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The Launch Pad: Inside Y Combinator, Silicon Valley's Most Exclusive School for Startups | [Randall Stross]

The Launch Pad: Inside Y Combinator, Silicon Valley's Most Exclusive School for Startups

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (262 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Tyler Boca Raton, FL, United States 01-01-14
    Tyler Boca Raton, FL, United States 01-01-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    37
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    "Great background on what it takes on startups"
    What made the experience of listening to The Launch Pad the most enjoyable?

    It covers a broad range of challenges facing startups, and offers valuable insight. It discusses founder challenges, funding, structuring etc.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 02-20-14
    Michael 02-20-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great info, I learned a lot"
    What did you like best about The Launch Pad? What did you like least?

    I loved learning more about YC

    I did not like the narrator


    What didn’t you like about Rene Ruiz’s performance?

    He has some odd pronunciations which become annoying to listen to


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig 09-04-13
    Craig 09-04-13 Member Since 2015

    I like to listen to business, self-development, behavioural and books that challenge my perspective

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    "Must have for startup folks"
    What made the experience of listening to The Launch Pad the most enjoyable?

    The story was interesting the whole time and the information was useful


    What did you like best about this story?

    For someone thinking about startups the book gave an insight into the ups and downs of a startup


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Wise 07-21-15
    Robert Wise 07-21-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    2
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    Story
    "Interesting look at startups"

    Interesting look at the startups that have come out of y combinator. I enjoyed it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    NC Native 07-18-15
    NC Native 07-18-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What Haight-Ashbury was to Hippies, Y-Combinator is to Geeks"

    Interesting inside view of high tech start-up culture. Especially valuable to young computer geeks with entrepreneurial inclinations. Can I get a do-over?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Akinola K. Dosunmu Lincoln, CA 05-23-15
    Akinola K. Dosunmu Lincoln, CA 05-23-15 Member Since 2015

    Book Aficionado

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Y Combinator Story"

    New venture financing is about playing the odds for the investors. Y Combinator provides a workable model. Delightful reading for sure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Guilherme B. Boettch 03-27-15

    Head of Development, persuing masters degree in information visualization

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not a how to, but a great lessons learned"

    I bought this book thinking it would be a sort of how to for those considering the idea of starting a start up. What I found was the perfect lessons learned from the greatest launch pad I've heard of. It's a bit too sales pitches but a great read nonetheless.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mei027 12-25-14
    mei027 12-25-14
    ratings
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    1
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    Story
    "Fantastic in many ways!"
    What did you love best about The Launch Pad?

    Great voice and delivery on an interesting topic. Highly recommended for anyone interested in this area.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The access that the author had


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt San Francisco, CA, United States 09-24-14
    Matt San Francisco, CA, United States 09-24-14 Member Since 2008
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    "Inspiring, enlightening and highly entertaining"

    If you're interested in software or start-up tech, this is an incredible read. The book is packed with invaluable insights, interesting problems to contemplate, and inspiring stories.

    It is very well written, with a smooth flow of events through one summer session at YC. I honestly can't recall a single boring moment through the entire book. I wish there was a book for every YC session.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karl Redmond, WA, United States 07-12-13
    Karl Redmond, WA, United States 07-12-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting Content"
    Where does The Launch Pad rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Interesting insight to into the culture of one of the most innovative communities. The story goes a bit more into personal relationships than I prefer, however the entrepreneurial spirit and excitement conveyed makes it more manageable.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Tatiana
    London, United Kingdom
    12/13/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Must Read for Startups"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Launch Pad to be better than the print version?

    No


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Launch Pad?

    The paragraph on gender differentiation in the start-up world.


    What about Rene Ruiz’s performance did you like?

    It was ok.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    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.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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