Startup school

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pages: 373 words: 112,822

The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World by Brad Stone

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, Ben Horowitz, Boris Johnson, Burning Man, call centre, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, collaborative consumption, East Village, fixed income, Google X / Alphabet X, hockey-stick growth, housing crisis, inflight wifi, Jeff Bezos, Justin.tv, Kickstarter, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Necker cube, obamacare, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, race to the bottom, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ruby on Rails, San Francisco homelessness, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, Y Combinator, Y2K, Zipcar

By spending time at Justin.tv, the Airbnb founders got to see what a real tech startup looked like, one with real offices, real employees, and actual venture capital in the bank. (Justin.tv later spun off a video-game service, Twitch.tv, which was acquired by Amazon in 2014 for $970 million.) Continuing this education, they attended a one-day event called Startup School, organized by the startup incubator Y Combinator and hosted by Stanford University. The speakers that year included Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and the investor Marc Andreessen, an inventor of the web browser. But the speech the founders remembered best was by Greg McAdoo, a venture capitalist at the top-tier VC firm Sequoia Capital, a man whom they would soon get to know well.

It did not propel the company to immediate success or generate any significant wealth; in fact, they were still barely making ends meet and began subsisting on the surplus Cap’n McCains. But it did demonstrate an extreme level of commitment and an ability to think creatively that, ultimately, would lead to their long-awaited break. A few weeks later, Chesky decided that the founders of the struggling company should apply to the prestigious Y Combinator startup school, which invested seventeen thousand dollars in each startup, took a 7 percent ownership stake, and surrounded founders with mentors and technology luminaries during an intense three-month program. It was a last-ditch effort and Chesky actually missed the application deadline by a day. Michael Seibel, an alumnus of the program (and later its CEO), had to ask the organizers to let the company submit late.

When Lin heard about the deal, he doubted Uber could ever work back at his home in Las Vegas. He had serious misgivings. “I just thought that founders who are passionate about the idea would run the company,” he says. But he ponied up anyway after trying out the service in San Francisco and deciding he’d rather not be left out. David Cohen, co-founder of the Colorado-based startup school Techstars, got a chance to invest only because of a geographic accident. Ryan Graves had to fly to Chicago that summer so he and Molly could ferry their possessions back across the country. On the drive to San Francisco, he made call after call, pitching UberCab so frequently that Molly could recite the spiel word for word.


pages: 706 words: 202,591

Facebook: The Inside Story by Steven Levy

active measures, Airbnb, Airbus A320, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, Ben Horowitz, blockchain, Burning Man, business intelligence, cloud computing, computer vision, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disinformation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, East Village, Edward Snowden, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Firefox, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, indoor plumbing, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, MITM: man-in-the-middle, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, Oculus Rift, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, post-work, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Robert Mercer, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, sexual politics, Shoshana Zuboff, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, social software, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Ballmer, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, surveillance capitalism, Tim Cook: Apple, Tragedy of the Commons, web application, WeWork, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Y2K, you are the product

“unfazed”: Matt Welsh blogged, “How I Almost Killed Facebook,” February 20, 2009. Harry Lewis: Alexis C. Madrigal, “Before It Conquered the World, Facebook Conquered Harvard,” The Atlantic, February 4, 2019. “There was nothing like that”: Interview with Y Combinator, “Mark Zuckerberg at Startup School 2013,” October 25, 2013, Zuckerberg Transcripts, 160. come from Microsoft: Interview with Y Combinator, “Mark Zuckerberg at Startup School 2012,” October 20, 2012, Zuckerberg Transcripts, 161. Saverin kicked in: Information about Eduardo Saverin is drawn from Kirkpatrick, The Facebook Effect; Mezrich, The Accidental Billionaires (Saverin cooperated with the book); and Nicholas Carlson, “How Mark Zuckerberg Booted His Co-Founder Out of the Company,” Business Insider, May 15, 2012.

Also, Lev Grossman, The Connector (TIME, 2010), ebook of Time magazine’s 2010 Person of the Year; and Kirkpatrick, The Facebook Effect. he did not object: Shaer, “The Zuckerbergs of Dobbs Ferry.” “My wife was a superwoman”: Ed Zuckerberg, WVOX radio interview. “Good Jewish mother”: Mark Zuckerberg at Y Combinator Startup School, 2011, Zuckerberg Transcripts, 76. When a magazine writer visited: Shaer, “The Zuckerbergs of Dobbs Ferry.” “If you were going to say no”: Ibid. “strong-willed and relentless”: Lev Grossman, The Connector, 98. “I’d go to school”: Bill Moggridge, “Designing Media: Mark Zuckerberg Interview” (MIT Press, 2010), Zuckerberg Videos, Video 36.

Chris Hughes: In addition to personal interview, Hughes tells his own story in Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Learn (St. Martin’s Press, 2018). “People would just spend hours”: Interview with Sam Altman, Y Combinator, “Mark Zuckerberg: How to Build the Future,” August 16, Zuckerberg Transcripts, 171. steam coming from the suite’s bathroom: Interview with Y Combinator, “Mark Zuckerberg at Startup School 2013,” October 25, 2013, Zuckerberg Transcripts, 160. his first notice: S. F. Brickman, “Not So Artificial Intelligence,” Harvard Crimson, October 23, 2003. “a bitch”: The online journal cited here, and first published by Luke O’Brien in the online Harvard alumni journal 02138 in “Poking Facebook,” would become notorious in the movie The Social Network.


pages: 226 words: 65,516

Kings of Crypto: One Startup's Quest to Take Cryptocurrency Out of Silicon Valley and Onto Wall Street by Jeff John Roberts

"side hustle", 4chan, Airbnb, altcoin, Apple II, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Blythe Masters, Bonfire of the Vanities, Burning Man, buttonwood tree, cloud computing, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, Dogecoin, Donald Trump, double helix, Elliott wave, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, family office, Flash crash, forensic accounting, hacker house, hockey-stick growth, index fund, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, litecoin, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, offshore financial centre, open borders, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, ransomware, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ross Ulbricht, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Satoshi Nakamoto, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, smart contracts, software is eating the world, Startup school, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, transaction costs, WeWork, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

PART ONE * * * From Open Secret to Civil War 1 Brian Has a Secret Brian Armstrong stepped out of his car, felt soft California sunshine on his bald head, and smelled eucalyptus. He gazed at the façade of Y Combinator: the one-story building, just five miles from Google’s Mountain View campus, looked more like a sleepy suburban office park than a famous startup school that had educated the founders of Stripe, Dropbox, and other billion-dollar companies. Brian didn’t care about the place’s humdrum appearance. He knew who had gone there before him. The founders of Airbnb, a company he’d just left, had come out of Y Combinator, and so had the CEOs of other Silicon Valley stars like Doordash, Twitch, and Reddit.

He turned to the audience and shared his idea with the simple slogan: “Coinbase: The easiest way to get started with bitcoin.” It seemed so obvious—in retrospect. • • • Brian’s early insight into bitcoin would make him a billionaire. But it would cost him a friend. In that summer of 2012, Brian had not planned on going to Y Combinator alone, where one-man bands were discouraged. The startup school wanted cofounders. Plural. Despite Silicon Valley’s veneration of individual entrepreneurs, the reality is that tech startups, like so many creative endeavors, are very much a team sport—often a two-person partnership. In works like Collaborative Circles and Powers of Two, researchers have shown how genius is rarely solitary: John Lennon and Paul McCartney relied on each other to compose timeless Beatles hits; Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque used their brushes side by side to create Cubism; biologists James Watson and Francis Crick worked intensely together to discover the double helix and DNA.

The famous establishment closed in August of 2020.) In Brian’s case, he chose The Creamery because it was right across the street from the makeshift office he had rented at 1 Bluxome Street. He had wrapped up at Y Combinator a few months before with a bulging list of contacts and potential investors, while the startup school—as it does with everyone who enrolls—took 7 percent of his company. Still, Brian was very much alone, professionally and personally, when Fred replied to one of his bitcoin threads on Reddit. Fred had left Sunnyvale a few weeks before, where he had been bunking with old college friends, and was now living in San Francisco.


pages: 274 words: 75,846

The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding From You by Eli Pariser

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, A Pattern Language, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Black Swan, borderless world, Build a better mousetrap, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, disintermediation, don't be evil, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, fundamental attribution error, global village, Haight Ashbury, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Metcalfe’s law, Netflix Prize, new economy, PageRank, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, recommendation engine, RFID, Robert Metcalfe, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, social software, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The future is already here, the scientific method, urban planning, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, Yochai Benkler

execbios. 178 “come to Google because they choose to”: Greg Jarboe, “A ‘Fireside Chat’ with Google’s Sergey Brin,” Search Engine Watch, Oct. 16, 2003, accessed Dec. 16,2010, http://searchenginewatch.com/3081081. 178 “the future will be personalized”: Gord Hotckiss, “Just Behave: Google’s Marissa Mayer on Personalized Search,” Searchengineland, Feb. 23, 2007, accessed Dec. 16, 2010, http://searchengineland.com/just-behave-googles-marissa-mayer-on-personalized-search-10592. 179 “It’s technology, not business or government”: David Kirpatrick, “With a Little Help from his Friends,” Vanity Fair (Oct. 2010), accessed Dec. 16, 2010, www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2010/10/sean-parker-201010. 179 “seventh kingdom of life”: Kevin Kelly, What Technology Wants (New York: Viking, 2010). 180 “shirt or fleece that I own”: Mark Zuckerberg, remarks to Startup School Conference, XConomy, Oct. 18, 2010, accessed Feb. 8, 2010, www.xconomy.com/san-francisco/2010/10/18/mark-zuckerberg-goes-to-startup-school-video//. 181 “ ‘the rest of the world is wrong’ ”: David A. Wise and Mark Malseed, The Google Story (New York: Random House, 2005), 42. 182 “tradeoffs with success in other domains”: Jeffrey M. O’Brien, “The PayPal Mafia,” Fortune, Nov. 14, 2007, accessed Dec. 16, 2010, http://money.cnn.com/2007/11/13/magazines/fortune/paypal_mafia.fortune/index2.htm. 183 sold to eBay for $1.5 billion: Troy Wolverton, “It’s official: eBay Weds PayPal,” CNET News, Oct. 3, 2002, accessed Dec. 16, 2010, http://news.cnet.com/Its-official-eBay-weds-PayPal/2100-1017_3-960658.html. 183 “impact and force change”: Peter Thie, “Education of a Libertarian,” Cato Unbound, Apr. 13, 2009, accessed Dec. 16, 2010, www.cato-unbound.org/2009/04/13/peter-thiel/the-education-of-a-libertarian. 183 “end the inevitability of death and taxes”: Chris Baker, “Live Free or Drown: Floating Utopias on the Cheap,” Wired, Jan. 19, 2009, accessed Dec. 16, 2010, www.wired.com/techbiz/startups/magazine/17-02/mf_seasteading?

Once you’re on the road to mass success and riches—often as a very young coder—there simply isn’t much time to fully think all of this through. And the pressure of the venture capitalists breathing down your neck to “monetize” doesn’t always offer much space for rumination on social responsibility. The $50 Billion Sand Castle Once a year, the Y Combinator start-up incubator hosts a daylong conference called Startup School, where successful tech entrepreneurs pass wisdom on to the aspiring audience of bright-eyed Y Combinator investees. The agenda typically includes many of the top CEOs in Silicon Valley, and in 2010, Mark Zuckerberg was at the top of the list. Zuckerberg was in an affable mood, dressed in a black T-shirt and jeans and enjoying what was clearly a friendly crowd.

PayPal PeekYou persuasion profiling Phantom Public, The (Lippmann) Philby, Kim Phorm Piaget, Jean Picasa Picasso, Pablo PK List Management Plato politics electoral districts and partisans and programmers and voting Popper, Karl postmaterialism predictions present bias priming effect privacy Facebook and facial recognition and genetic Procter & Gamble product recommendations Proulx, Travis Pulitzer, Joseph push technology and pull technology Putnam, Robert Qiang, Xiao Rapleaf Rather, Dan Raz, Guy reality augmented Reality Hunger (Shields) Reddit Rendon, John Republic.com (Sunstein) retargeting RFID chips robots Rodriguez de Montalvo, Garci Rolling Stone Roombas Rotenberg, Marc Rothstein, Mark Rove, Karl Royal Caribbean Rubel, Steve Rubicon Project Rumsfeld, Donald Rushkoff, Douglas Salam, Reihan Sandberg, Sheryl schemata Schmidt, Eric Schudson, Michael Schulz, Kathryn science Scientific American Scorpion sentiment analysis Sentry serendipity Shields, David Shirky, Clay Siegel, Lee signals click Simonton, Dean Singhal, Amit Sleepwalkers, The (Koestler) smart devices Smith, J. Walker social capital social graph Social Graph Symposium Social Network, The Solove, Daniel solution horizon Startup School Steitz, Mark stereotyping Stewart, Neal Stryker, Charlie Sullivan, Danny Sunstein, Cass systematization Taleb, Nassim Nicholas Tapestry TargusInfo Taylor, Bret technodeterminism technology television advertising on mean world syndrome and Tetlock, Philip Thiel, Peter This American Life Thompson, Clive Time Tocqueville, Alexis de Torvalds, Linus town hall meetings traffic transparency Trotsky, Leon Turner, Fred Twitter Facebook compared with Últimas Noticias Unabomber uncanny valley Upshot Vaidhyanathan, Siva video games Wales, Jimmy Wall Street Journal Walmart Washington Post Web site morphing Westen, Drew Where Good Ideas Come From (Johnson) Whole Earth Catalog WikiLeaks Wikipedia Winer, Dave Winner, Langdon Winograd, Terry Wired Wiseman, Richard Woolworth, Andy Wright, David Wu, Tim Yahoo News Upshot Y Combinator Yeager, Sam Yelp You Tube LeanBack Zittrain, Jonathan Zuckerberg, Mark Table of Contents Title Page Copyright Page Dedication Introduction Chapter 1 - The Race for Relevance Chapter 2 - The User Is the Content Chapter 3 - The Adderall Society Chapter 4 - The You Loop Chapter 5 - The Public Is Irrelevant Chapter 6 - Hello, World!


pages: 290 words: 87,549

The Airbnb Story: How Three Ordinary Guys Disrupted an Industry, Made Billions...and Created Plenty of Controversy by Leigh Gallagher

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Sanders, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Donald Trump, East Village, Elon Musk, hockey-stick growth, housing crisis, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, Justin.tv, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, Menlo Park, Network effects, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, performance metric, Peter Thiel, RFID, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the payments system, Tony Hsieh, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, Y Combinator, yield management

v=03kSzmJr5c0. 20 losing their patient: Brian Chesky, “1000 days of AirBnB,” Startup School 2010, YouTube, uploaded February 12, 2013, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L03vBkOKTrc. 21 “have some please?”: “Obama O’s,” YouTube, uploaded January 12, 2012, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQTWimfGfV8. 22 to launch Facebook: Lacy, “Fireside Chat.” 24 “‘I just ruined it,’” says Chesky: Ibid. 25 as Fortune called it: Leena Rao, “Meet Y Combinator’s New COO,” Fortune, August 26, 2015, http://fortune.com/2015/08/26/meet-y-combinators-new-coo/. 28 (log on to his account): Brian Chesky, “1000 days of AirBnB,” Startup School 2010, YouTube, uploaded February 12, 2013, https://www.youtube.com/watch?

That musician was David Rozenblatt, who was the touring drummer for Barry Manilow, and he forever changed AirBed & Breakfast’s business: His request led the cofounders to see that their business could have much bigger potential. They eliminated the breakfast requirement and added the option to rent an entire residence. (Giving a talk at Y Combinator’s Startup School, Chesky later recalled Rozenblatt calling him while he was backstage, complaining to Chesky through muted chants of “Barr-y! Barr-y!” that he couldn’t log on to his account.) Graham had noted the limitations of the company’s early model, too, and somewhere around this time, he suggested they remove “airbed” from the name to broaden its market potential.

With the Sequoia funding, they started paying themselves an annual salary—$60,000 each, which felt almost gluttonous after their days of milkless bowls of cereal. Chesky’s mother and father started, ever so slightly, to relax. None of them would ever forget how painful the struggle had been. “If you are successful, it will be the hardest thing you ever do,” Blecharczyk told YC’s Startup School in 2013. Chesky says he has now told the founding story hundreds of times, but there was a time when he didn’t think he’d ever tell it a second time. When I first met him, in 2012, I asked him to describe the lowest moment in his career. He said it was starting Airbnb. “It was exciting and in hindsight it’s nostalgic and romantic, but at the time it wasn’t at all.


pages: 332 words: 97,325

The Launch Pad: Inside Y Combinator, Silicon Valley's Most Exclusive School for Startups by Randall Stross

affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, always be closing, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Burning Man, business cycle, California gold rush, call centre, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Elon Musk, high net worth, hockey-stick growth, index fund, inventory management, John Markoff, Justin.tv, Lean Startup, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, Menlo Park, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, QR code, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, selling pickaxes during a gold rush, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social graph, software is eating the world, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, transaction costs, Y Combinator

“Graduate Entrepreneurs Sell Business for Millions,” University of Oxford press release, May 7, 2008, www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_stories/2008/080507b.html. 20. HT, “Leaving Live Current and Vancouver,” HT blog, September 5, 2009, http://blog.harjtaggar.com/leaving-live-current-and-vancouver. 21. HT, “Post-Startup School Thoughts,” HT blog, October 6, 2009, http://blog.harjtaggar.com/post-startup-school-thoughts. 22. HT, “Auctomatic Is Acquired. Thank You Everyone Who Helped,” HT blog, March 27, 2008, http://blog.harjtaggar.com/auctomatic-is-acquired-thank-you-everyone-who. 23. HT answering Quora question: “What Does Harjeet Taggar’s Role at Y Combinator Entail, and How Did He Become Partner at 25?”

PG, “Startups in 13 Sentences,” February 2009, www.paulgraham.com/13sentences.html. 5. PG, “What We Look For in Founders,” October 2010, www.paulgraham.com/founders.html. 6. PG, “What Startups Are Really Like,” October 2009, http://paulgraham.com/really.html. This was based on a talk presented at the 2009 Startup School. PG surveyed YC alumni, asking what surprised them about starting a startup. 7. PG, “Student’s Guide.” 8. PG, “What We Look For.” 9. Jason Shen, “How to Find Awesome Startup Roommates,” Art of Ass-Kicking blog, February 22, 2011, www.jasonshen.com/2011/how-to-find-awesome-startup-roommates/.


pages: 324 words: 89,875

Modern Monopolies: What It Takes to Dominate the 21st Century Economy by Alex Moazed, Nicholas L. Johnson

3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, commoditize, connected car, disintermediation, future of work, gig economy, hockey-stick growth, if you build it, they will come, information asymmetry, Infrastructure as a Service, intangible asset, Internet of things, invisible hand, jimmy wales, John Gruber, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, money market fund, multi-sided market, Network effects, patent troll, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pets.com, platform as a service, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, road to serfdom, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, source of truth, Startup school, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the medium is the message, transaction costs, transportation-network company, traveling salesman, Travis Kalanick, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, white flight, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator

For example, in a 2012 interview, Zuckerberg suggested that Facebook’s initial limited ambitions (starting out only at Harvard and expanding from school to school) played a big part in its eventual success. “It took a year for us to get to one million users and we thought it was incredibly fast,” he said. “I think having that time to baby was really helpful for us.” “Mark Zuckerberg at Startup School 2012,” YouTube, October 25, 2013, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bJi7k-y1Lo. 25. Luz Lazo, “Uber Turns 5, Reaches 1 Million Drivers and 300 Cities Worldwide. Now What?” Washington Post, June 4, 2015, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dr-gridlock/wp/2015/06/04/uber-turns-5-reaches-1-million-drivers-and-300-cities-worldwide-now-what/. 26.

Nancy Jo Sales, “Tinder and the Dawn of the “Dating Apocalypse,” Vanity Fair, August 31, 2015, http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2015/08/tinder-hook-up-culture-end-of-dating. 39. Julia Greenberg, “Tinder Completely Freaked Out on Twitter,” Wired, August 11, 2015 http://www.wired.com/2015/08/tinder-completely-freaked-twitter/. 40. These quotes come from a series of interviews Zuckerberg gave at Y Combinator’s Startup School from 2009 to 2013. You can find videos of the events online here: https://www.youtube.com/user/siwuzzz/videos. 41. Nick Summers, “Facebook’s ‘Porn Cops’ Are Key to Its Growth,” Newsweek, April 30, 2009, http://www.newsweek.com/facebooks-porn-cops-are-key-its-growth-77055. 42. For more, see danah boyd, “White Flight in Networked Publics?


pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr

Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Airbus A320, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, Charles Lindbergh, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joan Didion, job automation, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator, Yochai Benkler

Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk dream of establishing Learyesque space colonies, celestial Burning Mans. Peter Thiel is slightly more down to earth. His Seasteading Institute hopes to set up floating technology incubation camps on the ocean, outside national boundaries. “If you can start a new business, why can you not start a new country?” he asks. In a speech last fall at the Y Combinator Startup School, venture capitalist Balaji Srinivasan channeled Leary when he called for “Silicon Valley’s Ultimate Exit”—the establishment of a new country beyond the reach of the U.S. government and other allegedly failed states. “You know, they fled religious persecution, the American Revolutionaries which left England’s orbit,” Srinivasan said, referring to the Pilgrims.

(Starr), 218 When We Are No More (Rumsey), 325–27 Whitman, Walt, 20, 183, 184 wicks, 229–30 Wiener, Anthony, 315 wiki, as term, 19 “wikinomics,” 84 Wikipedia, xvi, 21, 192 in fact-mongering, 58 hegemony of, 68 ideological split in, 18–20 slipshod quality of, 5–8 wiki-sects, 18 Wilde, Oscar, 174, 308 Williams, Anthony, 84 Wilson, Fred, 11 Windows Home Server, 32 Winer, Dave, 35 wings, human fascination with, 329–30, 335, 340–42 wingsuits, 341–42 Wired, xvii, xxi, 3, 4, 106, 156, 162, 174, 195, 232 Wittgenstein, Ludwig, 215 Wolf, Gary, 163 Wolf, Maryanne, 234 Wolfe, Tom, 170 work: as basis for society, 310–11, 313 in contemplative state, 298–99 efficiency in, 165–66, 237–38 job displacement in, 164–65, 174, 310 trivial alternatives to, 64 World Brain (Wells), 267 World Health Organization, 244 World of Warcraft, 59 Wozniac, Steve “Woz,” 32 Wright brothers, 299 writing: archiving of, 325–27 and invention of paper, 286–87 writing skills, changes in, 231–32, 234–35, 240 Xbox, 64, 93, 260 X-Ray Spex, 63 Yahoo, 67, 279–80 Yahoo People Search, 256 Y Combinator Startup School, 172 Yeats, William Butler, 88 Yelp, 31 Yosemite Valley, 341–42 youth culture, 10–11 as apolitical, 294–95 music and, 125 TV viewing in, 80–81 YouTube, 29, 31, 58, 75, 81, 102, 186, 205, 225, 314 technology marketing on, 108–9 Zittrain, Jonathan, 76–77 zombies, 260, 263 Zuckerberg, Mark, xvii, xxii, 53, 115, 155, 158, 215, 225 Facebook Q & A session of, 210–11, 213, 214 imagined as jackal, xv ALSO BY NICHOLAS CARR The Glass Cage The Shallows The Big Switch Does IT Matter?


pages: 168 words: 50,647

The End of Jobs: Money, Meaning and Freedom Without the 9-To-5 by Taylor Pearson

"side hustle", Airbnb, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Black Swan, call centre, cloud computing, commoditize, creative destruction, David Heinemeier Hansson, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Google Hangouts, Hacker Conference 1984, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, means of production, Oculus Rift, passive income, passive investing, Peter Thiel, remote working, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, software is eating the world, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, Thomas Malthus, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, Whole Earth Catalog

By seeking more freedom and building it into our lives, we not only improve our ability to create more material wealth and make more money personally, but we also create more of it in the world at large. 13 More Meaning The Final Key to Wealth “I think when people are dancing on the edge of failure and they’re growing and there’s a void over there, but they keep moving forward, that’s when we feel alive as people.” Seth Godin, Startup School I stood in a friend’s backyard, shoulder aching and sore, hands almost totally numb. She’d gone out to a movie with her husband and I’d volunteered to watch their son. Her son, who had recently been diagnosed by teachers as being “incapable of paying attention,” spent three hours with me in the backyard running routes and incessantly asking me questions about football.


pages: 216 words: 61,061

Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed by Alexis Ohanian

Airbnb, barriers to entry, carbon-based life, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, Hans Rosling, hiring and firing, hockey-stick growth, independent contractor, Internet Archive, Justin.tv, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, Occupy movement, Paul Graham, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social web, software is eating the world, Startup school, Tony Hsieh, unpaid internship, Y Combinator, Yochai Benkler

I wanted to know exactly whom I’d be working to prove wrong. My favorite piece of motivation would come a few months after we launched. We hustled a meeting with Google, thanks to a fortunate (albeit slightly strategic) seat I took beside Chris Sacca, Google’s head of special initiatives, at a dinner that Paul had organized after our first startup school. We hit it off well enough, and Chris sounded open to having Steve and me visit Mountain View the next time we were in town. Score. Once we had a meeting with Google, it seemed prudent to also try to schedule something with Yahoo!, too (I’m not sure what their share price will look like when you’re reading this book, but back in 2005 they were actively acquiring young teams that embraced popular technology, such as del.icio.us and Flickr).


pages: 238 words: 73,824

Makers by Chris Anderson

3D printing, Airbnb, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, business process, commoditize, Computer Numeric Control, crowdsourcing, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, death of newspapers, dematerialisation, Elon Musk, factory automation, Firefox, future of work, global supply chain, global village, hockey-stick growth, IKEA effect, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Menlo Park, Network effects, private space industry, profit maximization, QR code, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, slashdot, South of Market, San Francisco, spinning jenny, Startup school, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize, Y Combinator

Maybe there will be a business model attached, or maybe there won’t. Maybe riches lie at the end of this rainbow, or maybe they don’t. But the point is that the path from “inventor” to “entrepreneur” is so foreshortened it hardly exists at all anymore. Indeed, startup factories such as Y Combinator now coin entrepreneurs first and ideas later. Their “startup schools” admit smart young people on the basis of little more than a PowerPoint presentation. Once admitted, the would-be entrepreneurs are given spending money, whiteboards, and desk space and told to dream up something worth funding in three weeks. Most do, which says as much about the Web’s ankle-high barriers to entry as it does about the genius of the participants.


pages: 292 words: 76,185

Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One by Jenny Blake

"side hustle", Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Cal Newport, cloud computing, data is the new oil, diversified portfolio, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, fear of failure, future of work, high net worth, Jeff Bezos, job-hopping, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, Lao Tzu, Lean Startup, minimum viable product, Nate Silver, passive income, Ralph Waldo Emerson, risk tolerance, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, Startup school, stem cell, too big to fail, white picket fence, young professional, zero-sum game

The best side hustles will demonstrate a monetary return on your investment, if not now, then at some point in the not-too-distant future. How long are you willing to wait? I suggest experimenting with a side hustle that allows you to test revenue generation fairly quickly. At first, the income you earn from your side hustle is likely to be labor intensive. You will invest time and sweat equity for little pay. In his Startup School podcast series, Seth Godin calls this “front-loading.” Better to do the hardest work up front, then reap the rewards later, he says, rather than be surprised down the road when you have much more at stake. 2. Market reach: Your side hustle should offer a solid amount of growth potential.


pages: 294 words: 82,438

Simple Rules: How to Thrive in a Complex World by Donald Sull, Kathleen M. Eisenhardt

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, Basel III, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, Checklist Manifesto, complexity theory, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversification, drone strike, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, haute cuisine, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nate Silver, Network effects, obamacare, Paul Graham, performance metric, price anchoring, RAND corporation, risk/return, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Startup school, statistical model, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, transportation-network company, two-sided market, Wall-E, web application, Y Combinator, Zipcar

. [>] Maybe you even know: Alex Konrad and Ryan Mac, “Airbnb Cofounders to Become First Sharing Economy Billionaires as Company Nears $10 Billion Valuation,” Forbes, March 20, 2014, http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexkonrad/2014/03/20/. [>] You may not, however: Kathy especially thanks Florence Koskas for sharing her thoughts and bibliography. Two revealing firsthand video accounts from the founders are “1000 Days of Airbnb, Airbnb Founder—Brian Chesky—Startup School 2010,” 2010, www.youtube.com, accessed September 19, 2014; and “Joe Gebbia—The Airbnb Story,” 2013, www.youtube.com, accessed September 19, 2014. See also Matt Vella and Ryan Bradley, “Airbnb CEO—‘Grow Fast but not Too Fast,’” Fortune, July 18, 2012, http://fortune.com/2012/07/18/. [>] Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky: Jared Tame, “From Toilet Seats to $1 Billion: Lessons from Airbnb’s Brian Chesky,” in Startups Open Sourced: Stories to Inspire & Educate, May 30, 2011. [>] When the two friends: Jessica Salter, “Airbnb: The Story Behind the $1.3bn Room-Letting Website,” Telegraph, September 7, 2012, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/9525267/Airbnb-The-story-behind-the-1.3bn-room-letting-website.html. [>] Because of the success: Ibid. [>] Y Combinator is a “seed accelerator”: Benjamin L.


pages: 282 words: 81,873

Live Work Work Work Die: A Journey Into the Savage Heart of Silicon Valley by Corey Pein

23andMe, 4chan, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, bank run, barriers to entry, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Bitcoin Ponzi scheme, Build a better mousetrap, California gold rush, cashless society, colonial rule, computer age, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, Extropian, gig economy, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, hacker house, hive mind, illegal immigration, immigration reform, independent contractor, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, passive income, patent troll, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, platform as a service, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-work, Ray Kurzweil, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, RFID, Robert Mercer, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ross Ulbricht, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, Skype, Snapchat, social software, software as a service, source of truth, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, telepresence, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, tulip mania, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, X Prize, Y Combinator

They could be regions of the world set aside by global agreement for experimentation, as discussed by Larry Page. They could be floating cities in international waters as put forth by Peter Thiel, or one of the more ambitious 80,000 person colonies on Mars desired by Elon Musk. Srinivasan set what was then a new record in techie temerity with a provocative speech at Y Combinator’s “startup school” in 2013. The speech laid out a plan for what Srinivasan called “Silicon Valley’s ultimate exit,” a way to “reduce the importance of decisions made in D.C.”—in short, to undermine the government for the benefit of tech companies. “It basically means: build an opt-in society—ultimately outside the United States—run by technology,” he said.


pages: 403 words: 87,035

The New Geography of Jobs by Enrico Moretti

assortative mating, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, business climate, call centre, cleantech, cloud computing, corporate raider, creative destruction, desegregation, Edward Glaeser, financial innovation, global village, hiring and firing, income inequality, industrial cluster, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, medical residency, Menlo Park, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Productivity paradox, Richard Florida, Sand Hill Road, Shenzhen special economic zone , Silicon Valley, Skype, special economic zone, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, thinkpad, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Wall-E, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

.” [>] For example, studies have shown: Baumgardner, “Physicians’ Services and the Division of Labor Across Local Markets.” [>] Think about the history of Facebook: In a recent interview, Zuckerberg criticized several aspects of Silicon Valley’s culture that he does not like but admitted that “Facebook would not have worked if I had stayed in Boston.” Interview at Y Combinator’s Startup School, October 29, 2011. [>] The size of labor markets: Wheeler, “Local Market Scale and the Pattern of Job Changes Among Young Men”; Bleakley and Lin, “Thick-Market Effects and Churning in the Labor Market.” [>] In a recent study of changing family structure: Costa and Kahn, “Power Couples.” [>] “where Ericsson has more than 1,200 employees”: Clark, “Overseas Tech Firms Ramp Up Hiring in Silicon Valley.” [>] One study finds that the likelihood: Sorenson and Stuart, “Syndication Networks and the Spatial Distribution of Venture Capital Investment.” [>] “to be closer”: Delo, “When the Car-Rental Fleet Is Parked in Your Driveway.” [>] “it is tough to get funding”: Gelles, “All Roads Lead to the Valley.” [>] “There’s a lot of support”: Interview, “The Changing Role of the Venture Capitalist,” Marketplace, NPR, January 18, 2011. [>] “to be close to the action”: Kissack, “Electric Vehicle Companies Tap Silicon Valley Cash.” [>] “Knowledge flows are invisible”: Quoted in Jaffe, Trajtenberg, and Henderson, “Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations.” [>] In 1993 three economists: Ibid. [>] Excluding citations that come from the same company: Thompson, “Patent Citations and the Geography of Knowledge Spillovers.” [>] “cricket spills over”: Lohr, “Silicon Valley Shaped by Technology and Traffic.” [>] Citations are highest: Belenzon and Schankerman, “Spreading the Word.” [>] Geographical distance seems to impede: Adams and Jaffe, “Bounding the Effects of R&D.” [>] Pierre Azoulay, Joshua Graff Zivin, and Jialan Wang: Azoulay, Graff Zivin, and Wang, “Superstar Extinction.” [>] When a team of Harvard Medical School doctors: Lee, Brownstein, Mills, and Kohane, “Does Collocation Inform the Impact of Collaboration?”


pages: 282 words: 85,658

Ask Your Developer: How to Harness the Power of Software Developers and Win in the 21st Century by Jeff Lawson

Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, big-box store, bitcoin, business process, call centre, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, create, read, update, delete, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, DevOps, Elon Musk, financial independence, global pandemic, global supply chain, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, loose coupling, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, microservices, minimum viable product, Mitch Kapor, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ruby on Rails, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, software as a service, software is eating the world, sorting algorithm, Startup school, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Telecommunications Act of 1996, Toyota Production System, transaction costs, transfer pricing, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, ubercab, web application, Y Combinator

Bowers, my high school radio teacher, who let a bunch of high school students run “Metro Detroit’s most powerful high school radio station, 88.1FM WBFH: The Biff.” Thank you for letting us make mistakes. That’s truly what learning is all about. Kevin O’Connor, thank you for being an entrepreneurial mentor and Hamptons landlord. You truly created the “startup school of the hard knocks” that helped me become the founder I am. Sorry I never made you any money, though. Thank you to Matt Levenson, my partner in building Versity, StubHub, and Nine Star. Thank you for inspiring the Ask Your Developer mindset. You taught me how to use software to solve great business problems.


pages: 251 words: 80,831

Super Founders: What Data Reveals About Billion-Dollar Startups by Ali Tamaseb

"side hustle", 23andMe, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Anne Wojcicki, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, bitcoin, business intelligence, buy and hold, Chris Wanstrath, clean water, cloud computing, coronavirus, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, Covid-19, COVID-19, cryptocurrency, discounted cash flows, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, game design, gig economy, high net worth, hiring and firing, index fund, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, late fees, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mitch Kapor, natural language processing, Network effects, nuclear winter, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, QR code, remote working, ride hailing / ride sharing, robotic process automation, rolodex, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, survivorship bias, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the payments system, Tony Hsieh, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, web application, WeWork, Y Combinator

Founders Say Sometimes,” Medium, June 10, 2018, https://medium.com/hackernoon/do-vcs-really-add-value-founders-say-sometimes-f27bb956eb8c. 4. Paul Gompers, William Gornall, Steven N. Kaplan, and Ilya A. Strebulaev, “How Do Venture Capitalists Make Decisions?” National Bureau of Economic Research, September 1, 2016, www.nber.org/papers/w22587. 5. Startup School, “How to Raise Money,” video, October 21, 2014, https://startupclass.samaltman.com/courses/lec09/. 6. Leo Polovets, “Startups Are Risk Bundles,” Codingvc (blog), March 3, 2016, www.codingvc.com/startups-are-risk-bundles/. 7. Sam Altman, “Lecture 9: How to Raise Money (Marc Andreessen, Ron Conway, Parker Conrad),” How to Start a Startup, October 21, 2014, https://startupclass.samaltman.com/courses/lec09/. 8.


pages: 340 words: 100,151

Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It by Scott Kupor

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, carried interest, cloud computing, compensation consultant, corporate governance, cryptocurrency, discounted cash flows, diversification, diversified portfolio, estate planning, family office, fixed income, high net worth, index fund, information asymmetry, Lean Startup, low cost airline, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Myron Scholes, Network effects, Paul Graham, pets.com, price stability, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, software as a service, sovereign wealth fund, Startup school, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, VA Linux, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

As a startup, these changes are very significant, as they mean that the amount of money you need to raise from VCs to get started is much less than in the past. Y Combinator Cracks Open the “Black Box” The second material transformation in the startup ecosystem was the advent of an incubator known as Y Combinator (or YC for short). Started in 2005 by Paul Graham and Jessica Livingston, YC basically created startup school. Cohorts of entrepreneurs joined a “YC batch,” working in an open office space together and going through a series of tutorials and mentorship sessions over a three-month period to see what might come out the other end. Over the past thirteen years, YC has turned out nearly 1,600 promising startups, including some very well-known success stories such as Airbnb, Coinbase, Instacart, Dropbox, and Stripe.


pages: 468 words: 233,091

Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days by Jessica Livingston

8-hour work day, affirmative action, AltaVista, Apple II, Bear Stearns, Brewster Kahle, business cycle, business process, Byte Shop, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, don't be evil, eat what you kill, fear of failure, financial independence, Firefox, full text search, game design, Googley, HyperCard, illegal immigration, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Joi Ito, Justin.tv, Larry Wall, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, nuclear winter, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social software, software patent, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, web application, Y Combinator

Paul Graham Cofounder, Viaweb Preface It’s been more than a year since Founders at Work was first published. What have I learned since? The biggest surprise has been the sheer number of people interested in startups. I know about the ones who apply to Y Combinator, read Hacker News, or attend Startup School, but I could never be sure how many people were interested in startups beyond that core of would-be founders. A lot, it turns out. I get emails and see blog posts about Founders at Work on an almost daily basis. Some people finally took the plunge and started a startup, some learned that it was all right to change their idea, some were able to face a new day even though their company seemed doomed.

About the Author Jessica Livingston is a founding partner at Y Combinator, a seed-stage venture firm based in Cambridge, MA, and Mountain View, CA. Previously she was vice president of marketing at investment bank Adams Harkness. In addition to her work with startups at Y Combinator, Livingston organizes Startup School (www.startupschool.org). She has a BA in English from Bucknell. xiii Acknowledgments I’d first like to thank my aunt, Ann Gregg, for her unfailing support and encouragement. She’s an extraordinarily perceptive reader and she provided a lot of advice that helped make this a better book. Thanks to the people I interviewed for sharing their stories and their time.


pages: 387 words: 112,868

Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money by Nathaniel Popper

4chan, Airbnb, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, banking crisis, Ben Horowitz, bitcoin, Bitcoin Ponzi scheme, blockchain, Burning Man, buy and hold, capital controls, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, Dogecoin, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Extropian, fiat currency, Fractional reserve banking, Jeff Bezos, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, life extension, litecoin, lone genius, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, price stability, QR code, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Startup school, stealth mode startup, the payments system, transaction costs, tulip mania, WikiLeaks

pagewanted=all. 291Hoffman later introduced Thiel to Mark Zuckerberg: David Kirkpatrick, The Facebook Effect (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010). 294“The gulf between what the press and many”: Marc Andreessen, “Why Bitcoin Matters,” DealBook, New York Times, January 21, 2014, http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/01/21/why-bitcoin-matters/. 295He believed that it could help open the door: A transcript of Balaji’s talk at Startup School 2013 is available at https://nydwracu.word press.com/2013/10/28/transcript-balaji-srinivasan-on-silicon-valleys-ultimate-exit/. 299The prosecutors had e-mails in which: Sealed complaint against Charlie Shrem filed by IRS Special Agent Gary Alford, January 24, 2014. 300“If you want to develop a virtual currency”: The press release announcing Charlie’s arrest is available at http://www.justice.gov/usao/nys/pressreleases/January14/SchremFaiellaChargesPR.php. 303told CNBC in late January: Jamie Dimon, interviewed on CNBC, January 23, 2014.


pages: 455 words: 133,322

The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick

Andy Kessler, Burning Man, delayed gratification, demand response, don't be evil, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, Howard Rheingold, Jeff Bezos, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Network effects, Peter Thiel, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social graph, social software, social web, Startup school, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Whole Earth Review, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, Yochai Benkler

Fall 2005 Page 149 As the school year resumed in the fall of 2005: Michael Arrington, “85% of College Students Use Facebook,” TechCrunch, September 7, 2005, www.techcrunch.com/2005/09/07/85-of-college-students-use-facebook/ (accessed November 15, 2009). 151 One new group was called “You’re Still in High School … ”: John Cassidy, “Me Media: How Hanging Out On The Internet Became Big Business,” New Yorker, May 15, 2006, http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/05/15/060515fa_fact_cassidy (accessed December 11, 2009). 151 At the beginning of the school year, Facebook had nearly doubled: Owen Van Natta, interview with author, May 15, 2007. 152 Ever vigilant about competitors: Angwin, Stealing MySpace, 140, 177. 153 Zuckerberg was dismissive: Ibid., 177. 156 By early 2010 Facebook was hosting: email from Brandee Barker, Facebook public relations, February 24, 2010. 8. The CEO Page 166 “I want to stress the importance of being young”: Mark Coker, “Start-Up Advice For Entrepreneurs, From Y Combinator Startup School,” Venturebeat, March 26, 2007, http://venturebeat.com/2007/03/26/start-up-advice-for-entrepreneurs-from-y-combinator-start-up-school/ (accessed November 28, 2009). 169 But at the end of March, BusinessWeek’s online edition: Steve Rosenbush, “Facebook’s on the Block,” BusinessWeek, March 28, 2006, http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/mar2006/tc20060327_215976.htm (accessed November 15, 2009). 170 But to Zuckerberg, what was more significant: Ibid. 171 Another imitator, which launched around the same time in China: Baloun, Inside Facebook, 95. 173 He also quoted a sociologist who speculated: Cassidy, “Me Media.” 174 who he had met while: Lacy, 162. 174 After some negotiation, Zuckerberg: Lacy, 162. 176 A week after the program launched: Rob Walker, “A For-Credit Course,” New York Times, September 30, 2007, http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/30/magazine/30wwInconsumed-t.html (accessed December 27, 2009). 177 As part of the deal the ad giant: email from Brandee Barker, Facebook public relations, December 11, 2009. 9. 2006 Page 184 Peter Thiel, older but very sympathetic: Lacy, 165. 186 Some nights, unable to sleep: David Kushner, “The Baby Billionaires of Silicon Valley,” Rolling Stone, November 16, 2006, http://rollingstone.com/news/story/12286036/the_baby_billionaires_of_silicon_valley (accessed November 28, 2009). 186 “I hope he doesn’t sell it”: Kevin Colleran, interview with the author. 190 Within about three hours the group’s membership: Tracy Samantha Schmidt, “Inside the Backlash Against Facebook,” Time, September 6, 2006, www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1532225,00.html (accessed December 11, 2009). 190 And there were about five hundred other protest groups: Brandon Moore, “Student users say new Facebook feed borders on stalking,” Arizona Daily Wildcat, September 8, 2006, http://wildcat.arizona.edu/2.2257/student-users-say-new-facebook-feed-borders-on-stalking-1.177273 (accessed December 11, 2009). 190 “Chuck Norris come save us”: Layla Aslani, “Users Rebel Against Facebook Feature,” Michigan Daily, September 7, 2006, http://www.michigandaily.com/content/users-rebel-against-facebook-feature (accessed December 11, 2009). 190 “You shouldn’t be forced to have a Web log”: Moore, “Student Users.” 190 “I’m really creeped out”: Aslani, “Users Rebel.” 191 But Zuckerberg, in New York on a promotional trip: Andrew Kessler, “Weekend Interview with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg,” Wall Street Journal, March 24, 2007, http://www.andykessler.com/andy_kessler/2007/03/wsj_weekend_int.html (accessed December 11, 2009). 10.


We Are the Nerds: The Birth and Tumultuous Life of Reddit, the Internet's Culture Laboratory by Christine Lagorio-Chafkin

4chan, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, bitcoin, blockchain, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, compensation consultant, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, disinformation, Donald Trump, East Village, game design, Golden Gate Park, hiring and firing, independent contractor, Internet Archive, Jacob Appelbaum, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joi Ito, Justin.tv, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, QR code, recommendation engine, RFID, rolodex, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, semantic web, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Stephen Hawking, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, technoutopianism, uber lyft, web application, WeWork, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

It had another feature beneficial to the startup life, in which a company launched from a living room couch might still be growing strong two decades later, or dead within weeks: month-to-month leases. “We basically told everyone to move there,” Kan explained. Matt Brezina and Adam Smith, who’d entered Y Combinator’s new “startup school,” Graham’s West Coast autumn version of the summer incubator, with their startup dubbed Xobni (a “smarter address book”—its name is “in-box” spelled backwards), crashed on Kan’s floor for a couple weeks before moving to their own apartment a couple floors down. Summer 2006 YC graduates Trip Adler and Jared Friedman, who were starting Scribd, also took an apartment.


pages: 611 words: 188,732

Valley of Genius: The Uncensored History of Silicon Valley (As Told by the Hackers, Founders, and Freaks Who Made It Boom) by Adam Fisher

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bill Atkinson, Bob Noyce, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Byte Shop, cognitive dissonance, Colossal Cave Adventure, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Elon Musk, frictionless, glass ceiling, Hacker Conference 1984, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, hypertext link, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Jeff Rulifson, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, life extension, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Mondo 2000, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, nuclear winter, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, paypal mafia, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pez dispenser, popular electronics, random walk, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, social graph, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telerobotics, The future is already here, The Hackers Conference, the new new thing, Tim Cook: Apple, tulip mania, V2 rocket, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Y Combinator

Susan Wojcicki’s quotes can be found in Jefferson Graham’s USA Today story, “The House That Helped Build Google,” in July 2007. I’m CEO… Bitch Mark Zuckerberg’s quotes come from a guest lecture he gave to Harvard’s “Introduction to Computer Science” class in 2005, from an interview he gave to the Harvard Crimson in February that same year, and from Y Combinator’s Startup School event in 2007. Dustin Moskovitz’s quotes were taken from a keynote address given to the Alliance of Youth Movements Summit in December 2008, and from David Kirkpatrick’s authoritative history, The Facebook Effect. David Choe’s comments were made on The Howard Stern Show in March 2016. Steve Jobs made his remarks to his biographer, Walter Isaacson.


pages: 903 words: 235,753

The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty by Benjamin H. Bratton

1960s counterculture, 3D printing, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Biosphere 2, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Graeber, deglobalization, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed generation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, functional programming, future of work, Georg Cantor, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, High speed trading, Hyperloop, Ian Bogost, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, Kim Stanley Robinson, liberal capitalism, lifelogging, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, means of production, megacity, megastructure, Menlo Park, Minecraft, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Monroe Doctrine, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, peak oil, peer-to-peer, performance metric, personalized medicine, Peter Eisenman, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Philip Mirowski, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, planetary scale, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Robert Bork, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Startup school, statistical arbitrage, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Superbowl ad, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, undersea cable, universal basic income, urban planning, Vernor Vinge, Washington Consensus, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, working poor, Y Combinator

See http://www.crimethinc.com/texts/ex/digital-utopia.html, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOubCHLXT6A, and http://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/public_statements/promoting-internet-inclusion-more-things-more-people/140107ces-iot.pdf. 32.  Balaji Srinivasa, “Silicon Valley's Ultimate Exit,” speech at the Y Combinator Startup School, De Anza College, Cupertino, CA, October 25, 2013, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOubCHLXT6A. “Peacefully start an international (1) company, (2) community, (3) currency, (4) country. We are now at step 3.” (@balajis, January 3, 2014. 33.  Albert O. Hirschman, Exit, Voice, and Loyalty; Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1970). 34.