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
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
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
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.
gripping insights on YC incubation process. I found it very engaging full of inside information.
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.
"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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