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
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.
Great voice and delivery on an interesting topic. Highly recommended for anyone interested in this area.
The access that the author had
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.
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.
"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.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.