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Y Combinator

Updated 5 days ago

Rank #55 in Technology category

Business
Technology
Careers
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We talk with people who are shaping the future. A show about technology in business, research, and art.

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We talk with people who are shaping the future. A show about technology in business, research, and art.

iTunes Ratings

116 Ratings
Average Ratings
97
11
5
2
1

Great podcast

By Podcastiac - May 14 2018
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Have listened for yrs. Many episodes repeated times. Lots of founder takeaways.

Great and varied content

By OutAndAbout212 - Dec 18 2017
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Not just about tech startups it’s a wide ranging list of really interesting interviews.

iTunes Ratings

116 Ratings
Average Ratings
97
11
5
2
1

Great podcast

By Podcastiac - May 14 2018
Read more
Have listened for yrs. Many episodes repeated times. Lots of founder takeaways.

Great and varied content

By OutAndAbout212 - Dec 18 2017
Read more
Not just about tech startups it’s a wide ranging list of really interesting interviews.

The Best Episodes of:

Cover image of Y Combinator

Y Combinator

Updated 5 days ago

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We talk with people who are shaping the future. A show about technology in business, research, and art.

Rank #1: #37 - Don't Start a Blog, Start a Cult - Mr. Money Mustache

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Pete Adeney, more commonly known as Mr. Money Mustache, retired at 30 after working as a software engineer for about ten years.

He blogs at MrMoneyMustache.com about how he saved money, where he invested it, and how he achieved "financial freedom through badassity".

You can apply to the W18 batch of YC here - ycombinator.com/apply

Sep 27 2017

53mins

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Rank #2: #142 - Startup School Week 1 Recap: Kevin Hale and Eric Migicovsky

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We've cut down the first week of Startup School lectures to be even shorter and combined them into one podcast.

First, a lecture from Kevin Hale. Kevin is a YC partner and a cofounder of Wufoo. His lecture is about How to Evaluate Startup Ideas.

Then, a lecture from Eric Migicovsky. Eric is a YC partner and the founder of Pebble. His lecture is about How to Talk to Users.

Y Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year.

Learn more about YC and apply for funding here: https://www.ycombinator.com/apply/

***

Topics

00:00 - Intro

00:43 - Kevin Hale on How to Evaluate Startup Ideas

2:04 - How can I predict if an investor will like my idea?

2:50 - A startup idea is a hypothesis

5:44 - Problem

6:59 - Solution

8:16 - Insight

8:57 - Unfair advantages

13:45 - Two beliefs about startups

15:19 - Eric Migicovsky on How to Talk to Users

17:36 - Three common errors people make when talking to users

20:20 - Five questions to ask in a user interview

20:28 - What's the hardest part about doing the thing you're trying to solve?

21:02 - Tell me about the last time that you encountered this problem

21:22 - Why was this hard?

23:08 - What, if anything, have you done to try to solve this problem?

24:10 - What don't you love about the solutions you've already tried?

25:21 - Three stages in which talking to users is extremely beneficial

26:07 - Idea stage

30:40 - Prototype stage

33:41 - Iterating towards product market fit

Sep 04 2019

39mins

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Rank #3: #107 - Vinod Khosla and Sam Altman

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Vinod Khosla is the founder of Khosla Ventures, a firm focused on assisting entrepreneurs to build impactful new energy and technology companies. Previously he was the founding CEO of Sun Microsystems, where he pioneered open systems and commercial RISC processors.

How to Build the Future is hosted by Sam Altman.

***

Topics

00:30 - Vinod’s intro

01:20 - A zero-million-dollar company vs a zero-billion-dollar company

4:20 - What percentage of investors in Silicon Valley are good long-term company builders?

4:50 - Who has earned the right to advise an entrepreneur?

6:50 - Which risk to take when

7:20 - Helpful board members

8:15 - Who to trust for what advice

11:00 - First principles thinking and rate of change

13:00 - Evaluating a candidate in an interview

14:15 - How much should a founder have planned and how ambitious should a founder be?

16:30 - Recruiting great people

19:00 - Building a phenomenal early team

20:20 - Being generous with early employee equity

27:00 - Gene pool engineering

27:18 - The art, science, and labor of recruiting

28:20 - How founders should think about investors

31:00 - Doers vs pontificators

32:00 - What does Vinod want to do in the next ten years?

32:10 - Reinventing Societal Infrastructure with Technology

Jan 09 2019

35mins

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Rank #4: #4 - Elon Musk on How to Build the Future

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May 15 2017

21mins

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Rank #5: #69 - Anne Wojcicki of 23andMe and Sam Altman

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Anne Wojcicki is the cofounder and CEO of 23andMe, which provides direct-to-consumer genetic testing.

Sam Altman is the president of YC Group. He interviewed Anne for a series called How To Build The Future, which you can check out on our YouTube channel.

Apr 13 2018

28mins

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Rank #6: #92 - Ryan Petersen

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Ryan Petersen is the founder and CEO of Flexport.

Flexport is a global freight forwarder powered by software and analytics. They are making international trade easier for over 10,000 companies in 70 countries. They were part of the YC Winter 2014 batch.

***

Topics

0:23 - What is a freight forwarder?

3:08 - Selling electric scooters on eBay 15 years ago

5:53 - Ryan’s business school experience

10:23 - Amazon competing with their vendors

13:23 - Matt Susk asks - What were the most important takeaways from Columbia Business School? Would you encourage entrepreneurs to pursue a MBA?

17:03 - Tyler Hogge asks - How did you get your first three clients at Flexport?

20:03 - Being a solo founder

23:08 - Varun Khurana asks - What's your strategy for rapidly hiring the best talent in so many different global hubs?

25:53 - Challenges of scaling Flexport

27:38 - Some of Ryan’s favorite books

29:43 - Scaling culture

34:23 - Jassim Ali asks - How has the Trump policy on foreign trade affected your business so far?

39:23 - PowerDecal asks - How do you poach clients from legacy providers?

46:23 - Automation in freight forwarding

49:23 - Jason Yannos asks - If you weren't operating Flexport and had to source a new idea to work on, where would you start?

53:23 - Derisking product ideas

56:53 - Biggest lessons learned at Flexport

Aug 30 2018

59mins

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Rank #7: #100 - Sam Altman

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Sam Altman expands on ideas that have come up in several of his essays. Specifically: choosing projects, creating value, and finding purpose.

Sam’s the president of YC Group and co-chairman of OpenAI. You can find him on Twitter @sama.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

***

Topics


1:25 - From The Days Are Long But The Decades Are Short - Minimize your own cognitive load from distracting things that don’t really matter. It’s hard to overstate how important this is, and how bad most people are at it.

3:50 - Stepping back and evaluating your work

5:30 - Creating metrics for your projects

6:30 - Taking a year off

9:30 - Figuring out when to commit

11:30 - Poker

12:30 - From Productivity - Sleep seems to be the most important physical factor in productivity for me. Exercise is probably the second most important physical factor. The third area is nutrition.

15:00 - From You and Your Research by Richard Hamming - "If what you are doing is not important, and if you don't think it is going to lead to something important, why are you at Bell Labs working on it?"

16:30 - From The Days Are Long But The Decades Are Short - Things in life are rarely as risky as they seem. Most people are too risk-averse, and so most advice is biased too much towards conservative paths.

17:30 - Perspective shifts

20:15 - From Productivity - My system has three key pillars: “Make sure to get the important shit done”, “Don’t waste time on stupid shit”, and “make a lot of lists”.

22:30 - What Happened to Innovation

24:50 - From You and Your Research by Richard Hamming - He who works with the door open gets all kinds of interruptions, but he also occasionally gets clues as to what the world is and what might be important.

26:50 - The deferred life plan doesn’t work

31:50 - From The Merge - Our self-worth is so based on our intelligence that we believe it must be singular and not slightly higher than all the other animals on a continuum. Perhaps the AI will feel the same way and note that differences between us and bonobos are barely worth discussing.

34:10 - Weight training

35:30 - The Way to Love by Anthony de Mello

Nov 08 2018

36mins

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Rank #8: #43 - Casey Neistat and Matt Hackett on Live Video's Struggle for Interestingness

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Matt Hackett and Casey Neistat are the cofounders of Beme, which was acquired by CNN last year.

You might already know Casey from his YouTube channel which now has over 8M subscribers.

And before Beme, Matt was a Hacker-in-Residence betaworks and the VP of Engineering at Tumblr.

Nov 01 2017

1hr 2mins

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Rank #9: #88 - Office Hours with Michael Seibel

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Michael Seibel is a Partner and the CEO of YC.

He cofounded Justin.tv, which was in the Winter 2007 batch and Socialcam, which was in the Winter 2012 batch.

For this episode we took questions from the internet. If you have questions for a future office hours episode, just tweet them our way.

Read the transcript here.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

We're accepting applications from startups for the Winter 2019 funding cycle. Apply here.

Questions

00:25 - Why is YC worth 7% of your company?

6:25 - Generating leverage when fundraising

12:07 - Youssef asks - How did you validate your product market fit?

15:00 - LC Carrier asks - How does YC feel about companies who don't want to raise VC after the program?

17:05 - Edmilson Rodrigues asks - Do companies need to be incorporated already to participate in YC?

18:50 - Alex Rodriguez asks - What do you look for in startups that haven't had good growth but continue to push through (e.g. AirBnB) that makes you accept them?

26:50 - Fedor Paretsky asks - Do you have techniques you encourage to make pitches sound more exciting?

35:05 - David Chen asks - How to find mentors and advisors?

39:25 - building EatNeat asks - What if anything are you specifically looking for in a startup that wants to be a part of the Startup School 2018?

40:00 - Ryan Carl Mercer asks - What's your preferred way organizing your time?

41:05 - John Rigler asks - Can intrapreneurship be effective? I recently returned to IBM, have a patent, and yet have only vague ideas about how to signal and organize other like-minded folks. Could this path sabotage my dreams?

41:55 - Horacio Chávez asks - How would you approach an investor who says "I won't invest unless you have a patent"?

42:35 - Yahya Elamrani asks - Why does it feel like entrepreneurs aren’t marriage material? Should an entrepreneur look for an entrepreneurial spouse?

44:15 - Yahya Elamrani asks - How intense do you really have to be to found a startup?

48:50 - Is there a particular stage of company that's best served by Startup School?

50:35 - How do you get the most out of Startup School?

Aug 03 2018

51mins

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Rank #10: #61 - Sam Altman on Masters of Scale

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Reid Hoffman interviews Sam Altman on this uncut interview from the Masters of Scale podcast.

Feb 22 2018

58mins

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Rank #11: #103 - Michael Seibel

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Michael Seibel is a partner and the CEO of YC. He cofounded Justin.tv, which was in the winter 2007 batch and Socialcam, which was in the winter 2012 batch.

In this episode Michael comments on five of his essays. The essays are: Why Should I Start a Startup?, One Order of Operations for Starting a Startup, The Real Product Market Fit, Users You Don’t Want, and Why Does Your Company Deserve More Money?

Michael’s on Twitter @mwseibel.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

***

Topics

0:00 - Intro

0:42 - Why Should I Start a Startup?

2:00 - Three types of people: people highly motivated when working for themselves, people that could succeed starting a startup or within a big company, and people that could succeed within a big company.

6:00 - How do you decide what type of person you are?

7:30 - Identify bias in advice givers

10:30 - Peer advice becomes less valuable during college

14:40 - One Order of Operations for Starting a Startup

15:40 - People aren’t taught how to find ideas

17:20 - Find a particular problem that you’re passionate about

20:55 - Find some friends and brainstorm a solution

23:20 - Build an MVP

25:55 - Two failed orders of operations for starting a startup

29:57 - The Real Product Market Fit

30:57 - Why do many founders think they have product market fit when they don’t?

35:42 - Building a successful company is not a single variable problem

37:27 - Socialcam didn’t hit product market fit

38:37 - Justin.tv had $1M in profit before reaching product market fit

42:27 - Some companies take a long time

42:55 - Users You Don’t Want

44:25 - The spectrum of how users are using your product

45:55 - Users that take a lot of customer support time

48:50 - Don’t let the hijack users control the product roadmap

49:31 - Why Does Your Company Deserve More Money?

50:31 - A team, a product, and an office are all just a means to an end

51:31 - If you don’t really deserve money, what is an alternate path to create leverage?

53:16 - Breaking even at Justin.tv was a moment of infinite clarity

55:31 - Series A program and leverage

Nov 28 2018

58mins

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Rank #12: #44 - Cindy Mi on Building VIPKID, the World's Largest English Learning Platform for Children

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Cindy Mi is the founder and CEO of VIPKID. VIPKID is a 1-on-1 teaching platform where children in China learn english from North American teachers.

Anu Hariharan is a Partner here at YC.

Nov 03 2017

33mins

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Rank #13: #55 - Tim Urban of Wait But Why

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Tim Urban cofounded the blog Wait But Why with Andrew Finn in 2013.

His posts about Artificial Intelligence, Elon Musk, and the Fermi Paradox have been read millions of times.

We discussed Tim's research strategy, the purpose of Wait But Why, and his thoughts on technologies including cryptocurrencies, A.I., and AR/VR.

Jan 03 2018

55mins

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Rank #14: #38 - The More You Communicate with Users, the Higher Chance You'll Build Something They Want - Ryan Hoover of Product Hunt

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Ryan Hoover is the founder of Product Hunt.

Get a 10% discount on Ship pro plans by using this link.

Oct 04 2017

49mins

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Rank #15: #9 - Sam Altman and Reid Hoffman - From Startup to Scaleup

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Sam Altman and Reid Hoffman discuss the key changes founders should think about as they scale their company.

The conversation was recorded at The Scaleup Offsite, a private event hosted by Y Combinator Continuity and Greylock Partners in April 2017.

Jun 09 2017

40mins

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Rank #16: #40 - Content Marketing Tips from Experts at First Round Capital and Andreessen Horowitz

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Camille Ricketts is the Head of Content and Marketing at First Round Capital.

Sonal Chokshi is an Editorial Partner at Andreessen Horowitz.

Oct 13 2017

1hr 12mins

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Rank #17: #63 - The Number One Goal is Getting Started - Avni Patel Thompson of Poppy

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Avni Patel Thompson is the founder and CEO of Poppy (YC W16). Poppy lets parents book the best caregivers with just a text.

We recorded this episode at our Female Founders Conference in Seattle. We’re also hosting female founder events in New York and SF this year. You can sign up to our newsletter to get updates about those events.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

Mar 02 2018

47mins

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Rank #18: #75 - Sean Mitchell

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Sean Mitchell is the cofounder and CEO of Rezi. REZI helps landlords find high quality, long-term tenants in 48 hours. They were part of the Winter 2017 batch.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

May 04 2018

1hr 3mins

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Rank #19: #53 - Be Wary of Solving a Small, Rare Problem - Des Traynor of Intercom

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Des Traynor is the cofounder of Intercom.

Here's his talk Product Strategy Means Saying No and the blog post.

Dec 13 2017

1hr 9mins

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Rank #20: #87 - Elad Gil

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Elad Gil is an entrepreneur, operator, and investor. He cofounded Color Genomics and Mixer Labs. Worked at Google and Twitter. And has invested in companies including Airbnb, Coinbase, and Stripe.

He just released the High Growth Handbook, which is a guide to scaling startups published by Stripe Press.

It contains tactical advice on key issues for post product-market fit companies such as the role of the CEO, hiring executives, late stage fundraising, M&A, and other topics. It also includes interviews with people in tech, including Sam Altman, President of YC Group.

You can find the High Growth Handbook on Amazon.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

We're accepting applications from startups for the Winter 2019 funding cycle. Apply here.

***

Topics

01:04 - Why should an entrepreneur read the High Growth Handbook?

5:35 - On Marc Andreessen's comment, "The companies that charge more tend to grow faster."

6:50 - Myths about startups

7:50 - Leon Coe asks - What types of businesses do you avoid investing in?

9:20 - Things to just say 'no' to

12:40 - Companies that may be too early

14:52 - On Naval Ravikant's comment, "The most successful class of people in silicon valley on a consistent basis are either the venture capitalists, or people who are very good at identifying companies that have just hit product/market fit. They have the background, expertise, and references that those companies really want to help them scale."

17:41 - On Claire Hughes Johnson's "Guide to Working with Claire"

19:40 - Masud Hossain asks - How did most of the companies you interviewed get their first 10 customers?

20:55 - Masud Hossain asks - Is content really king?

22:50 - Narayan Mallapur asks - Where do founders make the most mistakes? Is it on hiring? What steps should they take to avoid these pitfalls

24:55 - Brianne Kimmel asks - What are some lessons learned in highly regulated sectors? When should you hire a General Counsel? How do you prioritize public policy and lobbying efforts?

29:05 - Media cycles

30:55 - Marius Chawa asks - What are the top three things a startup "must" achieve before VC firms would line up to fund them?

34:45 - Taylor Caforio asks - My company is at our early MVP stage. What is he best way to find a balance between giving our earliest customers the 6 star treatment while also having swift and exponential growth in the back of our minds.

36:54 - Tanmay Khandelwal asks - When you are sprinting in growth stage, how do you predict engineers required and hire accordingly?

38:41 - TD Bryant II asks - When your organization is experiencing exponential growth, how do you choose which functions to outsource vs build/hire?

41:50 - Andrew Pikul asks - Who is your favorite Dragon Ball (Z/GT/Super) villain?

Jul 27 2018

43mins

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