156 episodes

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

Y Combinator Y Combinator

    • Technology

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

    #156 - Amber Atherton and Iba Masood

    #156 - Amber Atherton and Iba Masood

    Amber Atherton is the founder and CEO of Zyper (YC W18).Iba Masood is the cofounder and CEO of TARA (YC W15).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/  ***Topics00:00 - Intro1:16 - Seed fundraising for Zyper and Tara3:26 - Tara's pivot4:31 - Series A fundraising for Zyper and Tara18:11 - Evaluating investors23:46 - Meeting with associates and partners30:35 - Raising a Series A as a female founder39:31 - Fundraising psychology 41:46 - What not to do when fundraising 45:01 - Talking to portfolio companies about investors46:21 - What it's like to run a Series A stage company 1:00:41 - The most important piece of advice for fundraising

    • 1 hr 2 min
    #155 - Laks Srini

    #155 - Laks Srini

    Laks Srini is the cofounder and CTO of ZeroDown. Before that he was the cofounder and CTO of Zenefits.You can find him on Twitter at @laks_srini.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/ ***Topics00:00 - Intro00:30 - What is ZeroDown?1:50 - How did they test the idea?3:50 - What did they learn from companies that failed in the space?8:00 - Breaking down the product11:25 - ZeroDown's customers13:35 - Expanding to other markets15:50 - What if a downturn happens?17:10 - ZeroDown's hiring strategy20:10 - What are their hardest technical challenges?22:05 - ZeroDown's breadth and product strategy26:40 - Customer interviews28:35 - Should everyone own a house?29:50 - Home ownership in the future32:45 - Build something you really want to see in the world34:40 - Working with his cofounders was the most important consideration

    • 36 min
    #154 - Matt Cutts

    #154 - Matt Cutts

    Matt Cutts is the Administrator of the US Digital Service and previously he was the head of the webspam team at Google.You can find him on Twitter at @mattcutts.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/ ***Topics00:00 - Intro00:36 - Working at Google in 20002:48 - Did Google's success feel certain?3:53 - Building self-service ads7:23 - The evil unicorn problem8:23 - Lawsuits around search10:48 - Content moderation and spam14:38 - Matt's progression over 17 years at Google17:18 - Deepfakes18:43 - Joining the USDS21:03 - What the USDS does23:43 - Working at the USDS26:43 - Educating people in government about tech28:58 - Creating a rapid feedback loop within government31:48 - Michael Wang asks - How does USDS decide whether to outsource something to a private company, or build the software in house?32:58 - Spencer Clark asks - It would seem that the government is so far behind the private industry’s technology. To what extent is this true and what can be done about it? How should we gauge the progress of institutions like the USDS?36:03 - Stephan Sturges asks - With GANs getting more and more powerful is the USDS thinking about the future of data authenticity?38:23 - John Doherty asks - How difficult was it to communicate Google’s algorithm changes and evolving SEO best practices without leaking new spam tactics?40:18 - Vanman0254 asks - How can smart tech folks better contribute to regulatory and policy discussions in government? 42:38 - Ronak Shah asks - What's your best pitch to high-performing startups in the Bay Area to adopt more of human centered design (something that the government has been moving towards surprisingly well, but that some fast moving startups have neglected resulting in controversy)49:58 - Adam Hoffman asks - What are legislators, the government, and the general populace most “getting wrong” in how they conceptualize the internet?51:33 - Raphael Ferreira asks - Is it possible to live without google? How do you think google affected people in searching for answers and content, now that’s we find everything in just one click?55:23 - Tim Woods asks - Which job was more fun and why?57:13 - Working in government vs private industry1:00:48 - Snehan Kekre asks - What is Matt's view of the ongoing debate about backdooring encryption for so called lawful interception?

    • 1 hr 5 min
    #153 - Cory Doctorow and Joe Betts-LaCroix

    #153 - Cory Doctorow and Joe Betts-LaCroix

    Cory Doctorow is a blogger, journalist, and science fiction author. He’s also the co-editor of Boing Boing.Joe Betts-Lacroix is the CTO of VIUM and an Expert at YC.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/ ***Topics00:00 - Intro00:32 - Adversarial interoperability 7:55 - So what should founders do?13:55 - Copyright19:55 - Remixing 27:00 - AT&T29:50 - Firms and state-like duties31:25 - Medium-term suggestions for founders39:25 - Conspiracy theories51:50 - Science fiction and predictions 56:55 - Peak indifference model

    • 1 hr 12 min
    #152 - Startup School Week 11 Recap - Geoff Ralston's Parting Advice

    #152 - Startup School Week 11 Recap - Geoff Ralston's Parting Advice

    In this week’s lecture YC President Geoff Ralston shares parting advice for all the founders that participated in Startup School.If you want to sign up for next year’s edition of Startup School, you can put your name on the waitlist at StartupSchool.org.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/***Topics00:00 - Intro00:31 - Geoff Ralston's Parting Advice00:51 - There is no one path3:19 - Find your path3:26 - Focus on what matters4:14 - Startups are hard4:46 - Things will go wrong8:04 - Determination10:21 - Default to action11:31 - Don't just not be evil. Be good.13:56 - Summary

    • 15 min
    #151 - Startup School Week 10 Recap - Ali Rowghani on How to Lead and Kevin Hale and Adora Cheung on Startup School 2019 by the Numbers

    #151 - Startup School Week 10 Recap - Ali Rowghani on How to Lead and Kevin Hale and Adora Cheung on Startup School 2019 by the Numbers

    We've cut down the tenth week of lectures to be even shorter and combined them into one podcast.First, a lecture from Ali Rowghani. Ali is a partner at YC. His lecture covers how to lead.Then a lecture from Kevin Hale and Adora Cheung. Kevin and Adora are both partners at YC. Their lecture breaks down this year’s Startup School by the numbers and they share tips on what helped companies most.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/***Topics00:00 - Intro00:36 - Ali Rowghani - How to Lead1:36 - Ali's background2:56 - There's no single archetype for a great leader so be yourself5:16 - Great leaders think and communicate clearly9:56 - Great leaders have good judgement about people12:56 - Great leaders have strong personal integrity and commitment13:46 - The transparency test14:41 - The best way to measure great leaders is in terms of the amount of trust they engender in the people that work with them15:21 - The science of trust16:08 - The art of trust16:36 - Optimize for trust17:40 - Kevin Hale and Adora Cheung - Startup School 2019 by the Numbers19:24 - Startup School grew during the course20:24 - Did SUS make a difference?21:14 - 106 SUS companies were accepted into YC23:17 - How can you replicate their success?23:44 - Be clear and concise26:59 - Edit your company description28:04 - Weekly updates submitted28:39 - Top 7 biggest obstacles for SUS companies29:04 - Top 7 KPI movers29:59 - Top 7 user insights31:04 - Average startup weeks to launch31:54 - Average hard tech or biotech startup weeks to launch32:54 - % of weekly updates from launched startups33:34 - Group sessions33:59 - Companies got better at explaining their ideas, selling themselves, and getting others excited35:09 - Founders like qualitative feedback36:09 - No shows37:19 - Morale37:49 - Technical, launched, full-time, revenue generating, non-flaky, non-solo founder startups that talk to users are happier41:14 - Summary

    • 42 min

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