user interview20:28 - What's the hardest part about doing the thing you're trying to solve?21:02 - Tell me about the last time that you encountered this problem21:22 - Why was this hard?23:08 - What, if anything, have you done to try to solve this problem?24:10 - What don't you love about the solutions you've already tried?25:21 - Three stages in which talking to users is extremely beneficial26:07 - Idea stage30:40 - Prototype stage33:41 - Iterating towards product market fit
August 28, 2019
Diana Hu cofounded Escher Reality, which went through the Summer 2017 batch of YC. They were acquired by Niantic and she is now the head of their AR platform.She's on Twitter @sdianahu.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.Y Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year.Learn more about YC and apply for funding here:***Topics00:00 - Intro00:40 - Getting into AR2:55 - Her first exposure to AR4:40 - AR's future role in media7:45 - Deciding where to go with the product 9:55 - Innovations that enabled AR14:25 - Building a product in a new market17:25 - Raising money for a new market21:40 - Advice for founders after an acquisition 26:40 - Immigrating to the US31:10 - Advice for Immigrant founders33:49 - Advice for founders in/after YC
August 21, 2019
Aaron Harris is a Partner at YC and before that he cofounded Tutorspree.He’s on Twitter @harris.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.Y Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year.Learn more about YC and apply for funding here:***Topics00:00 - Intro00:42 - Seed fundraising process3:32 - Emailing investors9:32 - Parallelized fundraising process12:17 - Meeting with investors14:17 - Overcapitalization17:07 - Communicating your plan to investors19:02 - Evaluating investors 22:57 - Fundraising process for a Series A company27:02 - Meeting Series A investors28:57 - Post-Demo Day psychology
August 14, 2019
Jay Reno is the CEO and founder of Feather. Feather is a furniture subscription service. They were in the Summer 2017 batch of YC.You can check out their furniture at and if you live in LA, SF, or New York you can try out the service.Jay is on Twitter @jayjreno.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.Y Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year.Learn more about YC and apply for funding here:***Topics00:00 - Intro00:49 - Opting out of owning furniture6:29 - Feather's prototype9:19 - How much did he make from his MVP?9:59 - How many products did they have?12:14 - Legacy competitors 14:04 - Changing branding from to LiveFeather.com15:59 - Customer interviews and learnings18:29 - Scaling a company with physical products21:29 - Why expand to other markets vs focus on one?23:59 - Who to hire and when in a logistics-heavy business26:09 - Unexpected learnings from scaling Feather27:54 - Feeling his role change over time29:44 - Counterintuitive advice35:19 - Advice for YC founders after Demo Day
August 7, 2019
Russ Roberts is the host of the podcast EconTalk (iTunes, RSS, and YouTube), a research fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, and the author of several books, including How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life.You can find Russ on Twitter @econtalker.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.Y Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year.Learn more about YC and apply for funding here:***Topics00:00 - Intro00:29 - What are his thoughts on “meaning, spirituality, or sense of belonging” in regards to creating your own company?3:34 - Capitalism bearing the burden of human nature4:04 - Why Russ started EconTalk7:44 - Key economic concepts for founders after 700 EconTalk episodes13:49 - Helpful methods for teaching economic concepts18:09 - "Man naturally desires, not only to be loved, but to be lovely" - Adam Smith in The Theory of Moral Sentiments19:39 - Why Russ wrote How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life24:14 - How EconTalk has changed since the beginning 26:14 - Steve Adema asks - Russ Roberts has emphasized the limits of "only looking where the light is" when it comes to studying well-being. How can economists incorporate the aspects of well-being that aren't easily quantified?34:34 - Warren Buffett's gift to his son36:09 - Founders and unintended consequences 39:44 - The emotional aspect of giving your company away44:19 - Anthony Y. asks - Has a guest on his show ever made him change his mind on a topic?50:54 - Has Nassim Taleb convinced him to deadlift?52:59 - Russ often quotes David Foster Wallace's speech, “This is Water”. Specifically, he quotes the phrase, “everyone worships.” What does Russ worship?
July 31, 2019
Today’s episode is a preview of the Startup School podcast. We’re putting all the Startup School lectures on their own podcast feed. You can subscribe here:   iTunes  RSS  This is the first lecture from Startup School 2019. It’s Kevin Hale on How to Evaluate Startup Ideas.It’s also not too late to sign up for Startup School. The course just started and the deadline to sign up is August 4th. Select companies who complete the course will also receive 15,000 dollars in equity-free funding.Y Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year.Learn more about YC and apply for funding here:***Topics00:00 - Intro00:42 - Why we're starting with evaluating ideas2:07 - YC doesn't just fund companies with traction3:31 - How can I predict if an investor will like my idea?5:57 - A startup idea is a hypothesis7:37 - The problem11:37 - The solution13:07 - The insight14:42 - Founder's unfair advantage15:42 - Market growing 20% a year16:22 - Product 10x better17:12- Acquisition model18:37 - Monopoly19:32 - Threshold belief19:52- Miracle belief20:42 - Example: YC24:02 - Example: Wufoo
July 24, 2019
Anu Hariharan is a partner at YC. Today’s episode is about her recent post, How To Manage a Board.You can find her on Twitter @anuhariharan.If you’re interested in doing Startup School this year, signups are open at The course just started and the deadline to sign up is August 4th. Select companies who complete the course will also receive 15,000 dollars in equity-free funding.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.Y Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year.Learn more about YC and apply for funding here:***Topics00:00 - Intro00:57 - Why Anu wrote How to Manage a Board2:27 - Board composition4:27 - Adding independent board members 6:27 - The responsibilities of a board member9:12 - Productive board meetings12:52 - Sharing materials before the meeting13:42 - Bringing executives into the meeting16:57 - Dealing with board conflict18:22 - Following up after a board meeting21:12 - Dealing with difficult board members23:57 - Reality distortion24:52 - Agustin Feuerhake asks - What does it take to be a great board member?27:22 - Dave Bailey asks - To what extent should the board culture reflect the company culture? 29:42 - Connor Abene asks - How do you think about adding board members who haven't worked in your industry but you think are good?33:22 - Rhina asks - Could you address managing a board during product market fit time/ pivot times?
July 17, 2019
Camille Fournier is a Managing Director at Two Sigma and the former CTO of Rent The Runway. She’s also the author of The Manager’s Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change.You can find her on Twitter @skamille.If you’re interested in doing Startup School this year, signups are open at The course begins on July 22nd and goes for 10 weeks. Select companies who complete the course will also receive 15,000 dollars in equity-free funding.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.Y Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year.Learn more about YC and apply for funding here:***Topics00:00 - Intro00:47 - Why do many individual contributors (ICs) never experience a good manager?3:27 - How did the ideology of management being bad become pervasive in startups?5:27 - What should a new manager do in their first 90 days?8:57 - Getting better at 1:1s11:17 - More tips for the first 90 days13:17 - Remote management15:12 - Mistakes rookie managers make19:27 - Letting people go23:37 - Being a manager and still wanting to write code27:57 - Feeling overwhelmed as a manager31:27 - Getting a team to gel38:42 - Giving people kudos39:57 - Non-engineers running engineering teams42:07 - Staying legit technically as a manager43:27 - Management vs leadership
July 10, 2019
Sarah Nahm is the CEO and cofounder of Lever. Lever builds modern recruiting software for teams to source, interview, and hire top talent. They were in the Summer 2012 batch of YC. You can try Lever out at Liu is a Visiting Partner at YC. Before that she cofounded the gaming company Kabam.You can find Sarah on Twitter @srhnhm and Holly is @hollyhliu.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.Y Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year.Learn more about YC and apply for funding here:***Topics00:00 - Intro00:41 - Did Sarah grow up thinking she'd be a founder?8:01 - Why did she decide to leave Google and start Lever?13:56 - Thinking about product in the early days of Lever15:51 - Fundraising and figuring out the team24:06 - How do you figure out someone's career motivations?27:26 - Getting concrete when interviewing29:31 - Hiring remote employees32:11 - Writing job descriptions around impact37:41 - Eva Zhang asks - What's the biggest roadblock you faced in trying to make hiring more inclusive to diverse candidates?42:06 - What does thinking about inclusion mean at a small company?47:21 - Not buying into technical and nontechnical people50:26 - Setting up a culture that allows for conversations about diversity and inclusion
July 3, 2019
Kevin Hale is a Partner at YC. Before working at YC he cofounded Wufoo.Kevin’s on the podcast today to do some Office Hours and talk about this year’s edition of Startup School.If you’d like to sign up or learn more, check out YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.Y Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year.Learn more about YC and apply for funding here:***Topics00:00 - Intro00:51 - Stats from Startup School 20182:11 - Updates for Startup School 20198:41 - Sign up at StartupSchool.org9:16 - Sean Maina asks - In the early days of Wufoo, how did you give a great customer experience?11:56 - Design affordances14:11 - Sunil Tej asks - How was Wufoo 10x better than the market when they just got started?18:11 - Building an audience before a product20:41 - Wufoo's growth23:56 - Coming up with the idea for Wufoo27:56 - Companies pivoting during YC29:26 - Building a product in an unsexy space32:56 - Sivaraj Ghanesh asks - How do you know if you've achieved product market fit? Or if your product just isn't noticed yet? 43:56 - Sivaraj Ghanesh asks - How do you gauge the size of a market? 46:26 - Tips for Startup School success50:41 - Advice on vetting cofounders54:11 - Sign up at
June 26, 2019
Dan Hockenmaier is the founder of the growth strategy firm Basis One. Prior to Basis One he was the Director of Growth Marketing at Thumbtack. You can learn more at Alströmer is a Partner at YC. Prior to YC he was the Product Lead for Growth at Airbnb.You can find Dan on Twitter @danhockenmaier and Gustaf is @gustaf.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.Y Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year.Learn more about YC and apply for funding here:***Topics00:00 - Intro00:50 - Dan's most unpopular advice1:45 - What growth strategies do people jump on too soon?2:20 - Questions Dan asks a company he's advising3:50 - Traits Dan looks for in early growth hires6:30 - How product and growth are tied together11:30 - Good/bad learnings from Facebook's growth team14:00 - A/B testing17:00 - Retention and other metrics20:45 - The importance of experimentation23:45 - Getting ideas for A/B tests then choosing which to do25:00 - Advice for employees who want to get a growth program going29:00 - B2B vs consumer growth tactics34:00 - Pricing experiments35:30 - Paid marketing39:30 - Launching in new markets40:15 - Hiring for marketing43:45 - Metrics for marketing hires45:45 - Toni asks - Why did Airbnb grow so fast?48:45 - Step function growth changes for companies that already had scale49:55 - Michael Savage asks - It would be great to discuss growth into new regions for example Africa and UAE. What would their approach be, how does it differ from region to region, culture to culture? 52:30 - Justin LaRosa asks - What are some of the most common drivers of viral growth?55:20 - Hiring a growth agency vs building your own team58:20 - How do you think about growth in the context of improving humanity?
June 19, 2019
Jeremy Rossmann is the cofounder of Make School. Make School is a college for computer science headquartered in San Francisco. Make School students don't pay until they have a job after graduation. They were part of YC’s Winter 2012 batch.You can find MakeScool on Twitter @MakeSchool.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.Y Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year.Learn more about YC and apply for funding here:***Topics00:00 - Intro00:32 - What is Make School?01:12 - How is their intensive track different than a traditional college course load?2:22 - How are their students differentiated from students educated in a traditional CS program?3:12 - Interacting with the parents of Make School students8:12 - William Triska asks - What are some ways to encourage greater independence and autodidactic behavior in students pursuing technical skills and knowledge?10:02 - The autodidact myth15:57 - Two stakeholders making purchasing decisions: potential students and parents 20:07 - The education landscape 20 years from now23:57 - Education stacking25:02 - Vikram Malhotra asks - When are we going to do away with degrees?32:42 - Evan Ward asks - Should liberal arts colleges consider adopting ISA's?35:17 - Are there instances of predatory ISAs?37:27 - Make School students who want to be entrepreneurs40:27 - Advice for people in YC
June 12, 2019
Tracy Young is a cofounder and the CEO of PlanGrid. PlanGrid makes mobile construction productivity software. They were acquired by Autodesk in 2018 and were part of YC’s Winter 2012 batch.Kat Manalac is a Partner at YC.You can find Tracy on Twitter @Tracy_Young and Kat is @KatManalac.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.Y Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year.Learn more about YC and apply for funding here:***Topics00:00 - Intro00:46 - How Tracy got into the construction industry2:51 - What convinced Tracy and her cofounders to build PlanGrid?3:31 - Finding a technical cofounder6:26 - Tracy still sees herself as an engineer7:16 - PlanGrid's MVP and their first customers11:56 - Their sales process13:46 - Product breakthroughs17:21 - Not firing fast enough20:31 - What does she look for when hiring someone?26:01 - Tim Cook's closing statement at WWDC28:46 - Fredi Fernández asks - Does Tracy track wellness levels of the team?29:26 - At what point did Tracy hire an office manager?30:16 - How does Tracy take care of herself?31:46 - Founding a company with a partner33:31 - Managing a company as a new parent35:46 - Seyed Rasoul Jabari asks - What's your big plan to go from 1.5 to 10 million projects?36:46 - Holly asks - What has been your single largest influence in helping you scale?38:06 - Why do some executives not work out?38:56 - What skills did Tracy have to work on when scaling?42:41 - What do a lot of startups get wrong?46:21 - Tracy's recommended books48:01 - What Tracy wishes she knew when she started out
June 5, 2019
Simone Giertz describes herself as a maker/robotics enthusiast/non-engineer. She’s also known as the Queen of Shitty Robots. She runs a YouTube channel about those robots and is a cohost on Tested with Adam Savage from MythBusters.You can find her on YouTube and on Twitter @SimoneGiertz.She also has a Patreon.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.Y Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year.Learn more about YC and apply for funding here:***Topics00:00 - Intro1:41 - "Whatever feeds the ego kills the soul."4:21 - Maintaining passion for your work7:16 - Building a sustainable business as a creator9:01 - Shipping a real product - The Every Day Calendar - - Being scared to step away19:31 - Generating ideas20:46 - Finding out she had a brain tumor, having surgery, and sharing it26:01 - Returning to work after brain surgery28:01 - Learnings from taking time off29:01 - Asking for help30:31 - Evaluating how she's spending her time32:16 - Giving herself permission to try other things34:21 - Challenges as a creator and entrepreneur 36:01 - Not feeling guilty about play and pursuing the things you enjoy41:01 - Becoming less disciplined in certain areas over time42:46 - Ali asks - How to get started when dealing with imposters syndrome?43:06 - beep boop asks - What's your favorite robot?43:46 - Beste asks - Are there any moments where she is bored and feels like giving up on creating new things?44:56 - Khawar Shehzad asks - What thing do you wish you knew when you started your career?46:06 - Olaf Doschke asks - What would have happened if Simone's toothbrush helmet wouldn't have gone viral?48:36 - Johnathan Nader asks - What is the best version of yourself?
May 29, 2019
Michael Babineau is cofounder and CEO of Second Measure. Second Measure analyzes billions of credit card transactions to answer real-time questions on consumer behavior. They were in the Summer 2015 batch of YC and you can check them out at Hale is a Partner at YC. Before working at YC he cofounded Wufoo.You can find Michael on Twitter @mikebabineau and Kevin is @ilikevests.The YC Podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.Y Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year.Learn more about YC and apply for funding here:***Topics00:00 - Intro00:35 - What idea did Mike apply to YC with?01:20 - Where did the idea come from?4:35 - From project to company10:20 - What info did investors want to know that Second Measure could provide?12:05 - Their first customers14:35 - The primary use case of Second Measure for VCs15:20 - What questions are they trying to answer?19:35 - Data examples from their blog21:05 - Post: Fashion retailers have nothing to fear (yet) from the rise of Stitch Fix23:35 - Post: Holiday sales rocket Peloton memberships ahead of SoulCycle active riders25:05 - Post: Prime members deliver for Amazon every day27:35 - Second Measure's product development process29:35 - Finding good data scientists who work from first principles37:05 - Why is credit card data so messy?42:05 - Cleaning data44:20 - Using their product for competitive analysis47:35 - Their sales process49:05 - Raising money from Goldman Sachs and Citi52:05 - Focusing on a specific problem54:05 - Keeping the product compelling when it's table stakes
May 22, 2019
Vidit Aatrey is cofounder and CEO of Meesho. Meesho is a platform in India that allows people to resell products using their social networks. They were in the Summer 2016 batch of YC and you can check them out at Cheung is a Partner at YC. Before working at YC she cofounded Homejoy.You can find Vidit on Twitter @viditaatrey and Adora is @nolimits.Y Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year.Learn more about YC and apply for funding here:***Topics00:00 - Intro01:20 - What is Meesho?3:20 - Why not just sell directly to consumers?5:05 - What are the macro trends in Meesho's favor in India?7:30 - A trust deficit market8:55 - How does Meesho help users get online and start selling?11:45 - Most impactful user stories13:50 - Growth drivers15:50 - Balancing growth and quality17:25 - What if Facebook copies Meesho?18:50 - When did Vidit and his cofounder know they wanted to start a startup?21:20 - Their first startup idea and the inspiration for Meesho25:40 - When did they know Meesho was working?27:20 - How hard was it to pivot the business and how did they manage it?30:05 - As a CEO how does he stay in touch with users?34:50 - How has Vidit's role changed over time?36:55 - How has he learned to be a CEO?38:30 - What mistakes have they made?39:35 - What was his best decision?40:15 - What's a strong opinion he had about running a startup that he's changed since running Meesho?41:45 - How has the Indian startup ecosystem evolved?43:20 - Big problems worth solving in India43:05 - Can foreigners come to India and start a startup?45:10 - Best advice for aspiring Indian founders46:20 - After Meesho, what's the most exciting startup in India?47:20 - Why is Delhi the best IIT?48:15 - What's a must read book and why?49:10 - What's a startup idea he'd be working on if Meesho didn't happen?49:25 - In 100 years, what does he hope Meesho is?
May 15, 2019
Chris Best is the cofounder and CEO of Substack. Substack makes it simple for a writer to start a paid newsletter. They were in the Winter 2018 batch of YC. You can check them out at Gill is the cofounder and CEO of Backtracks. Backtracks is a podcast analytics and hosting platform. You can check them out at is on Twitter @cjgbest and Jonathan is @jgill333.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.Y Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year. Learn more about YC and apply for funding here:***Topics00:00 - Intro1:03 - Paid vs advertising in podcasting3:33 - Are advertisers overpaying for podcast ads?6:13 - What percent of the market will ultimately be paid content?8:13 - Payment mechanisms9:48 - Price anchoring12:28 - Individual creators vs brands17:23 - Deplatforming18:53 - Spotify20:23 - Discovery and growth in newsletters22:53 - Public and private feeds25:23 - Apple's role26:38 - Will education be the driver of paid content?30:23 - Educational podcasters in China32:23 - How are their newsletter and podcast customers growing?36:18 - Jack Ryder asks - In 5 years time, are personal newsletters going to replace social networks like Facebook?38:13 - Debdut Mukherjee asks - Do podcasts actually work? If so, how do startups calculate the ROI & the CAC?43:38 - Measurement45:23 - Best practices for new podcasters and newsletter creators
May 8, 2019
Brian Halligan is the CEO and cofounder of HubSpot. HubSpot builds software for marketing, sales, and customer service. You can try it out at Hale is a Partner at YC and cofounder of Wufoo.Brian is on Twitter @bhalligan and Kevin is @ilikevests.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.Y Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year.  Learn more about YC and apply for funding here:***Topics00:00 - Intro00:27 - Brian's an introvert that likes to work from home. He also runs a public company. How does he do both?2:12 - How does he manage his calendar as an introvert?4:12 - How Brian met his cofounder Dharmesh6:12 - The first project they worked on together7:27 - What was their unique insight when starting HubSpot?8:52 - Pricing in the early days9:27 - How would he have priced HubSpot differently knowing what he knows now?10:27 - HubSpot's first customer12:27 - Important early features14:47 - At what point did they shift entirely away from consulting?15:32 - Providing advice as content vs in the product16:27 - SEO is underrated17:12 - Trends in B2B and marketing21:57 - Inbound marketing and audience building advice26:52 - How did Brian know that his cofounder was right for him?28:12 - The internet disproportionately benefiting small businesses over big ones29:12 - Keeping your company hungry when you're big29:52 - Building assets for your company 30:47 - Freemium34:27 - Structural pieces of HubSpot Brian would have changed if he did it again37:27 - Creating the voice of your company39:57 - Early metrics they tracked40:32 - Having a coach and reviews41:57 - How Brian's changed as a CEO from the beginning42:51 - What was the hardest thing to give up as CEO?43:57 - Humility
May 1, 2019
Jarvis Johnson was previously a software engineer at Patreon, Yelp, and Google. He’s now a YouTuber.You can find him on YouTube at Jarvis Johnson and on Twitter @jarvis.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.Y Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year. Learn more about YC and apply for funding here:***Topics00:00 - Intro00:20 - Jarvis' intro00:50 - Where his videos first got traction1:30 - Being part of the software industry while critiquing it4:05 - How he got into programming6:30 - Moving to California7:50 - Interning at Google then Yelp9:20 - Interviewing multiple times at the same company10:20 - Moving from Yelp to Patreon14:30 - Switching from individual contributor to manager18:35 - Learnings from managing that he applies to himself21:45 - What made Jarvis want to do YouTube full time?30:20 - Investing in yourself31:25 - Making what you want vs talking to viewers35:55 - When did things really start to click for his channel?38:20 - Choosing to make multiple genres of video44:00 - Nathan Allebach asks - Are content creators responsible in any capacity for their audiences?51:05 - Taylor asks - In what ways do you think content creation can benefit one's career in the tech industry?54:40 - Jarvis made a podcast when he was a teenager56:30 - Octopus Blues asks - What lessons did improv teach you/who would you recommend it to, if anyone?58:45 - Predictions for YouTubers and content creators
April 24, 2019
Harry Zhang is the cofounder of Lob. Lob makes it possible for enterprises to programmatically send physical mail. They were in the Summer 2013 batch of YC.Kevin Hale is a Partner at YC.Harry is on Twitter @harryzhang and Kevin is @ilikevests.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.***Topics00:00 - Intro00:31 - Harry's intro00:41 - What did Lob have when they applied to YC?2:01 - Documentation as an API company3:16 - Where did the insight to create Lob come from?4:26 - Lob's first version and first customer7:26 - Closing their first big customer then signing others12:31 - Did Harry always know Lob would be an API company?14:01 - How long did it take to work up to enterprise customers?15:31 - Pricing19:46 - Creating a product roadmap21:26 - Tradeoffs when building product22:21 - Competing for top engineers as an API company24:31 - Options vs RSUs28:01 - Sales mistakes32:21 - Building out features for enterprise clients34:16 - Why did Lob choose to not vertically integrate?39:31 - How has Harry had to change as a founder over the life of Lob?
April 17, 2019
Max Rhodes is the cofounder and CEO of Faire. Faire helps retailers find and buy unique wholesale merchandise for their stores. They were in the Winter 2017 batch of YC.Anu Hariharan is a Partner at YC.Max is on Twitter @MaxRhodesOK and Anu is @AnuHariharan.***Topics00:00 - Intro00:32 - Max's intro01:06 - Leaving Square and coming up with the idea for Faire7:37 - Changes to SMBs in the past five years9:37 - What is Faire?11:57 - Max’s vision for Faire15:12 - Finding product/market fit18:12 - Switching to try before you buy21:22 - What separates the great companies22:32 - Scaling as a CEO26:32 - Calming down29:42 - Faire's first hires33:42 - Faire's first executive hire38:27 - Fundraising and fundraising advice43:32 - Ryan McCarthy asks - Why did Max study history at Yale?44:32 - Why does Max think Square Cash became a successful app?
April 10, 2019
David Lieb is the Product Lead for Google Photos. Prior to working on Google Photos, David was the cofounder and CEO of Bump, which was in the Summer 2009 batch of YC.Gustaf Alströmer is a Partner at YC.David is on Twitter @dflieb and Gustaf is @gustaf.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.***Topics00:00 - Intro00:42 - How Bump became one of the biggest apps on the App Store3:56 - Bump was the billionth app downloaded on iOS6:14 - David's YC interview8:17 - Bump's goal during YC10:12 - Experiments at Bump before working on photos11:17 - How Bump grew12:32 - How David thinks about product market fit13:32 - Flock and talking with the top users of Bump18:02 - Going upstream in photo sharing, becoming the camera roll19:32 - Being a photo sharing power user and how that helped when building a product22:12 - Fundraising26:12 - Deciding that Photo Roll would work better within a big company and building it at Google29:42 - When building a product, pretend there's a person doing that task for you in the best possible way then try to build that31:52 - How David spends his time running Google Photos33:47 - How David feels about his work at Google after being a startup founder35:17 - When to apply AI37:22 - Attention to the user vs the technology38:02 - Talking to users at scale41:02 - Lamide Akomolafe asks - What did David focus on too much as a rookie product lead that he thinks was a mistake now?42:47 - Getting confidence to ship features to a billion users45:17 - Generating support for a project within a big company47:02 - In 5-10 years will David be working for a large or small company?48:27 - When thinking about an acquisition, can you execute your vision in a larger way within the company?50:12 - Larger truths about people learned by paying so much attention to photos and memories51:47 - Giving everyone a photographic memory and deciding which photos are important52:57 - Products David likes and the importance of solving a durable human need
April 3, 2019
Austen Allred is the CEO and cofounder of Lambda School.Lambda School provides a CS education that's free until you get a job. They were in the Summer 2017 batch of YC.You can learn more about Lambda School at is on Twitter at @austen.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.***Topics00:00 - Intro1:01 - Encouraging people to do something that they're scared to do5:16 - Where did the insight for Lambda School come from?6:26 - College vs developer schools10:26 - Building a network12:16 - Does Austen see value in a traditional liberal arts education?14:56 - Steven Klaiber-Noble asks - As competitors begin to copy your model what front do you believe you'll be competing on?17:56 - Why did Austen choose to raise money?20:06 - Fundraising falling through on Austen's first startup21:36 - Moving back to Utah and writing a book about growth23:26 - Why Austen wrote a book26:26 - "Starting a company is by definition saying, I think what I can do is worth more than what other people will pay me for."27:26 - Mispriced human capital30:21 - Other opportunities for Lambda School32:46 - Modeling risk35:36 - David Kofoed Wind asks - When Lambda School is incentivized to take in people that will land high paying jobs, how do you think about the diversity of candidates? One would imagine that it quickly becomes a game of pattern matching the stereotypical SV people.37:51 - Will Lambda School ever not be remote?41:16 - Dave Dawson asks - You appear to be on the successful path now, was there a point early in Lambda School when you wanted to stop?43:46 - Helping everyone become an autodidact46:46 - Rethinking where to start on an online course48:11 - Dave Dawson asks - What keeps you up at night at this point? 49:46 - Dayo Koleowo asks - “I have made remarks I do not agree with” - from Austen's Twitter bio. What is that one remark you wish you didn’t have to disagree with?53:26 - Choosing remote work as a core problem to solve in your company55:56 - Analysts aren't good at measuring product quality57:36 - Teaching taste
March 27, 2019
Amy Buechler is an executive coach for startup founders.Michael Seibel is a partner and the CEO of YC.In this episode we talk about coaching and use examples from Michael’s time working on and Socialcam.You can find Amy at her site and on Twitter at @amybue.Michael is on Twitter at @mwseibel.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.***Topics00:00 - Intro00:41 - What is coaching?01:11 - How is coaching different from therapy?2:31 - What are the most common challenges founders in coaching have?3:26 - Challenges with roles and responsibilities at Twitch7:46 - How would Amy have coached Michael around roles and responsibilities?9:41 - Not being disruptive as a leader11:31 - Switching roles at Twitch12:46 - Uneven equity splits15:01 - Distributing and negotiating equity21:16 - Communicating your own value22:51 - Can there be too much communication?24:11 - Productive arguments28:11 - Talking about performance issues30:16 - Setting clear goals and managing motivation33:16 - Enjoying the work34:01 - Conversations about runway36:51 - Digging your company out of the grave and continuing40:21 - Michael being against coaching initially42:31 - How to have hard conversations44:16 - Removing a responsibility from someone49:51 - Returning to roles and responsibilities 50:41 - Jeanie McCallister asks - What’s the single most important piece of advice you can give a founder?
March 21, 2019
Marques Brownlee is a YouTuber. He has over 8 million subscribers to his channel MKBHD where he reviews electronics, drives electric vehicles, and interviews people such as Kobe Bryant and Bill Gates.You can find Marques on YouTube and on Twitter at @MKBHD.The YC Podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.***Topics00:00 - Intro00:26 - What does Marques attribute his channel's success to?2:41 - The early days5:11 - How does he go about evaluating a product?7:31 - Features that Marques thought were great that didn't catch on8:41 - Peak smartphone?10:31 - Folding phones and new trends11:26 - Tesla and the EV market15:46 - Getting older and staying relevant17:06 - New kinds of videos and podcasting22:26 - Does Marques feel limited by gear?26:11 - Storytelling techniques28:16 - Tech vs Marques as the star of the show29:56 - Marco Castro asks - What advice do you have for new creators on YouTube?30:56 - When did Marques find his voice as a creator?33:56 - Overcoming perfectionism 34:56 - Gut instinct vs data37:26 - YouTube comments39:31 - Austin Ryder asks - In the early years of his channel, Marques took a several month hiatus from YouTube, but then came back with a new video format and seemingly renewed drive. What happened during those months off that led to the channel becoming what it is today?40:41 - Winston asks - What’s your daily schedule?43:06 - Ultimate frisbee injuries43:26 - Amad Khan asks - Are there any problems that you see or face that you really wish engineers/developers would solve?44:51 - Christian Giordano asks - Any tips on how to engage/work with influencers when you are a very early stage startup with little or no money?46:41 - The future of creators supporting themselves financially49:31 - His biggest challenge as a creator50:31 - Long-term goals
March 13, 2019
Craig Cannon is the Director of Marketing at Y Combinator. He usually hosts the YC podcast but is the guest on this episode about podcasting.Adora Cheung is a Partner at YC.You can find Adora on Twitter at @nolimits and Craig at @craigcannon.***Topics00:21 - Adora's intro1:26 - Craig's intro4:06 - Starting the YC podcast5:21 - Podcast metrics6:21 - Tips on creating a podcast8:31 - Picking episode topics9:21 - Order of operations for finding guests10:51 - Preparing for interviews14:11 - How to keep an episode engaging16:26 - Analytics18:51 - Gear23:21 - Software24:16 - Listening to your own voice25:41 - Favorite interviews26:41 - Most surprising things Craig's learned about startups on the podcast29:21 - What has Craig learned from guests that he's put into practice?32:01 - Non-consensus things about building startups 34:21 - If Craig had to start a podcast from scratch, how would he structure it?37:01 - Clipping the show42:21 - Monetizing podcasts45:51 - Will podcasts become saturated?46:21 - What's missing in the podcast world?48:21 - Influential podcasters52:11 - Adora's podcast picks53:11 - Patrick Benders asks - What idea do you believe in that your social group would think is crazy?58:11 - Zachary Canann asks - Please tell us about the time you most successfully hacked some (non-computer) system to your advantage.1:00:11 - Being at YC, do Craig and Adora feel pressured to go start a company?1:06:21 - When is an opportunity good enough to quit your current job?
March 11, 2019
Domonique Fines is the Director of Events at YC.Cadran Cowansage is the cofounder and CEO of Elpha. Elpha is a private online community for women in tech.Join Elpha to read Dom's AMA.You can find Dom on Twitter at @domoniquefines and Cadran at @cadran_c.***Topics00:30 - Dom’s intro00:50 - How Dom started in events and her background2:25 - Deciding to not go to law school3:55 - Choosing to work on tech events6:00 - Outreach to underrepresented founders 9:15 - Common misconceptions about getting into tech10:35 - University outreach11:55 - Identifying problems to fix and not being blocked14:35 - Reflecting on accomplishments15:40 - Dom’s career plans17:10 - Will Dom do a startup?17:35 - Avoiding burnout20:55 - The importance of just getting started
March 6, 2019
Mike Knoop is cofounder and Chief Product Officer at Zapier, which was in the YC Summer 2012 batch. Zapier moves information between your web apps automatically.Kevin Hale is a Visiting Partner at YC. Before YC Kevin was the cofounder of Wufoo, which was funded by YC in 2006 and acquired by SurveyMonkey in 2011.You can find Mike on Twitter at @mikeknoop and Kevin at @ilikevests.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.***Topics00:43 - Kevin's intro01:03 - Mike's intro2:03 - How Mike and Kevin met4:03 - Market sizing for consumer software5:13 - Zapier's growth strategy today vs 20126:28 - Jumpstarting a platform like Zapier9:03 - Building an app directory before building a product11:03 - Applying to YC twice13:23 - Zapier after Demo Day14:48 - Zapier's first remote hire16:48 - Remote companies not being perceived as legitimate18:48 - Noticing remote was working then committing21:28 - Qualities to look for when hiring remote employees24:28 - Nina Mehta asks - What’s the best way to share work and knowledge across designers working on different parts of product without distracting from focused working time?25:58 - Remote mistakes in the early days27:33 - When to change modes of communication to allow for deep work29:28 - When to ask for someone's full attention31:33 - Product and design practices at Zapier34:38 - OKRs for teams vs individuals39:48 - Tools for remote teams43:48 - No internal email at Zapier46:53 - Keeping morale high in a remote team49:28 - What happens at a Zapier retreat51:43 - Remote design critiques56:43 - Serendipity and over optimizing for it58:33 - Setting up a remote company for success
February 27, 2019
Karn Saroya is the CEO and cofounder of Cover, which was in the YC Winter 2016 batch.Cover is a nationally licensed insurance brokerage. You can use their app to take a picture of property you want to insure and they’ll connect you with their insurance partners so that you can get the best price and coverage.You can find Karn on Twitter at @karnsaroya.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.***Topics00:36 - Karn’s intro01:01 - Using computer vision to identify and catalogue property2:28 - How Karn ended up starting Cover3:48 - Being a maker vs. an advisor5:58 - Stylekick, Karn’s previous startup9:28 - Joining Shopify10:08 - How the idea for Cover happened11:58 - The capital-light way to start an insurance business16:28 - Underwriting17:58 - Lead generation20:18 - Product development21:28 - Buying for $750k24:53 - Being engaged to a cofounder28:43 - Managing two offices and cultures30:58 - Being an international founder in YC31:58 - Advice to people in the current batch of YC
February 21, 2019
Caterina Fake hosts the podcast Should This Exist? which is about how technology is impacting our humanity. It launches today on iTunes. She also cofounded Flickr, Hunch, and Findery and is an investor at Yes VC.Kat Manalac is a partner at YC.You can find Caterina on Twitter at @Caterina and Kat at @KatManalac.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.***Topics00:32 - Caterina's new podcast, Should This Exist?2:32 - Is there a process for considering if something should exist?4:02 - Who should be part of these conversations?5:17 - Wait But Why and the Human Colossus7:22 - Episode 1 of Should This Exist?10:17 - Having conversations before things exist11:42 - How might employees think about their role in whether or not something should exist?14:32 - Caterina reflecting on her creations and if they should exist19:02 - Considering whether things should exist as investors23:32 - Cofounder charter - What you will and won't do26:03 - Questioning the VC model27:22 - Working on Wall St, feeling herself change, and quitting31:22 - Caterina as a student34:02 - Peculiarity and entrepreneurship35:22 - "Don't fight to win prizes that aren't worth winning"38:32 - What was once fringe is now mainstream40:52 - Kat looking up to Lea Salonga42:42 - Evgeny asks - How did she get her first 100 paying users?49:27 - How does she advise founders to find investors?54:47 - What questions should founders ask themselves while making something?
February 15, 2019
Ryan Hoover is the founder of Product Hunt which was in the Summer 2014 YC batch and was acquired by AngelList. He also invests in startups through his Weekend Fund.Dalton Caldwell is a Partner at YC where he runs admissions.Ryan is on Twitter at @rrhoover and Dalton is at @daltonc.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.***Topics00:27 - Ryan's intro00:52 - Dalton's intro1:27 - Forming Product Hunt and applying to YC5:17 - Product Hunt's growth rate when they applied to YC6:27 - Raising money for the right reasons9:42 - Maker communities11:27 - Why raise money for Product Hunt?13:12 - Having buzz during the batch18:12 - Brex changing their idea during YC20:17 - Pivoting into something you know well21:32 - In retrospect, how would Ryan have advised himself around monetization?28:27 - Trying to build out other verticals34:27 - Don't act like you have infinite runway35:57 - Creating urgency and developing products within AngelList40:17 - Tips to launch on Product Hunt45:07 - What Dalton looks for in applications46:57 - Giving people the opportunity to start48:47- What motivated Ryan to leave his job before Product Hunt
February 6, 2019
Jake Klamka founded Insight. Insight provides intensive 7 week professional training fellowships in fields such as data science and data engineering. Insight was in the YC Winter 2011 batch.Kevin Hale is a Visiting Partner at YC. Before YC Kevin was the cofounder of Wufoo, which was funded by YC in 2006 and acquired by SurveyMonkey in 2011.You can find Jake on Twitter at @jakeklamka and Kevin at @ilikevests.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.***Topics00:37 - Kevin's intro01:07 - Jake's intro1:42 - Applying to YC with one product then changing it4:07 - How Insight started4:57 - Jake's first students and initial coursework8:37 - Finding out what companies want from data scientists10:37 - Picking the first class of students12:07 - Common pitfalls for people transitioning into data science15:07 - Types of data science roles17:22 - What data scientists should look out for in companies18:17 - Chuck Grimmett asks - When do you know you need to bring in seasoned data scientists?20:37 - How Insight has scaled and changed22:37 - What happens in the program23:57 - Examples of a good project for a data science resume26:27 - Will more data scientists be founders in the future?28:37 - Teaching product29:37 - Cleaning data32:07 - Tools for tracking data32:57 - Track what are you trying to optimize35:57 - Churn and conversion39:37 - Is there an ideal background for a data scientist?41:37 - Which startups recruit well at Insight?43:37 - Contracting46:17 - Fields Jake is excited about
January 30, 2019
Avni Patel Thompson founded Poppy, which helped parents book the best caregivers. They went through the YC Winter 2016 batch and recently shut down. Avni asked to come on the podcast to talk about what the process of shutting down was like.Kat Manalac is a partner at YC.You can find Avni on Twitter at @APatelThompson and Kat at @KatManalac.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon - @CraigCannon.***Topics00:35 - Kat’s intro01:15 - Avni’s intro2:15 - When did it become clear that scaling Poppy wasn’t working?5:50 - Experiments Avni tried with Poppy9:55 - The last six months of runway13:25 - Choosing to shut Poppy down17:25 - Pivot or shut down?20:10 - Who did Avni have these hard conversations with?24:35 - Communicating with investors during the process of shutting down31:20 - How does Avni feel since shutting down Poppy?38:30 - Tying self-worth to your accomplishments and how it feels after shutting down39:30 - “This is what trying looks like.”44:00 - The effects of having raised money46:00 - Starting to think about what’s next49:00 - Struggling with unstructured nothing49:45 - Kindness
January 23, 2019
Samantha Bradshaw is a researcher at the Computational Propaganda Project and a doctoral candidate at the Oxford Internet Institute. She’s been tracking the phenomenon of political manipulation through social media.You can find Samantha on Twitter at @sbradshaww.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.***Topics:53 - What is a bot?2:53 - When computational propaganda began3:53 - Changes in bot tactics since 20165:53 - Using bots for content creation7:28 - WhatsApp and the upcoming Indian election9:23 - Trends in computational propaganda10:53 - How bots integrate into platforms13:23 - Responsibilities of platforms to remove fake accounts14:53 - The role of governments in media manipulation18:18 - Fake news and selecting news that aligns with your beliefs19:53 - Are platforms getting better or worse?21:33 - Samantha's personal internet habits23:03 - Sentiment around tracking in the UK vs the US24:23 - The Mueller report and US midterms29:18 - Canadian elections30:18 - 2020 US elections30:53 - Deepfakes31:48 - Optimistic thoughts for the future33:08 - How to help against computational propaganda
January 16, 2019
Cindy Mi is the founder and CEO of VIPKID. VIPKID is a 1-on-1 teaching platform where children in China learn english from North American teachers.Qi Lu is the CEO of YC China and Head of YC Research.***Topics00:23 - Qi's intro00:38 - Cindy's intro1:38 - Moving to a new province as a teenager4:38 - Being an educator and an entrepreneur 8:23 - Starting VIPKid in a hyper-competitive market14:53 - Metrics for measuring product market fit21:43 - How did she find the business model?26:53 - What things did she try that didn't work?30:38 - Strategy for product expansion33:03 - Content expansion for Mandarin learning34:53 - Building global companies41:23 - Creating a global culture44:13 - The future of education48:08 - How should engineers and product managers think about edtech?51:33 - Thoughts on AI54:33 - Advice for entrepreneurs
January 9, 2019
Vinod Khosla is the founder of Khosla Ventures, a firm focused on assisting entrepreneurs to build impactful new energy and technology companies. Previously he was the founding CEO of Sun Microsystems, where he pioneered open systems and commercial RISC processors.How to Build the Future is hosted by Sam Altman.***Topics00:30 - Vinod’s intro01:20 - A zero-million-dollar company vs a zero-billion-dollar company4:20 - What percentage of investors in Silicon Valley are good long-term company builders?4:50 - Who has earned the right to advise an entrepreneur?6:50 - Which risk to take when7:20 - Helpful board members8:15 - Who to trust for what advice11:00 - First principles thinking and rate of change13:00 - Evaluating a candidate in an interview14:15 - How much should a founder have planned and how ambitious should a founder be?16:30 - Recruiting great people19:00 - Building a phenomenal early team20:20 - Being generous with early employee equity27:00 - Gene pool engineering27:18 - The art, science, and labor of recruiting28:20 - How founders should think about investors31:00 - Doers vs pontificators32:00 - What does Vinod want to do in the next ten years?32:10 - Reinventing Societal Infrastructure with Technology
December 20, 2018
Frank Lantz is a game designer and Director of the NYU Game Center. He cofounded Area/Code Games and most recently released a game called Universal Paperclips in which you’re an AI that makes paperclips.Frank’s on Twitter @flantz and his site is YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.***Topics00:27 - "Games are the aesthetic form of thinking and doing"6:57 - VR skepticism9:42 - Universal Paperclips14:27 - Explaining games to non-gamers20:12 - Competitive gaming22:57 - Building life lessons into games31:42 - Teaching game design36:17 - Inspiration, hard work, and taste39:17 - Darker sides of gaming culture43:07 - The indie game market45:27 - Unexpected trends in gaming49:17 - Benedict Fritz asks - Frank you seem much more interested in chess, go, poker, and other games with a long history than most game designers. Where do you think this comes from?52:12 - Esports55:37 - Inventing sports57:27 - Pokemon Go1:00:32 - Difficulty in predicting successes in entertainment1:03:17 - Frank's game recommendations1:05:47 - @fakebalenciaga asks - Why Tonto?
December 14, 2018
Reham Fagiri and Kalam Dennis are the founders of AptDeco, where you can buy and sell used furniture. They were in the YC Winter 2014 batch and you can find them at YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.***Topics0:21 - What is AptDeco?1:06 - Why did Reham and Kalam start it?2:51 - Were they considering other ideas?5:06 - How did they prepare to start AptDeco after business school/the corporate world?6:21 - Getting over the fear of starting9:21 - Communicating that they're starting something to friends and family14:21 - Starting a startup after business school17:21 - Helpful learnings from a more traditional business education27:21 - Early models of AptDeco vs today31:51 - AptDeco's customers34:06 - Brands and customer acquisition38:46 - Learning how to do delivery42:06 - Deciding not to warehouse furniture43:51 - Ideas that didn't work and some that worked on the second attempt48:21 - Analytics50:51 - Being a NYC company in YC52:11 - How to make the most of YC
December 6, 2018
Leonard Susskind is a professor of theoretical physics at Stanford University and he’s regarded as one of the fathers of string theory.He’s written several books including: The Black Hole War, The Cosmic Landscape, and the Theoretical Minimum series.He also has over 100 lectures on YouTube.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.***Topics0:26 - Being perceived as an outsider physicist   4:26 - The perils of becoming too mainstream6:11 - Where his ideas come from7:26 - Claudio asks - Do you think the graviton can be experimentally found?10:11 - The origins of String Theory15:41 - Why should there be a grand unified theory?16:56 - Quantum mechanics and gravity  20:16 - Large unanswered questions in physics27:56 - Holographic principle38:26 - Simulation hypothesis40:41 - Richard Feynman on philosophy42:26 - Feynman and the bomb46:26 - Improving the world by discovering what the world is49:26 - ER and EPR - Black holes and entanglement56:26 - Noah Hammer asks - Could quantum teleportation be used in the future as a means of intergalactic communication?58:26 - rokkodigi asks - How do you think quantum theory will shape technology in the future?1:01:56 - Why teach physics for the public?
November 28, 2018
Michael Seibel is a partner and the CEO of YC. He cofounded, which was in the winter 2007 batch and Socialcam, which was in the winter 2012 batch.In this episode Michael comments on five of his essays. The essays are: Why Should I Start a Startup?, One Order of Operations for Starting a Startup, The Real Product Market Fit, Users You Don’t Want, and Why Does Your Company Deserve More Money?Michael’s on Twitter @mwseibel.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.***Topics0:00 - Intro0:42 - Why Should I Start a Startup?2:00 - Three types of people: people highly motivated when working for themselves, people that could succeed starting a startup or within a big company, and people that could succeed within a big company.6:00 - How do you decide what type of person you are?7:30 - Identify bias in advice givers10:30 - Peer advice becomes less valuable during college14:40 - One Order of Operations for Starting a Startup15:40 - People aren’t taught how to find ideas17:20 - Find a particular problem that you’re passionate about20:55 - Find some friends and brainstorm a solution23:20 - Build an MVP25:55 - Two failed orders of operations for starting a startup29:57 - The Real Product Market Fit 30:57 - Why do many founders think they have product market fit when they don’t?35:42 - Building a successful company is not a single variable problem37:27 - Socialcam didn’t hit product market fit38:37 - had $1M in profit before reaching product market fit42:27 - Some companies take a long time42:55 - Users You Don’t Want44:25 - The spectrum of how users are using your product45:55 - Users that take a lot of customer support time48:50 - Don’t let the hijack users control the product roadmap49:31 - Why Does Your Company Deserve More Money?50:31 - A team, a product, and an office are all just a means to an end51:31 - If you don’t really deserve money, what is an alternate path to create leverage?53:16 - Breaking even at was a moment of infinite clarity55:31 - Series A program and leverage
November 20, 2018
Andrew Kortina is the cofounder of Venmo and Fin. Fin is a high quality, on-demand, personal assistant and executive assistant service. You can get a $100 credit to try Fin at blogs at YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.***Topics 00:32 - Human dignity and work8:07 - Creating jobs10:07 - From The Beautiful Struggle // The Beautiful Game - You might argue that we’re already in a sort of failure mode, where our ability to assign dignity to arbitrary work and motivate people to work bullshit jobs is more efficient than our ability to allocate labor towards industry that would have greater social benefit, like education, healthcare, food, etc. If we’re already in this failure mode, it’s kind of the worst of all worlds, because not only are we assigning meaning to work that doesn’t need to be done, but, also, we could be redeploying that labor towards efforts that are actually important today. 18:32 - Travel21:02 - Why do we want to do anything?22:07 - Life after Fin25:17 - From The Emperor Has No Clothes, There is No Santa Claus, and Nothing is Rocket Science - I want to preface this talk by warning you that it’s quite possible you’ll interpret much of this talk as cynicism. It is not my intention to be cynical. My goal is to treat you with respect by speaking to you honestly, without any grand illusions.None of the companies trying to convince you to work for them will mention technological determinism. They will confirm what your parents and teachers told you, that your work and contribution will be totally unique and significant.32:02 - From The Emperor Has No Clothes, There is No Santa Claus, and Nothing is Rocket Science - I recognize that the meditative aspect of craft is an excellent way to cope with meaninglessness38:32 - Technological determinism43:02 - Andrew's company Fin48:17 - Ryan Hoover asks - When (if ever) will Fin task completion be 100% AI-driven?49:32 - Differences between running Fin and Venmo56:47 - Venmo's Lucas ads58:32 - Spencer Clark asks - How did you and your co-founders decide to sell Venmo?1:02:02 - Charlie Kaufman on Screenwriting - What I’m trying to express – what I’d like to express – is the notion that, by being honest, thoughtful and aware of the existence of other living beings, a change can begin to happen in how we think of ourselves and the world, and ourselves in the world.1:08:30 - Get $100 credit to Fin at
November 14, 2018
Brian Donohue is President of Instapaper and a Product Engineering Manager at Pinterest.You can find him on Twitter @bthdonohue.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.***Topics00:19 - The history of Instapaper8:19 - Free competitors enter the market10:19 - How Brian joined Instapaper14:34 - Transitioning from paid to freemium19:19 - Pinterest's acquisition of Instapaper26:34 - Moving to California29:04 - Working on Instapaper within Pinterest32:19 - Spinning Instapaper out of Pinterest42:34 - Jareau Wadé asks - What types of product integrations could Pinterest have done with Instapaper?50:04 - Ryan Hoover asks - I’m curious how he and the team balance simplicity with new feature development/product expansion.54:19 - Raymond Durk asks - I love the rapid reading mode but would also love a voice enabled mode where the Google Assistant or Siri reads it. Speaking of I'd use it on my Google Home to listen to news if that was a skill.57:39 - Brian Kim asks - Any growth hacks that worked well?1:00:04 - Gustaf Alströmer asks - How does it make time for focused time to catch up on everything he saves? What are his best productivity hacks related to this?1:03:44 - Backpacking
November 8, 2018
Sam Altman expands on ideas that have come up in several of his essays. Specifically: choosing projects, creating value, and finding purpose.Sam’s the president of YC Group and co-chairman of OpenAI. You can find him on Twitter @sama.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.***Topics1:25 - From The Days Are Long But The Decades Are Short - Minimize your own cognitive load from distracting things that don’t really matter. It’s hard to overstate how important this is, and how bad most people are at it.3:50 - Stepping back and evaluating your work5:30 - Creating metrics for your projects6:30 - Taking a year off 9:30 - Figuring out when to commit11:30 - Poker12:30 - From Productivity - Sleep seems to be the most important physical factor in productivity for me. Exercise is probably the second most important physical factor. The third area is nutrition. 15:00 - From You and Your Research by Richard Hamming - "If what you are doing is not important, and if you don't think it is going to lead to something important, why are you at Bell Labs working on it?"16:30 - From The Days Are Long But The Decades Are Short - Things in life are rarely as risky as they seem. Most people are too risk-averse, and so most advice is biased too much towards conservative paths.17:30 - Perspective shifts20:15 - From Productivity - My system has three key pillars: “Make sure to get the important shit done”, “Don’t waste time on stupid shit”, and “make a lot of lists”.22:30 - What Happened to Innovation24:50 - From You and Your Research by Richard Hamming - He who works with the door open gets all kinds of interruptions, but he also occasionally gets clues as to what the world is and what might be important. 26:50 - The deferred life plan doesn’t work31:50 - From The Merge - Our self-worth is so based on our intelligence that we believe it must be singular and not slightly higher than all the other animals on a continuum. Perhaps the AI will feel the same way and note that differences between us and bonobos are barely worth discussing. 34:10 - Weight training35:30 - The Way to Love by Anthony de Mello
October 23, 2018
Laura Deming is a partner at The Longevity Fund. They invest in companies that will allow us to live longer and healthier lives.You can learn more about them at’s on Twitter @LauraDeming.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.***Topics00:22 - Why focus on longevity now?2:12 - How did Laura get started in longevity?3:22 - Why raise a fund?5:52 - What does Laura do personally for longevity?9:07 - Worm and mouse studies10:44 - Craig's personal habits12:37 - Human studies15:22 - Mica asks - Do you think immortality is going to be achieved by: 1. Curing all disease and stop aging so we could live with our own bodies forever 2. OR is going to be something like porting our brain, "mind" to a computer/robot?17:37 - Most likely strategies to increase lifespan19:47 - Ryan Hoover asks - Ask about the ethics of longevity. Jack J. Fernandes asks - Do people actually want to live longer?21:44 - Mica asks - How would immortality change society? Wouldn't we become more complacent? Since we have "forever" to do things wouldn't that diminish our rate of innovation? And since less new individuals are being created we would have access to less new ideas. We would just stop creating new Newtons, Einsteins, Mozarts…24:52 - Cognitive enhancement25:52 - Daily habits34:12 - Tech environment changes in the past 5-10 years39:22 - What percentage of people in labs want to start companies?41:37 - Pioneer43:57 - Confidence45:52 - Podcasting49:12 - Choosing media to consume52:17 - Sam Betesh asks - The last thing that led to a step function change in average life span was germ theory. What new areas of research might provide the next step function change?55:07 - Extending fertility windows57:22 - Jason Choi asks - What % of longevity is attributable to lifestyle choices vs genetics and the progress of technology in influencing both.58:37 - Fatih asks - is blood transfusion a thing or just a hoax1:00:42 - Rapamycin1:02:27 - Testosterone1:04:37 - Chris asks - Aubrey De Grey, IIRC, mentioned a number of times that we might, in the future, replace organs and tissues with new organic ones before they fail. Is this actually a reasonable idea, or is it more likely that we'll replace them with synthetic ones, if we replace them at all?1:06:07 - Mica asks - Laura did a "cookie diet" for one month. Why did you do it? How did you feel? Doesn't it go against all the research on longevity? ;-)1:08:07 - Is Laura actually not doing anything strange in her diet?
October 16, 2018
Shola Akinlade is CEO and cofounder of Paystack. Paystack helps businesses in Africa get paid online and offline. They’re based in Lagos, Nigeria and were part of the Winter 2016 batch.Shola’s on Twitter @shollsman.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.***Topics00:26 - What is Paystack?01:06 - Shola's background and previous company4:26 - Paystack's YC application6:01 - Meeting his cofounder7:26 - Interviewing at YC10:21 - Joining YC as a Nigerian company10:56 - Differences between startups in Nigeria and the US13:26 - Nigeria's payments market15:56 - Paystack's growth19:26 - Expanding to other countries and hiring25:26 - The best part of doing YC29:26 - Crypto developments in Africa30:21 - Creative Joe asks - How difficult is it to get into YC?30:56 - Educating US investors32:06 - Paul Israel asks - What gaps do you think still exist in the Nigerian fintech space?33:01 - Nelson asks - Are there any conventional startup advice that did not work for Paystack as their target market is Africa?35:21 - Nelson asks - What are some important lessons he learnt while building Paystack?37:46 - Nelson asks - What are some applications he would love to see been built on top of Paystack?39:56 - Building for Africa42:16 - Nestor Ezeagu asks - Do you think something like GoFundMe could work in Nigeria?42:46 - Car Joyy asks - Can I receive payments as an MVP ecommerce site before registering as a company?44:06 - Achyut Shrestha asks - What’s your tech stack?44:41 - Jordan Jackson asks - What are the biggest cultural differences that you account for in UX and product design?48:41 - Shola's outlook50:36 - What he misses about life before Paystack52:51 - Paystack in five years54:16 - Music recommendations
October 11, 2018
David Hua is CEO and cofounder of Meadow. Meadow makes retail and delivery software for dispensaries. They were part of the Winter 2015 batch. You can check them out at David’s on Twitter @Hua.Vincent Ning is CEO and cofounder of Nabis. Nabis is a cannabis services group. They offer distribution, logistics, sales, and marketing. You can check them out at Vincent's on Twitter @vcning.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.***Topics00:38 - What David brought with him5:48 - Microdosing6:48 - What are people buying?10:38 - Customer demographics12:00 - CBD14:58 - Changing vocabulary around cannabis17:13 - What is Meadow?17:38 - What is Nabis?17:53 - Why did they choose to not do cannabis product manufacturing?22:38 - Fundraising as a cannabis company26:08 - Why is there not one dominant cannabis company?29:53 - Legalization across Canada31:38 - Banking as a cannabis company36:13 - Taxes37:38 - Price sensitivity40:14 - Brand loyalty43:23 - What will the market look like in 5-10 years?50:08 - Cannabis media52:23 - Psychedelics56:38 - Exonerations and social equity programs
October 3, 2018
Mathilde Collin is the cofounder and CEO of Front. Front is a shared inbox for teams and they were part of the YC Summer 2014 batch.You can check out Front at YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.***Topics00:25 - Tuomas Grannas asks - What's your favorite LEGO theme?1:25 - What is Front?3:50 - Google Inbox shutting down5:25 - Prioritizing features7:50 - Features that have increased Front usage9:50 - What Front looked like at launch12:45 - Early user acquisition15:40 - Starting Front and meeting her cofounder19:10 - The idea for Front20:25 - When her cofounder was diagnosed with cancer23:20 - Hardest moments running Front25:25 - Employee retention30:55 - Transparency32:40 - Front's office in France33:30 - KP asks - What is the one unique insight about the problem you didn’t have at the start but only discovered later after your launch?36:15 - Did she consider other ideas Front?37:40- Jordan Jackson asks - Email at least for me - has taken on a different meaning in a life of messaging apps and chat platforms. It is more serious in a way. How do you see email evolving and the ecosystem that encompasses in peoples lives?39:55 - If she could remove any email feature41:20 - When did they hit product market fit?45:05 - Meditation
September 27, 2018
Eli Schwartz is the Director of SEO and Growth at SurveyMonkey. He came in to answer commonly asked questions about SEO.Eli blogs about SEO and growth at elischwartz.coYou can find him on Twitter at 5le.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.***Topics00:23 - Does SEO matter in 2018?2:23 - Where should a company start with SEO?3:53 - Who’s doing SEO well?4:48 - Why is Amazon doing SEO well?5:48 - How should you crosslink?7:33 - Paying for links7:58 - SEO don’t dos8:38 - Things that are no longer useful in SEO9:43 - Keywords13:08 - Reviews13:48 - Content17:48 - Images23:08 - Link building28:23 - How much time to give SEO?28:53 - Mobile30:58 - Ranking32:08 - International SEO34:18 - Translation37:38 - International search39:53 - GDPR42:13 - Hiring someone to do SEO44:08 - What to do when you organic SEO disappears46:53 - Metrics for an SEO hire48:53 - Tools for SEO50:23 - Getting started in SEO
September 17, 2018
Joan Lasenby is a University Reader in the Signal Processing and Communications Group of the Cambridge University Engineering Department, and is a College Lecturer and Director of Studies in Engineering at Trinity College. Here's a list of her published work.In this episode we talk about Joan’s research into 3D reconstruction from multiple cameras and her interest in geometric algebra.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.***Topics00:32 - What's a tangible example of geometric algebra?1:52 - What is geometric algebra?6:47 - What resparked interest in geometric algebra?7:42 - Why is it important?11:32 - When did Joan start working on it?13:27 - Rotations17:17 - Computer vision in the early 90s19:32 - Joan's fellowship at the Royal Society23:32 - What's changed in computer vision since the 90s to allow for Joan's drone research?30:07 - Machine learning in computer vision31:52 - How Joan and her students are applying machine learning35:02 - Unifying qualities of geometric algebra41:02 - Joan's paper ending up on Hacker News45:32 - Where could geometric algebra take hold?47:32 - Running and mobility48:32 - Where to learn more
September 6, 2018
Peter Reinhardt is cofounder and CEO of Segment.  Segment helps companies capture data from every customer touchpoint and send it to the tools where it can be used most effectively.They were part of the YC Summer 2011 batch.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.***Topics00:26 - What is Segment?1:56 - Segment’s first customers3:31 - Their YC application4:26 - Going through YC5:56 - Realizing their first product didn’t work10:56 - Launching Analytics.js12:11 - Experiencing product market fit17:21 - Debating whether to launch or build out the product19:41 - Evan Farrell asks - You mentioned in the SS lecture that you had to totally pivot to Analytics.js to find PMF, is it possible to purely iterate on something people kinda like to find PMF, or should it be clear from the outset if a new idea is something people want?20:56 - The importance of having a skeptic on your team23:56 - Customer interviews26:56 - Benjamin Liam asks - How did they know they have the right messaging to explain their product?28:26 - Idea generation33:11 - Danny Prol asks - What values and standards do you have in place for your team at Segment? And how do you actively build that culture into your company?37:26 - Ashwin Doke asks - How has GDPR impacted Segment's business model?39:41 - Andrew Pikul asks - Any advice he has on asking for more money than you're comfortable asking for. 42:11 - Juan Carlos Garza asks - How did YC help you to where Segment is right now?43:41 - Juan Carlos Garza asks - In an early stage, what's the thin line between ignoring a customer suggested feature or moving a customer requested feature to the core of your application?45:11 - Biggest learnings since YC45:16 - Important hires at Segment
August 30, 2018
Ryan Petersen is the founder and CEO of Flexport.Flexport is a global freight forwarder powered by software and analytics. They are making international trade easier for over 10,000 companies in 70 countries. They were part of the YC Winter 2014 batch.***Topics0:23 - What is a freight forwarder?3:08 - Selling electric scooters on eBay 15 years ago5:53 - Ryan’s business school experience10:23 - Amazon competing with their vendors13:23 - Matt Susk asks - What were the most important takeaways from Columbia Business School? Would you encourage entrepreneurs to pursue a MBA?17:03 - Tyler Hogge asks - How did you get your first three clients at Flexport?20:03 - Being a solo founder23:08 - Varun Khurana asks - What's your strategy for rapidly hiring the best talent in so many different global hubs?25:53 - Challenges of scaling Flexport27:38 - Some of Ryan’s favorite books29:43 - Scaling culture34:23 - Jassim Ali asks - How has the Trump policy on foreign trade affected your business so far?39:23 - PowerDecal asks - How do you poach clients from legacy providers?46:23 - Automation in freight forwarding49:23 - Jason Yannos asks - If you weren't operating Flexport and had to source a new idea to work on, where would you start?53:23 - Derisking product ideas56:53 - Biggest lessons learned at Flexport
August 22, 2018
David Zeevi is a James S. McDonnell independent fellow at the Rockefeller University Center for Studies in Physics and Biology. He focuses on developing computational methods for studying microbial ecology in the human gut and in the marine environment, and its contribution to human and environmental health.He was one of the authors on the paper Personalized Nutrition by Prediction of Glycemic Responses.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.Apply for $120K in funding from YC.***Topics01:15 - Why did David start working on personalized nutrition?4:45 - How did the measure the effects of food in their study?11:55 - How was the study standardized across people?15:55 - How they measured an individual’s gut microbiome.17:30 - What is the gut microbiome?22:05 - Is there an ideal gut microbiome?23:20 - How do you manipulate your gut microbiome?24:50 - Fecal transplants.26:55 - Elizabeth Iorns asks - Does post prandial glucose response regulation track with weight regulation? I.e. can they use their test to determine what individual people should eat or not eat to lose weight?28:35 - Has this research been turned into a product?29:35 - Who else worked on this research?30:35 - How was their predictive algorithm made?35:15 - Did they end up with any dietary suggestions?36:15 - David’s bread study.38:55 - Has David changed his own diet?39:25 - Why fat was vilified.43:15 - David’s ocean microbiome and other research.51:05 - Traveling and your microbiome.56:35 - Trying this out yourself.
August 16, 2018
Jessica Brillhart is the founder of Vrai Pictures. They’re an independent immersive content studio.Before founding Vrai, Jessica was the Principal Filmmaker for VR at Google.The YC Podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.***Questions 00:23 - Starting VRAI10:23 - Story in film vs. VR12:38 - Gaming19:53 - Conditions at Omaha - The Weather Channel in VR22:38 - Jessica's upcoming projects27:48 - Andrew Peterman asks - How long until we'll be able to create 3D 360° video from cell phone hardware+amazing software?30:13 - Matt asks - Where do you see VR in 10 years?30:28 - Michael Hodapp asks - Does VR still have long term mass adoption potential, or will the market shift to AR?32:23 - Will people be in VR for a significant percentage of their time in the future?40:58 - Virginia Pigato asks - How can a traditional storyteller adapt to vr?50:13 - Can Olcer asks - What key but non-obvious thing is missing for VR to become mainstream?52:08 - Matt MacVey asks - What are some of the most exciting or scariest parts of social VR and what is the storytelling potential of social VR?55:38 - Tony Cassara asks - What kind of dog do you have?
August 7, 2018
Geoff Ralston and Adora Cheung are both partners at YC.This episode is about Startup School. It’s a free, online course we’re offering that starts on August 28th.We’re also offering equity-free grants of $10,000 to 100 companies that participate in the course.Anyone can sign up for the course at the transcript here.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.***Topics0:40 - What is Startup School?3:40 - Who are the speakers this year?5:00 - What are the different paths in Startup School?7:00 - Success stories from last year’s Startup School.8:55 - Why offer $10,000 grants?10:00 - What deals are offered to the startups in Startup School?11:00 - When does the course start?12:45 - What are the requirements to complete the course?15:15 - What are the topics that will be covered?18:00 - What happens during office hours sessions?22:30 - Who else is working on this course at YC?
August 3, 2018
Michael Seibel is a Partner and the CEO of YC. He cofounded, which was in the Winter 2007 batch and Socialcam, which was in the Winter 2012 batch.For this episode we took questions from the internet. If you have questions for a future office hours episode, just tweet them our way.Read the transcript here.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.We're accepting applications from startups for the Winter 2019 funding cycle. Apply here.Questions00:25 - Why is YC worth 7% of your company?6:25 - Generating leverage when fundraising12:07 - Youssef asks - How did you validate your product market fit?15:00 - LC Carrier asks - How does YC feel about companies who don't want to raise VC after the program?17:05 - Edmilson Rodrigues asks - Do companies need to be incorporated already to participate in YC?18:50 - Alex Rodriguez asks - What do you look for in startups that haven't had good growth but continue to push through (e.g. AirBnB) that makes you accept them?26:50 - Fedor Paretsky asks - Do you have techniques you encourage to make pitches sound more exciting?35:05 - David Chen asks - How to find mentors and advisors?39:25 - building EatNeat asks - What if anything are you specifically looking for in a startup that wants to be a part of the Startup School 2018?40:00 - Ryan Carl Mercer asks - What's your preferred way organizing your time?41:05 - John Rigler asks - Can intrapreneurship be effective? I recently returned to IBM, have a patent, and yet have only vague ideas about how to signal and organize other like-minded folks. Could this path sabotage my dreams?41:55 - Horacio Chávez asks - How would you approach an investor who says "I won't invest unless you have a patent"?42:35 - Yahya Elamrani asks - Why does it feel like entrepreneurs aren’t marriage material? Should an entrepreneur look for an entrepreneurial spouse?44:15 - Yahya Elamrani asks - How intense do you really have to be to found a startup?48:50 - Is there a particular stage of company that's best served by Startup School?50:35 - How do you get the most out of Startup School?
July 27, 2018
Elad Gil is an entrepreneur, operator, and investor. He cofounded Color Genomics and Mixer Labs. Worked at Google and Twitter. And has invested in companies including Airbnb, Coinbase, and Stripe.He just released the High Growth Handbook, which is a guide to scaling startups published by Stripe Press.It contains tactical advice on key issues for post product-market fit companies such as the role of the CEO, hiring executives, late stage fundraising, M&A, and other topics. It also includes interviews with people in tech, including Sam Altman, President of YC Group.You can find the High Growth Handbook on Amazon.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.We're accepting applications from startups for the Winter 2019 funding cycle. Apply here.***Topics01:04 - Why should an entrepreneur read the High Growth Handbook?5:35 - On Marc Andreessen's comment, "The companies that charge more tend to grow faster."6:50 - Myths about startups7:50 - Leon Coe asks - What types of businesses do you avoid investing in?9:20 - Things to just say 'no' to12:40 - Companies that may be too early14:52 - On Naval Ravikant's comment, "The most successful class of people in silicon valley on a consistent basis are either the venture capitalists, or people who are very good at identifying companies that have just hit product/market fit. They have the background, expertise, and references that those companies really want to help them scale."17:41 - On Claire Hughes Johnson's "Guide to Working with Claire"19:40 - Masud Hossain asks - How did most of the companies you interviewed get their first 10 customers?20:55 - Masud Hossain asks - Is content really king?22:50 - Narayan Mallapur asks - Where do founders make the most mistakes? Is it on hiring? What steps should they take to avoid these pitfalls24:55 - Brianne Kimmel asks - What are some lessons learned in highly regulated sectors? When should you hire a General Counsel? How do you prioritize public policy and lobbying efforts?29:05 - Media cycles30:55 - Marius Chawa asks - What are the top three things a startup "must" achieve before VC firms would line up to fund them?34:45 - Taylor Caforio asks - My company is at our early MVP stage. What is he best way to find a balance between giving our earliest customers the 6 star treatment while also having swift and exponential growth in the back of our minds.36:54 - Tanmay Khandelwal asks - When you are sprinting in growth stage, how do you predict engineers required and hire accordingly?38:41 - TD Bryant II asks - When your organization is experiencing exponential growth, how do you choose which functions to outsource vs build/hire?41:50 - Andrew Pikul asks - Who is your favorite Dragon Ball (Z/GT/Super) villain?
July 20, 2018
Jocko Willink and Mike Sarraille served together as Navy SEALs and now work together at Echelon Front, a company Jocko cofounded.We met up to talk about a new initiative they’ve set up called Overwatch. Overwatch is a talent acquisition firm that matches employers with veterans from special operations forces and combat aviation. You can learn more about Overwatch at’re also hosting an event called the Muster in San Francisco on October 17th and 18th. You can sign up at you’d like to hear more from Mike and Jocko, check out Jocko Podcast Episode 134.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.We're accepting applications from startups for the Winter 2019 funding cycle. Apply here.***Topics01:04 - Intros5:07 - Mike and Jocko on how they transitioned out9:37 - How the military prepares people for the private sector13:47 - What is Overwatch?23:32 - Preconceptions about veterans28:24 - Advice for companies looking to hire veterans31:03 - Jocko's next book, The Dichotomy of Leadership33:58 - Mike and Jocko's working relationship45:20 - How to set up your team so everyone can contribute55:02 - What Mike and Jocko are trying to improve about themselves58:45 - Alex Badalyan asks - What are some military tactics startups could adopt to increase team effectiveness and throughput?1:00:47 - Allen asks - From your experience as a SEAL and in the business world, do two or more co-founders/leaders have a higher success rate? What are your thoughts on a solo leader/founder with a strong team and culture?1:06:56 - Armando Neves asks - I liked Jocko's episode on strategy and the way of the Samurai (The Book of Five Rings), how much of the warrior mindset is he implementing on a day to day basis?1:11:17 - Ryan Carl Mercer asks - Favorite MRE and thank you for your service sir.1:14:59 - Spencer Clark asks - Is culture more decided by micro or macro policies & interactions?
July 11, 2018
Recorded live at our Female Founders Conference in New York, an AMA with Kat Manalac, Kirsty Nathoo, Adora Cheung, Holly Liu, Jessica Livingston, and Carolynn Levy.This panel was hosted by Sharon Pope, Head of Marketing Programs at YC.We’re also posting the other talks from the Female Founders Conference today. You can see all of them and read the transcripts at blog.ycombinator.comIf you’d like to learn more about the Female Founders Conference, head over to
July 6, 2018
João Batalha and Luís Batalha are cofounders of Fermat’s Library.Fermat’s Library is a platform for annotating papers. Each week they send out a paper annotated by their community. Some recent papers were Birds and Frogs by Freeman Dyson and Von Neumann's First Computer Program by Donald Knuth.They’ve also built a Chrome Extension call Librarian for the arXiv which allows you to get direct links to references, do BibTeX extraction and make comments on papers.You can find them at the transcript on our blog.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.
June 29, 2018
Scott Aaronson is the David J. Bruton Centennial Professor of Computer Science at The University of Texas at Austin, and director of its Quantum Information Center. Before teaching at UT, he taught Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. His research interests center around the capabilities and limits of quantum computers, and computational complexity theory more generally.If you’ve listened to our other episodes about quantum computers and are curious to learn more, check out Scott’s book Quantum Computing Since Democritus.And if you want to read Scott’s blog you can find that at the transcript on our blog.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.
June 27, 2018
Henrique Dubugras is the cofounder of Brex, which provides corporate cards for startups.Anu Hariharan is a Partner at YC.Brex went through YC in the Winter 2017 batch and just closed their Series B, which was led by YC Continuity.In addition to discussing how the Brex team built out their service, Anu and Henrique also cover the specifics of what it takes to build a fintech startup in 2018. And Henrique shares advice for young founders, as he started his first company at 16.Read the transcript on our blog.
June 22, 2018
Jared Friedman is a partner at YC and before that cofounded Scribd (YC S06).Matt Long a software engineer at YC and before that cofounded Crocodoc (YC W10).Today we’re talking about a project Jared, Matt, and several other people at YC have been working on. It’s called Work at a Startup and it’s like a common application for engineers to apply to many YC companies simultaneously.We’re also hosting a Work at a Startup Expo on July 28th in Mountain View where you’ll be able to meet 35 rapidly growing YC companies. You can learn more and apply to attend at YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.
June 13, 2018
Adora Cheung is a partner at YC and she also cofounded Homejoy, which went through YC in the Summer 2010 batch.For this episode we took questions from the internet. If you have questions for a future office hours episode, just tweet them our way.Questions0:41 - topherPedersen asks - How many users did you have when you applied to YC? Also, how much revenue had you generated?2:55 - Hatlii asks - How do you keep going if you can’t raise any money?4:54 - Alejandro Ruperti asks - When/how do you decide to walk away from something you started?10:41 - Chris Melnick-MacDonald asks - What advice and lessons did you learn in entering the #Canadian market?13:16 - Yahya Elamrani asks - Do I have to work on culture in the very early stage?15:39 - Adam Sanders asks - What was the best decision you made for Homejoy?16:53 - Ujjawal Chauhan asks - Would love to know what’s the one thing she’d do differently in hindsight if she were to start over again?20:35 - Nikita Butakov asks - What are some unique data science / machine learning challenges faced by Homejoy?22:07 - Alejandro Ruperti asks - From @tferriss : how has a failure or apparent failure set you up for a later success?32:37 - Siamak Freydoonnejad asks - What are the best practices when doing a cold reach out to an investor?33:14 - 😎rliesaurus @ ✈️ 🇪🇺asks - Is Uber for X still a thing people would invest in, in the US?36:21 - Fedor Paretsky asks - How have YC's views on cryptocurrency/blockchain-related startups changed since Coinbase?42:56 - Manav asks - What type of companies is YC seeing more of this time around?46:45 - Yahya Elamrani - What are the best marketing strategies for year one for a b2c startup?53:55 - Yahya Elamrani asks - What would you say to a founder from a third world country where there is a big lack in tech talents (and you can't compete with big corps due to lack of resources) in term of hiring?55:50 - Aspiring Angel asks - What’s the best way for investors interested in startup seed/angel funding get started? How does location affect the process?
May 31, 2018
Liz Wessel is the cofounder and CEO of WayUp. WayUp is a job and internship platform for college students and recent graduates. They were part of the Winter 2015 YC batch.Read the transcript here.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.
May 25, 2018
Simon Benjamin is a Professor of Quantum Technologies at Oxford. He is also the Principle Investigator for Oxford’s project on Quantum Optimisation and Machine Learning.This episode is more technical than last week’s episode with John Preskill. We start by covering some fundamentals then go into different approaches for constructing and scaling a quantum computer.Read the transcript here.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.
May 16, 2018
John Preskill is a theoretical physicist and the Richard P. Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics at Caltech.He once won a bet with Steven Hawking, which as he writes made him “briefly almost famous.” John and Kip Thorne bet that singularities could exist outside of black holes and after six years Hawking conceded that they were possible in very special, “nongeneric” conditions.In this episode we cover what John’s been focusing on for years: quantum information, quantum computing, and quantum error correction.Read the transcript here. The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.
May 9, 2018
Carola Schönlieb is an applied mathematician at the University of Cambridge. She’s also a Turing Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute and the head of the Image Analysis group at Cambridge’s Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics.In this episode we cover mathematical approaches to image processing.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.
May 4, 2018
Sean Mitchell is the cofounder and CEO of Rezi. REZI helps landlords find high quality, long-term tenants in 48 hours. They were part of the Winter 2017 batch.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.
May 2, 2018
Linda Xie is the cofounder of Scalar Capital, a cryptoasset fund. Before that she was a Product Manager at Coinbase (YC S12).Avichal Garg is a Managing Partner at Electric Capital, a value fund for digital assets. He’s also an Expert at YC. Prior to that he was the Director of Product Management at Facebook.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.
April 27, 2018
Patrick Moberg is the cofounder of Playdots, which is a mobile game studio in New York. They make Dots, Two Dots, and Dots and Co.Holly Liu is is a Visiting Partner at YC. Before that she cofounded the gaming company Kabam.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.
April 25, 2018
Miles Brundage is an AI Policy Research Fellow with the Strategic AI Research Center at the Future of Humanity Institute. He is also a PhD candidate in Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology at Arizona State University.Miles recently co-authored The Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence: Forecasting, Prevention, and Mitigation.Tim Hwang is the Director of the Harvard-MIT Ethics and Governance of AI Initiative. He is also a Visiting Associate at the Oxford Internet Institute and a Fellow at the Knight-Stanford Project on Democracy and the Internet. This is Tim's second time on the podcast; he was also on episode 11.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.
April 20, 2018
Claire McDonnell is cofounder and COO of True Link Financial (YC S13). True Link is a financial services firm that offers money management, investment, and insurance products, primarily for retirees.Jennifer Kim is currently advising startups. Prior to that she was the Head of Employee Experience and Development at Lever. Lever makes recruiting software and they were part of the Summer 2012 batch.Kat Manalac is a partner here at YC.
April 18, 2018
Andy Bromberg is the cofounder and CEO of CoinList. Coinlist provides financial infrastructure for token creators and investors.Ramon Recuero is an engineer at YC. He's the author of the Decentralized Future Series, which you can read here.If you'd like to listen to more podcasts about crypto, here are episodes with Juan Benet (IPFS) and Dalton Caldwell (YC) and Olaf Carlson-Wee (Polychain Capital) and Aaron Harris (YC).The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.
April 13, 2018
Anne Wojcicki is the cofounder and CEO of 23andMe, which provides direct-to-consumer genetic testing.Sam Altman is the president of YC Group. He interviewed Anne for a series called How To Build The Future, which you can check out on our YouTube channel.
April 6, 2018
Keith Schacht is the cofounder of Mystery Science, which makes lessons that inspire kids to love science. They were part of the Summer 2017 YC batch.Avichal Garg is an Expert at YC and prior to that he was the Director of Product Management at Facebook.Geoff Ralston is a Partner at YC and before that he cofounded Imagine K12, an edtech accelerator that’s now makes up YC’s edtech vertical.
April 4, 2018
Alexandria Lafci and Brett Hagler are cofounders of New Story Charity.New Story Charity builds homes and communities in the developing world. They were part of the Summer 2015 YC batch.They just 3d printed their first home in Austin, Texas. You can check it out at YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.
March 30, 2018
Vivek Ravisankar is the CEO and cofounder of HackerRank, which was in the Summer 2011 batch.They surveyed 40,000 developers on things including their favorite frameworks, what they want in a job, and how they learned to code. You can read the report here.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.
March 21, 2018
Porter Braswell is the CEO and cofounder of Jopwell (YC S15). Jopwell is a career advancement platform for Black, Latinx, and Native American students and professionals.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.
March 15, 2018
Dr. Rosalind Watts is a clinical psychologist at the Psychedelic Research Group at Imperial College London.The Psychedelic Research Group focuses on two main areas: first, the action of psychedelic drugs in the brain and second, their clinical utility, e.g. as aides to psychotherapy, with a particular focus on depression.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.
March 2, 2018
Avni Patel Thompson is the founder and CEO of Poppy (YC W16). Poppy lets parents book the best caregivers with just a text.We recorded this episode at our Female Founders Conference in Seattle. We’re also hosting female founder events in New York and SF this year. You can sign up to our newsletter to get updates about those events.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.
February 28, 2018
Dan Lewis is the CEO and Cofounder of Convoy.Convoy matches shippers with freight carriers, which helps the trucking industry run more efficiently because currently, over 40% of the trucks on the road are empty.Anu Hariharan is a Partner at YC Continuity.Read the transcript here.
February 22, 2018
Reid Hoffman interviews Sam Altman on this uncut interview from the Masters of Scale podcast.
February 7, 2018
Geoff Ralston is a Partner at YC and before that he cofounded Imagine K12.This episode covers Startup Investor School. Startup Investor School is a free, 4-day course designed to educate early stage investors interested in investing in startups. You can sign up at YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.
January 31, 2018
Jake Rosenberg is the cofounder and CTO of LendUp (W12). They provide access to quality credit cards and loans without hidden fees or debt traps. Their customers are the 56% of Americans that have what is described as a “subprime” credit score, meaning they can’t be approved for credit by most banks.Ali Rowghani is the CEO of YC Continuity.Read the transcript on our blog.
January 24, 2018
Sam Chaudhary is the cofounder and CEO of ClassDojo. They've raised $30M and have 30 employees.Karen Lien is an Edtech Principal here at YC.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.
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