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Author: Y Combinator

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We talk with people who are shaping the future. A show about technology in business, research, and art.
155 Episodes
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#155 - Laks Srini

#155 - Laks Srini

2019-12-1100:36:071

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
#154 - Matt Cutts

#154 - Matt Cutts

2019-12-0401:05:212

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?
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
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
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
We've cut down the ninth week of lectures to be even shorter and combined them into one podcast.First, a lecture from Carolynn Levy. Carolynn is a partner at YC. Her lecture covers modern startup financing.Then a lecture from Jared Friedman. Jared is also a partner at YC. His lecture focuses on advice for hard-tech and biotech founders.***Topics00:00 - Intro00:33 - Carolynn Levy - Modern Startup Financing1:33 - The basics: form a corporation, need money to grow?, sell a part of the company2:58 - Fundraising terms3:58 - What has changed: structure, access, focus5:10 - What hasn't changed: preferred stock financing, valuation and dilution, communication6:42 - Old way of raising early money: Series A preferred stock financing8:33 - What was broken?9:33 - The transition: bridge loan financings10:46 - Realization: convertible promissory notes are a better way to fund early stage startups12:01 - Modernization of the convertible - SAFE (Simple Agreement for Future Equity)14:03 - When do priced rounds happen?15:12 - Is modern early stage financing perfected?18:01 - Takeaways19:30 - Jared Friedman - Advice for Hard-tech and Biotech Founders20:25 - What is a hard-tech company?21:35 - Why start a hard-tech company?25:06 - YC is the largest bio and hard-tech seed investor in the world25:49 - How much of YC's advice applies to hard-tech founders?26:33 - How do you make progress when you have a "heavy MVP"?31:49 - How do you prove people will want your product, if you haven't built it yet?32:57 - Letter of Intent34:10 - Fundraising for hard-tech and biotech companies36:15 - Final thought
We've cut down the eighth week of lectures to be even shorter and combined them into one podcast.First a lecture from Adora Cheung. Adora’s a partner at YC. Her lecture covers how to prioritize your time.Then a lecture from Kevin Hale. Kevin is also a partner at YC. His lecture is the second part of his talk on how to evaluate startup ideas.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 - Adora Cheung - How to Prioritize Your Time2:12 - Real vs fake progress4:10 - How to determine if you're prioritizing the right tasks4:42 - Keep a spreadsheet of ideas related to moving your primary KPI7:32 - Grade the new and old ideas once a week based on potential impact9:52 - Consider the complexity of each task11:32 - Don't try to do everything at once11:52 - How do I know I'm prioritizing my time well?13:42 - What if I can't complete my tasks in time?14:02 - Maker's Schedule, Manager's Schedule 15:32 - Moving fast16:47 - Kevin Hale - How to Evaluate Startup Ideas Pt. 218:52 - How to apply to Y Combinator20:17 - As a YC partner, you don't need to sell me21:12 - Can I understand the idea? Am I excited by it? Do I like the team and want to work with them?21:47 - How do I describe my company in a very efficient manner?22:52 - Making your idea legible25:12 - Things to avoid when describing your company27:34 - Be conversational28:02 - Avoid jargon, no preamble, and be reproducible28:47 - Nouns: what are you making, what is the problem, and who is the customer32:47 - Using the X for Y formula of explaining your startup36:57 - Be concise without leaving out the key nouns40:47 - How to adjust a description
We've cut down the seventh week of lectures to be even shorter and combined them into one podcast.Kevin Hale gave both lectures this week. Kevin’s a partner at YC and cofounded Wufoo. His first lecture is on how to improve conversion rates and his second lecture is on pricing for startups.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 - Intro 00:27 - Kevin Hale - How to Improve Conversion Rates1:02 - Why we care about conversion rates2:02 - Shareware conversion rate is .5%2:22 - Casual download games is 2%2:32 - Freemium SaaS range from 1.5 to 5%3:57 - Knowledge spectrum5:52 - The one button interface6:37 - What is the call to action? And the magic moment.8:02 - What is it?8:38 - Is it right for me?9:02 - Is it legit?9:22 - Who else is using it?9:52 - How much? What's the catch?10:39 - Where can I get help?11:30 - Kevin Hale - Startup Pricing 10113:15 - Monetization gives you the biggest bang for your buck14:35 - Price thermometer16:35 - Mistake 1 - Prices are too low16:55 - Mistake 2 - Underestimate costs 17:08 - Mistake 3 - Don't understand your value17:27 - Mistake 4 - Focus on wrong customers18:05 - Sales and profit over a product's life19:20 - Why is pricing innovation hard?21:27 - How to optimize prices 22:32 - $1B formula24:05 - Price and complexity26:55 - 10 - 5 - 20 rule28:20 - Summary
We've cut down the sixth week of lectures to be even shorter and combined them into one podcast.First a lecture from Tim Brady. Tim’s a partner at YC. His lecture covers the importance of building a good culture early and shares six things that you can do now to help create a solid foundation for your startup.Then a lecture from Dalton Caldwell. Dalton is a partner at YC and he’s also the head of admissions. His lecture covers pivoting and his advice on how founders should think about it.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 - Intro00:38 - Tim Brady on Building Culture1:13 - Culture is behavior and the right behaviors support a good business 4:38 - Six things new startups can do now5:00 - 1. Be proud of the problem you are solving7:31 - 2. Create a long term vision that others will follow9:36 - 3. List your values then model the behavior12:34 - 4. Align your culture with your customer14:49 - 5. Discuss the importance of diversity to your company16:43 - 6. Put a hiring process into practice. Plan to evolve it.18:24 - Dalton Caldwell on Pivoting18:53 - The term "pivot"20:20 - Why pivot?21:33 - Good reasons to pivot22:35 - Good reasons not to pivot23:13 - Why people take too long to pivot26:01 - Anecdotes27:22 - Product market fit28:34 - How to find a better idea30:40 - It's ok to not work on an idea that requires venture capital31:34 - Venture vs. non-venture scale ideas 32:52 - When is the best time to pivot33:48 - More pivoting thoughts 35:07 - Idea quality scores37:11 - Brex39:51 - Retool 41:37 - Magic43:22 - Segment45:16 - Dalton's summary
We've cut down the fifth week of lectures to be even shorter and combined them into one podcast.First a lecture from Kirsty Nathoo. Kirsty is a partner and CFO of YC. Her lecture focuses on the most common mistakes startups make with their finances and how they can avoid making them.Then a lecture from Kevin Hale. Kevin is also a partner at YC and he’ll talk about the importance of building a successful working relationship with your cofounders and processes you can use to do so.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 - Intro00:38 - Kirsty Nathoo - Startup Finance Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them2:08 - #1 - Not knowing what to look at: bank balance, money coming in, and money going out2:56 - Burn3:41 - Runway4:59 - Growth rate 5:48 - Default alive - http://growth.tlb.org and http://paulgraham.com/aord.html8:09 - #2 - Not looking often enough: every week9:04 - #3 - Under-Representing Expenses 12:27 - #4 - Out-sourcing responsibility15:11 - #5 - Scaling too quickly20:08 - #6 - Letting runway get too low before fundraising - https://blog.ycombinator.com/advice-startups-running-out-of-money/ 23:21 - Kevin Hale - How to Work Together24:49 - Everyone fights25:43 - Four things to avoid: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, stonewalling27:40 - Make a plan before you fight: divide and conquer31:11 - Know thyself - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2s9ACDMcpjA34:12 - Document a process36:20 - Use nonviolent communication37:19 - Observation vs evaluation39:16 - Emotions vs thoughts - https://www.slideshare.net/nonviolent/evaluative-words-list-nonviolent-communication41:50 - Universal needs43:38 - Requests vs demands45:46 - How to Deliver Constructive Feedback in Difficult Situations - https://medium.com/s/please-advise/the-essential-guide-to-difficult-conversations-41f736e63ccf46:01 - Pay down your emotional debt47:18 - Practice having level 3 conversations
We've cut down the fourth week of lectures to be even shorter and combined them into one podcast.First a lecture from Kat Manalac. Kat is a partner at YC. Her lecture focuses on how startups should think about launching and why you should do it repeatedly.Then a lecture from Gustaf Alströmer. Gustaf is also a partner at YC and in his lecture he covers how to measure product market fit and growth channels.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 - Intro00:35 - Kat Mañalac - How to Launch (Again and Again)1:51 - Ways to launch2:14 - Why launch continuously?3:15 - Silent launch4:25 - Friends & Family5:40 - Strangers7:03 - Online communities12:08 - Request access13:29 - Social media15:13 - Pre-order16:13 - New Product or Feature17:42 - Build your own community19:20 - Launching isn't one moment in time19:48 - Gustaf Alströmer - Growth for Startups21:06 - Most startups have nothing22:13 - Do things that don't scale27:13 - Startups take off because founders make them take off28:23 - Measuring product market fit31:20 - Retention34:33 - Worse ways to measure product market fit35:23 - Bad metrics to measure as product market fit36:18 - Growth channels and tactics38:17 - Conversion rate optimization41:26 - Growth channels to explore45:33 - Referrals and vitality48:05 - Paid growth50:09 - Search Engine Optimization53:00 - Making decisions using A/B testing55:02 - Summary
We've cut down the third week of lectures to be even shorter and combined them into one podcast.First, a lecture from Anu Hariharan. Anu is a partner at YC. Her lecture covers nine common startup business models and the metrics investors want to see for each.Then, a Q&A with Anu and Adora Cheung. Adora is also at partner at YC. During their Q&A they’ll answer questions from Startup School Founders on how investors evaluate startups.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 - Intro00:39 - Anu Hariharan on Nine Business Models and the Metrics Investors Want1:44 - Enterprise4:09 - SAAS8:55 - Subscription11:33 - Transactional14:44 - Marketplace19:04 - E-commerce21:14 - Advertising23:12 - Hardware23:44 - Common mistakes25:35 - Anu Hariharan and Adora Cheung on How Investors Measure Startups Q&A26:07 - Team, product market fit, and market opportunity27:10 - What if the founder doesn't have experience in the are in which they're building a product?28:19 - How do investors know you're moving fast?29:40 - Local vs remote30:40 - Evaluating solo founders31:45 - Clarity of thought33:35 - International founders35:17 - Solo founders36:21 - Should I fundraise?38:33 - How does an investor evaluate a company with a heavy MVP?39:36 - How do you avoid investors who say "it's too early for us"?40:06 - Is it sensible to engage with investors before product market fit?40:26 - How do you find the perfect investor?41:21 - What are the best approaches for minority female founders to gain visibility within VC?42:36 - How do investors come up with valuations?
We've cut down the second week of lectures to be even shorter and combined them into one podcast.First, a lecture from Michael Seibel. Michael is CEO and a partner at YC. His lecture is about How to Plan an MVP.Then, a lecture from Adora Cheung. Adora is a YC partner and a cofounder of Homejoy. Her lecture is about How to Set KPIs and Goals.Last, a lecture from Ilya Volodarsky. Ilya is a cofounder of Segment. His lecture is about Analytics for Startups.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 - Intro00:43 - Michael Seibel - How to Plan an MVP1:25 - The goal of a pre-launch startup3:10 - Iterating vs pivoting3:59 - Lean MVP5:06 - Heavy MVP6:19 - Launching7:35 - Learning is easier with an MVP8:07 - How to build an MVP quickly10:17 - Adora Cheung - How to Set KPIs and Goals11:51 - What are the right KPIs to set?15:50 - Revenue or active users16:28 - Why choose active users?18:55 - Biotech or hardtech KPIs20:25 - Secondary metric21:25 - What if you haven't launched?22:20 - Setting goals23:47 - How fast should you grow?25:13 - Defining your own goals28:40 - Tracking progress30:27 - Ilya Volodarsky - Analytics for Startups30:46 - Why analytics?31:36 - Funnel32:51 - Collecting data, analytics, and data flow34:16 - Metric - Signups per week35:28 - Metric - Retention cohorts36:30 - Which metric to pick?36:57 - Have I reached product market fit?37:27 - Metric - Revenue37:51 - Dashboards38:35 - Advisor updates39:01 - The startup stack42:13 - Recommendations for the MVP process
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/***Topics00:00 - Intro00:43 - Kevin Hale on How to Evaluate Startup Ideas2:04 - How can I predict if an investor will like my idea?2:50 - A startup idea is a hypothesis5:44 - Problem6:59 - Solution8:16 - Insight8:57 - Unfair advantages13:45 - Two beliefs about startups15:19 - Eric Migicovsky on How to Talk to Users17:36 - Three common errors people make when talking to users20:20 - Five questions to ask in a user interview20:28 - 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 problem21:22 - 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 beneficial26:07 - Idea stage30:40 - Prototype stage33:41 - Iterating towards product market fit
#141 - Diana Hu

#141 - Diana Hu

2019-08-2800:36:031

Diana Hu cofounded Escher Reality, which went through the Summer 2017 batch of YC. They were acquired by Niantic and she is now the head of their AR platform.She's on Twitter @sdianahu.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 - Intro00:40 - Getting into AR2:55 - Her first exposure to AR4:40 - AR's future role in media7:45 - Deciding where to go with the product 9:55 - Innovations that enabled AR14:25 - Building a product in a new market17:25 - Raising money for a new market21:40 - Advice for founders after an acquisition 26:40 - Immigrating to the US31:10 - Advice for Immigrant founders33:49 - Advice for founders in/after YC
Aaron Harris is a Partner at YC and before that he cofounded Tutorspree.He’s on Twitter @harris.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 - Intro00:42 - Seed fundraising process3:32 - Emailing investors9:32 - Parallelized fundraising process12:17 - Meeting with investors14:17 - Overcapitalization17:07 - Communicating your plan to investors19:02 - Evaluating investors 22:57 - Fundraising process for a Series A company27:02 - Meeting Series A investors28:57 - Post-Demo Day psychology
#139 - Jay Reno

#139 - Jay Reno

2019-08-1400:38:401

Jay Reno is the CEO and founder of Feather. Feather is a furniture subscription service. They were in the Summer 2017 batch of YC.You can check out their furniture at LiveFeather.com and if you live in LA, SF, or New York you can try out the service.Jay is on Twitter @jayjreno.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 - Intro00:49 - Opting out of owning furniture6:29 - Feather's prototype9:19 - How much did he make from his MVP?9:59 - How many products did they have?12:14 - Legacy competitors 14:04 - Changing branding from RentFeather.com to LiveFeather.com15:59 - Customer interviews and learnings18:29 - Scaling a company with physical products21:29 - Why expand to other markets vs focus on one?23:59 - Who to hire and when in a logistics-heavy business26:09 - Unexpected learnings from scaling Feather27:54 - Feeling his role change over time29:44 - Counterintuitive advice35:19 - Advice for YC founders after Demo Day
#138 - Russ Roberts

#138 - Russ Roberts

2019-08-0700:59:47

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/***Topics00:00 - Intro00:29 - 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 nature4:04 - Why Russ started EconTalk7:44 - Key economic concepts for founders after 700 EconTalk episodes13:49 - Helpful methods for teaching economic concepts18:09 - "Man naturally desires, not only to be loved, but to be lovely" - Adam Smith in The Theory of Moral Sentiments19:39 - Why Russ wrote How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life24:14 - 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 son36:09 - Founders and unintended consequences 39:44 - The emotional aspect of giving your company away44:19 - 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?
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/***Topics00:00 - Intro00:42 - Why we're starting with evaluating ideas2:07 - YC doesn't just fund companies with traction3:31 - How can I predict if an investor will like my idea?5:57 - A startup idea is a hypothesis7:37 - The problem11:37 - The solution13:07 - The insight14:42 - Founder's unfair advantage15:42 - Market growing 20% a year16:22 - Product 10x better17:12- Acquisition model18:37 - Monopoly19:32 - Threshold belief19:52- Miracle belief20:42 - Example: YC24:02 - Example: Wufoo
Anu Hariharan is a partner at YC. Today’s episode is about her recent post, How To Manage a Board.You can find her on Twitter @anuhariharan.If you’re interested in doing Startup School this year, signups are open at StartupSchool.org. 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.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 - Intro00:57 - Why Anu wrote How to Manage a Board2:27 - Board composition4:27 - Adding independent board members 6:27 - The responsibilities of a board member9:12 - Productive board meetings12:52 - Sharing materials before the meeting13:42 - Bringing executives into the meeting16:57 - Dealing with board conflict18:22 - Following up after a board meeting21:12 - Dealing with difficult board members23:57 - Reality distortion24:52 - Agustin Feuerhake asks - What does it take to be a great board member?27:22 - Dave Bailey asks - To what extent should the board culture reflect the company culture? 29:42 - Connor Abene asks - How do you think about adding board members who haven't worked in your industry but you think are good?33:22 - Rhina asks - Could you address managing a board during product market fit time/ pivot times?
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Comments (5)

Paul

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
Reply

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
Reply

Richard Ottley

great interview

Nov 29th
Reply

Opekktar Yggdrasil

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

Nov 20th
Reply

Abdullah Ghanem

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

Jun 10th
Reply
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