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Y Combinator

Updated 11 days ago

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.

Read more

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

iTunes Ratings

111 Ratings
Average Ratings
93
10
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

111 Ratings
Average Ratings
93
10
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.
Cover image of Y Combinator

Y Combinator

Updated 11 days ago

Read more

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

Rank #1: #138 - Russ Roberts

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Russ Roberts is the host of the podcast EconTalk (iTunes, RSS, and YouTube), a research fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, and the author of several books, including How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life.

You can find Russ on Twitter @econtalker.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

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

00:29 - What are his thoughts on “meaning, spirituality, or sense of belonging” in regards to creating your own company?

3:34 - Capitalism bearing the burden of human nature

4:04 - Why Russ started EconTalk

7:44 - Key economic concepts for founders after 700 EconTalk episodes

13:49 - Helpful methods for teaching economic concepts

18:09 - "Man naturally desires, not only to be loved, but to be lovely" - Adam Smith in The Theory of Moral Sentiments

19:39 - Why Russ wrote How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life

24:14 - How EconTalk has changed since the beginning

26:14 - Steve Adema asks - Russ Roberts has emphasized the limits of "only looking where the light is" when it comes to studying well-being. How
can economists incorporate the aspects of well-being that aren't easily quantified?

34:34 - Warren Buffett's gift to his son

36:09 - Founders and unintended consequences

39:44 - The emotional aspect of giving your company away

44:19 - Anthony Y. asks - Has a guest on his show ever made him change his mind on a topic?

50:54 - Has Nassim Taleb convinced him to deadlift?

52:59 - Russ often quotes David Foster Wallace's speech, “This is Water”. Specifically, he quotes the phrase, “everyone worships.” What does Russ worship?

Aug 07 2019
59 mins
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Rank #2: #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
53 mins
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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
35 mins
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Rank #4: #137 - Startup School Podcast Preview with Kevin Hale

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Today’s episode is a preview of the Startup School podcast

We’re putting all the Startup School lectures on their own podcast feed. You can subscribe here:   
iTunes
RSS

This is the first lecture from Startup School 2019. It’s Kevin Hale on How to Evaluate Startup Ideas.

It’s also not too late to sign up for Startup School.

The course just started and the deadline to sign up is August 4th. Select companies who complete the course will also receive 15,000 dollars in equity-free funding.

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

00:42 - Why we're starting with evaluating ideas

2:07 - YC doesn't just fund companies with traction

3:31 - How can I predict if an investor will like my idea?

5:57 - A startup idea is a hypothesis

7:37 - The problem

11:37 - The solution

13:07 - The insight

14:42 - Founder's unfair advantage

15:42 - Market growing 20% a year

16:22 - Product 10x better

17:12- Acquisition model

18:37 - Monopoly

19:32 - Threshold belief

19:52- Miracle belief

20:42 - Example: YC

24:02 - Example: Wufoo

Jul 31 2019
27 mins
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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
28 mins
Play

Rank #6: #29 - Jack Dorsey On The Books That Helped Him Succeed

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Jack Dorsey is the CEO of Twitter and Square. This is his talk from Startup School 2013.

Read the transcript here.

Aug 25 2017
29 mins
Play

Rank #7: #4 - Elon Musk on How to Build the Future

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May 15 2017
21 mins
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Rank #8: #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
58 mins
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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
51 mins
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Rank #10: #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
59 mins
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Rank #11: #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
55 mins
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Rank #12: #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
58 mins
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Rank #13: #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
36 mins
Play

Rank #14: #19 - Blockchain Investing - Olaf Carlson-Wee and Aaron Harris

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Olaf Carlson-Wee is the founder and CEO of Polychain Capital.

Aaron Harris is a Partner at YC.

Jul 19 2017
53 mins
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Rank #15: #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
1 hour 9 mins
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Rank #16: #16 - Mark Zuckerberg on How to Build the Future

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Mark Zuckerberg is the cofounder of Facebook.

Sam Altman is the president of YC Group and he interviewed Mark for a series called How To Build The Future, which you can watch on YC’s YouTube channel.

Jul 07 2017
25 mins
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Rank #17: #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
1 hour 3 mins
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Rank #18: #72 - Miles Brundage and Tim Hwang

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Miles Brundage is an AI Policy Research Fellow with the Strategic AI Research Center at the Future of Humanity Institute. He is also a PhD candidate in Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology at Arizona State University.

Miles recently co-authored The Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence: Forecasting, Prevention, and Mitigation.

Tim Hwang is the Director of the Harvard-MIT Ethics and Governance of AI Initiative. He is also a Visiting Associate at the Oxford Internet Institute and a Fellow at the Knight-Stanford Project on Democracy and the Internet. This is Tim's second time on the podcast; he was also on episode 11.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

Apr 25 2018
46 mins
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Rank #19: #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
47 mins
Play

Rank #20: #1 - Hiring Engineers with Ammon Bartram

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Ammon Bartram is the cofounder of Triplebyte (YC S15) and Socialcam (YC W12).

Triplebyte (https://triplebyte.com) connects software engineers with companies that are hiring.

Read the transcript here (http://blog.ycombinator.com/hiring-engineers-with-ammon-bartram).

May 15 2017
42 mins
Play

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