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
It covers a broad range of challenges facing startups, and offers valuable insight. It discusses founder challenges, funding, structuring etc.
I loved learning more about YC
I did not like the narrator
He has some odd pronunciations which become annoying to listen to
I like to listen to business, self-development, behavioural and books that challenge my perspective
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
My startup is in residential construction, but many of the lessons translate. For instance, when pitching your idea, investors will retain only a handful of sentences. So make sure one of them is a surprise - something that gravbs attention and sticks because it is contrary to what they expect. Most great opportunities come from some insight that is surprising. Condense yours to a powerfully pithy sentence.
Interesting inside view of high tech start-up culture. Especially valuable to young computer geeks with entrepreneurial inclinations. Can I get a do-over?
New venture financing is about playing the odds for the investors. Y Combinator provides a workable model. Delightful reading for sure.
Head of Development, persuing masters degree in information visualization
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.
"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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