Twice a year in the heart of Silicon Valley, a small investment firm called Y Combinator selects an elite group of young entrepreneurs from around the world for three months of intense work and instruction. Their brand-new two- or three-person start-ups are given a seemingly impossible challenge: to turn a raw idea into a viable business, fast.
Each YC session culminates in a demo day, when investors and venture capitalists flock to hear pitches from the new graduates. Any one of them might turn out to be the next Dropbox (class of 2007, now valued at $5 billion) or Airbnb (2009, $1.3 billion).
Randall Stross is the first journalist to have fly-on-the-wall access to Y Combinator. He tells the full story of how Paul Graham started this ultra exclusive institution, how it chooses among hundreds of aspiring Mark Zuckerbergs, and how it teaches them to go from concept to profitability in record time.
©2012 Randall Stross (P)2012 Random House Audio
An imperfect square - perhaps I'm rhombus
encouraging or disconcerting that the idea doesn't really matter - it's the quality of the founding team, particularly how well they know each other.
This book eliminated the fear of failure, and replaced it with a childish and nerdy excitement for starting a start-up.
"Perfect intro for outsiders"
Loved it, I feel like I finally know a bit of what they look for.
"Great info, I learned a lot"
I loved learning more about YC
I did not like the narrator
He has some odd pronunciations which become annoying to listen to
"Must have for startup folks"
The story was interesting the whole time and the information was useful
For someone thinking about startups the book gave an insight into the ups and downs of a startup
"Great background on what it takes on startups"
It covers a broad range of challenges facing startups, and offers valuable insight. It discusses founder challenges, funding, structuring etc.
"Now my favorite book"
This book is awesome and has me really excited to pursue startup opportunities, and I'll also look to read anything I can get my hands on about Paul graham or Y combinator
I cant wait to listen to it again, great audio book! I ghink I will get the printed version as well
"Nice, some are better"
Narration is great, also the general idea and details. A few dialogs were too much in my opinion
Really fun to listen to all the stories of people in the program. it's amazing how many famous companies started in YCombinator
As a founder of a company currently waiting to hear back from YC, this certainly helped me understand the internal process a bit better and of we don't get in, I now know what to work on for next application.
Very very informative and helpful.
"Must Read for Startups"
The paragraph on gender differentiation in the start-up world.
It was ok.
It made a bit frustrated and angry at times with the hypocritical and sexist approach that the lead character selects his start-ups. It's very money driven without any considerations for the best interests of the person. Must read if you are thinking or have recently launched a company - there is some good advice in it about how to pitch and sell your business but i wouldn't go down the route of incubators after this read.
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