The Launch Pad: Inside Y Combinator

The Launch Pad: Inside Y Combinator

by Randall Stross


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A behind-the-scenes look at how tomorrow’s hottest startups are being primed for greatness
Investment firm Y Combinator is the most sought-after home for startups in Silicon Valley. Twice a year, it funds dozens of just-founded startups and provides three months of guidance from Paul Graham, YC’s impresario, and his partners. Receiving an offer from YC creates the opportunity of a lifetime.
Acclaimed journalist Randall Stross was granted unprecedented access to Y Combinator, enabling a unique inside tour of the world of software startups. Over the course of a summer, we watch as a group of founders scramble to make something people want.
This is the definitive story of a seismic shift in the business world, in which coding skill trumps experience, undergraduates confidently take on Goliaths, and investors fall in love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781591846581
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/24/2013
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Randall Stross writes the “Digital Domain” column for the New York Times and is a professor of business at San Jose State University. He is the author of several acclaimed books, including eBoys, Planet Google, and The Wizard of Menlo Park. He has a Ph.D. in history from Stanford University.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 Younger 9

2 Older 22

3 Grad School 34

4 Male 45

5 Crazy But Normal 56

6 Unsexy 67

7 Genius 77

8 Angels 86

9 Always Be Closing 98

10 Clone Myself 110

11 What's Up? 118

12 Hackathon 130

13 New Ideas 140

14 Risk 150

15 Married 161

16 Fearsome 171

17 Pay Attention 183

18 Growth 194

19 Find A Dropbox 206

20 Don't Quit 218

21 Software Is Eating The World 227

Acknowledgments 241

Appendix: The Summer 2011 Batch 245

Notes 251

Index 269

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Y Combinator is a national treasure, a Silicon Valley seed fund that is mass-producing new startups. Randall Stross’s behind-the-scenes look at YC offers a rare glimpse into what it really takes to conceive an idea and get it to market as quickly as possible. The Launch Pad is a must-read for anyone interested in the realities of modern entrepreneurship.”
—Eric Ries, author of the New York Times bestseller The Lean Startup
“The Launch Pad is an intimate look at the white-hot center of the new Silicon Valley star tup ecosystem. Stross’s account of the best new entrepreneurs and the exciting companies they’re building at startup schools is a great read for founders and would-be founders alike.”
—Marc Andreessen, cofounder, Andreessen Horowitz

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