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Y Combinator

Author: Y Combinator

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We help founders make something people want.
213 Episodes
For this latest episode of Office Hours, the Group Partners are sharing stories from their worst investor meetings. We’ll outline some of the weird plays we’ve seen investors try to pull — but we’ll also confess times that we, as founders, bungled meetings we could’ve nailed. We’ll discuss what differentiates a truly great investor, and shed a bit of light on something we rarely talk about publicly: the YC Investor Database. Apply to Y Combinator: Work at a startup:
Should you and your startup live in San Francisco? Y Combinator Partners, Michael Seibel and Dalton Caldwell, debate their different opinions on whether startups are more likely to succeed in the Golden City or elsewhere. Where do they find common ground? Watch to find out. Apply to Y Combinator: Work at a Startup:
You might think that pivoting is something done only by the startups that don’t make it. In reality, a huge number of the best startups pivoted. In this first episode of our new series, Office Hours, Y Combinator Group Partners share their favorite stories of entrepreneurs who pivoted and went on to build game-changing companies. The group of startup experts also share their own pivot stories and help answer the questions: How do you know if it’s time for your startup to pivot—and how will you know if that next idea is the one? Apply to Y Combinator: Work at a startup:
How will the rise of AI impact startups and entrepreneurs? Join Michael Seibel and Dalton Caldwell for a discussion on the opportunities and challenges AI brings for founders. Apply to Y Combinator: Work at a Startup:
When it comes to building a startup you’re never doing it entirely from scratch. Inspiration and ideas can come from a variety of places, including other successful startups. But there’s a thin line between borrowing smart ideas and copying them blindly - otherwise known as Cargo Culting. In this episode Dalton and Michael break down the problem with Cargo Culting and offer advice on the right way to draw inspiration from other successful companies. Apply to Y Combinator: Work at a Startup:
YC Visiting Group Partner Divya Bhat talks about how to set your KPIs (key metrics) and how to prioritize your time. This talk helps founders launch faster and set goals in order to make real progress. Apply to Y Combinator: Work at a Startup:
It can be very easy for founders to fall into a trap of denial in the early stages of a startup’s life. But in order for your company to really take off, it’s critical to be honest with yourself and to build a community of friends and collaborators who are willing to challenge groupthink. In the first episode of our new series “The Main Function,” YC President and CEO Garry Tan explains how founders must face hard truths in order to take their company from dream to reality. Apply to Y Combinator: Work at a Startup:
Today Y Combinator CEO Garry Tan sits down with one of the best founders of a generation, Tracy Young. She cofounded Plangrid which sold to Autodesk for $875M, and is back with her new startup called Tigereye. But since it’s AAPI heritage month, we’re talking about a different kind of origin story. Tracy's Predictable Growth newsletter: Apply to Y Combinator: Work at a Startup:
YC Group Partner Diana Hu was the CTO of her YC startup Escher Reality, which was acquired by Niantic (makers of Pokemon Go). She shares her advice for being a technical founder at the earliest stages - including topics like how to ship an MVP fast, how to deal with technology choices and technical debt, and how and when to hire an engineering team. Apply to Y Combinator: Work at a startup:
Successful startups don’t just build technology – they solve human problems. The key is listening to the people who really matter: your customers. In this episode, Michael and Dalton discuss how spending real time with your users can unlock insights and growth. Hear the stories of how Airbnb and Brex built billion-dollar companies by forging genuine connections with their customers and learn why having too much money and too many people can actually slow down learning. Apply to Y Combinator: Work at a Startup:
If you're a high school or college student with big dreams of starting your own company, this video is for you. Dalton Caldwell and Michael Seibel, two startup founders who started in the early 20s and are now top investors, sit down to share the hard-won advice they wish they had known back in high school. Whether you're already running your own startup or just have an idea you can't stop thinking about, Dalton and Michael cover the skills you need to learn now and how to set yourself up for success after graduating school. Apply to Y Combinator: Work at a Startup:
Y Combinator is well-known for producing companies like Airbnb, Stripe, Coinbase and more. But what's the real story behind the success of YC and the companies they fund? This is everything you need to know about the program. Apply to Y Combinator: Work at a Startup:
YC Group Partner Brad Flora has seen startup fundraising from every angle: as a founder, as one of the most prolific angel investors in Silicon Valley, and now as a YC Group Partner. Brad has coached hundreds of companies on fundraising. In this talk, he shares stories and advice on how modern startup fundraising works. Paul Graham Fundraising Essays: Geoff Ralston's Fundraising Guides: YC Fundraising Resources: Apply to Y Combinator: Work at a startup:
YC Group Partner, Michael Seibel, explains how to build a minimum viable product (MVP) for your startup idea. Using examples from real YC companies, Michael walks through how to determine your MVP feature set, build prototypes and demos for user testing, and present your MVP to early customers or investors. Apply to Y Combinator: Work at a startup:
In this first in-person episode, Michael Seibel and Dalton Caldwell reveal how startups can gain a competitive advantage by doing something deceptively simple. They share compelling stories of companies that built loyal relationships and achieved success by making personal connections with users. In contrast, they discuss the traps early-stage founders make by trying to emulate big tech. If you want to build a business that customers love and that thrives in the long run, this advice on why caring deeply about your customers is key.Apply to Y Combinator: Work at a Startup:
What is a large language model? How can it be used to enhance your business? In this conversation, Ali Rowghani, Managing Director of YC Continuity, talks with Raza Habib, CEO of Humanloop, about the cutting-edge AI powering innovations today—and what the future may hold.  They discuss how large language models like Open AI's GPT-3 work, why fine-tuning is important for customizing models to specific use cases, and the challenges involved with building apps using these models. If you're curious about the ethical implications of AI, Raza shares his predictions about the impact of this quickly developing technology on the industry and the world at large. Apply to Y Combinator:
Y Combinator group partners Michael Seibel and Dalton Caldwell discuss the importance of having honest and difficult conversations with startup founders. While having hard conversations can be uncomfortable, Michael and Dalton argue that this transparency is essential for founders to grow and ultimately, these experiences help founders have their own hard conversations that they've been avoiding with the people around them.Apply to Y Combinator: Work at a Startup:
YC's Kat Mañalac wants to change the way you think about launching. In her talk, she shares the multitude of ways to launch and get attention for your product, with tangible strategies and examples from companies like Airbnb. Apply to Y Combinator:
Step inside the Group Partner Lounge to hear Y Combinator Group Partners Harj Taggar, Michael Seibel and Brad Flora discuss the advantages of being a first-time founder and the instances when it pays to have experience founding a startup in the past. Apply to Y Combinator: Work at a Startup:
What happens when the unconventional becomes conventional? Michael Seibel and Dalton Caldwell discuss how the startup world has changed from being dominated by outsiders and nonconformists to now attracting more mainstream conformists looking for status and money. They share stories of what the tech scene was like when they were in school - and how radically different it is today, while offering their advice around navigating a world that doesn't always reward nonconformists embarking on risky entrepreneurial journeys. Don't just think different, act different.Apply to Y Combinator: Work at a Startup:
Comments (10)


It was so useful for me 👌 Thanks

Jun 20th


post more you guys are getting lazy

Nov 8th

mohammed salman

wow, engaging

Jan 8th

Nicolas Murguizur


Dec 31st

Nicolas Murguizur

what a cat fight

Dec 23rd


Could you please edit the episodes’ headlines? On top of the interviewee‘s name, could you please give a hint regarding the topic? Will be much appreciated! Thx

Jun 15th

Richard Ottley

awesome interview, I'm getting ready to start a startup, and I need to know exactly why I should hire data scientists and what problem or problems should they be solving, thanks again 👏👏

Feb 12th

Richard Ottley

great interview

Nov 29th

Opekktar Yggdrasil

I'm using "money is the API for humans" going forward; Thank you.

Nov 20th

Abdullah Ghanem

wonderful talk and questions are in the right place. you awesome guys hope to interview liz again.

Jun 10th
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