Y Combinator

By Y Combinator

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

Episode Date
#131 - Jeremy Rossmann

Jeremy Rossmann is the cofounder of Make School. Make School is a college for computer science headquartered in San Francisco. Make School students don't pay until they have a job after graduation. They were part of YC’s Winter 2012 batch.

You can find MakeScool on Twitter @MakeSchool.

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/



00:00 - Intro

00:32 - What is Make School?

01:12 - How is their intensive track different than a traditional college course load?

2:22 - How are their students differentiated from students educated in a traditional CS program?

3:12 - Interacting with the parents of Make School students

8:12 - William Triska asks - What are some ways to encourage greater independence and autodidactic behavior in students pursuing technical skills and knowledge?

10:02 - The autodidact myth

15:57 - Two stakeholders making purchasing decisions: potential students and parents

20:07 - The education landscape 20 years from now

23:57 - Education stacking

25:02 - Vikram Malhotra asks - When are we going to do away with degrees?

32:42 - Evan Ward asks - Should liberal arts colleges consider adopting ISA's?

35:17 - Are there instances of predatory ISAs?

37:27 - Make School students who want to be entrepreneurs

40:27 - Advice for people in YC

Jun 19, 2019
#130 - Tracy Young and Kat Manalac

Tracy Young is a cofounder and the CEO of PlanGrid. PlanGrid makes mobile construction productivity software. They were acquired by Autodesk in 2018 and were part of YC’s Winter 2012 batch.

Kat Manalac is a Partner at YC.

You can find Tracy on Twitter @Tracy_Young and Kat is @KatManalac.

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/



00:00 - Intro

00:46 - How Tracy got into the construction industry

2:51 - What convinced Tracy and her cofounders to build PlanGrid?

3:31 - Finding a technical cofounder

6:26 - Tracy still sees herself as an engineer

7:16 - PlanGrid's MVP and their first customers

11:56 - Their sales process

13:46 - Product breakthroughs

17:21 - Not firing fast enough

20:31 - What does she look for when hiring someone?

26:01 - Tim Cook's closing statement at WWDC

28:46 - Fredi Fernández asks - Does Tracy track wellness levels of the team?

29:26 - At what point did Tracy hire an office manager?

30:16 - How does Tracy take care of herself?

31:46 - Founding a company with a partner

33:31 - Managing a company as a new parent

35:46 - Seyed Rasoul Jabari asks - What's your big plan to go from 1.5 to 10 million projects?

36:46 - Holly asks - What has been your single largest influence in helping you scale?

38:06 - Why do some executives not work out?

38:56 - What skills did Tracy have to work on when scaling?

42:41 - What do a lot of startups get wrong?

46:21 - Tracy's recommended books

48:01 - What Tracy wishes she knew when she started out

Jun 12, 2019
#129 - Simone Giertz

Simone Giertz describes herself as a maker/robotics enthusiast/non-engineer. She’s also known as the Queen of Shitty Robots. She runs a YouTube channel about those robots and is a cohost on Tested with Adam Savage from MythBusters.

You can find her on YouTube and on Twitter @SimoneGiertz.

She also has a Patreon.

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/



00:00 - Intro

1:41 - "Whatever feeds the ego kills the soul."

4:21 - Maintaining passion for your work

7:16 - Building a sustainable business as a creator

9:01 - Shipping a real product - The Every Day Calendar - https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/simonegiertz/the-every-day-calendar

18:01 - Being scared to step away

19:31 - Generating ideas

20:46 - Finding out she had a brain tumor, having surgery, and sharing it

26:01 - Returning to work after brain surgery

28:01 - Learnings from taking time off

29:01 - Asking for help

30:31 - Evaluating how she's spending her time

32:16 - Giving herself permission to try other things

34:21 - Challenges as a creator and entrepreneur

36:01 - Not feeling guilty about play and pursuing the things you enjoy

41:01 - Becoming less disciplined in certain areas over time

42:46 - Ali asks - How to get started when dealing with imposters syndrome?

43:06 - beep boop asks - What's your favorite robot?

43:46 - Beste asks - Are there any moments where she is bored and feels like giving up on creating new things?

44:56 - Khawar Shehzad asks - What thing do you wish you knew when you started your career?

46:06 - Olaf Doschke asks - What would have happened if Simone's toothbrush helmet wouldn't have gone viral?

48:36 - Johnathan Nader asks - What is the best version of yourself?

Jun 05, 2019
#128 - Michael Babineau and Kevin Hale

Michael Babineau is cofounder and CEO of Second Measure. Second Measure analyzes billions of credit card transactions to answer real-time questions on consumer behavior. They were in the Summer 2015 batch of YC and you can check them out at SecondMeasure.com.

Kevin Hale is a Partner at YC. Before working at YC he cofounded Wufoo.

You can find Michael on Twitter @mikebabineau and Kevin is @ilikevests.

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/



00:00 - Intro

00:35 - What idea did Mike apply to YC with?

01:20 - Where did the idea come from?

4:35 - From project to company

10:20 - What info did investors want to know that Second Measure could provide?

12:05 - Their first customers

14:35 - The primary use case of Second Measure for VCs

15:20 - What questions are they trying to answer?

19:35 - Data examples from their blog

21:05 - Post: Fashion retailers have nothing to fear (yet) from the rise of Stitch Fix

23:35 - Post: Holiday sales rocket Peloton memberships ahead of SoulCycle active riders

25:05 - Post: Prime members deliver for Amazon every day

27:35 - Second Measure's product development process

29:35 - Finding good data scientists who work from first principles

37:05 - Why is credit card data so messy?

42:05 - Cleaning data

44:20 - Using their product for competitive analysis

47:35 - Their sales process

49:05 - Raising money from Goldman Sachs and Citi

52:05 - Focusing on a specific problem

54:05 - Keeping the product compelling when it's table stakes

May 29, 2019
#127 - Vidit Aatrey and Adora Cheung

Vidit Aatrey is cofounder and CEO of Meesho. Meesho is a platform in India that allows people to resell products using their social networks. They were in the Summer 2016 batch of YC and you can check them out at Meesho.com.

Adora Cheung is a Partner at YC. Before working at YC she cofounded Homejoy.

You can find Vidit on Twitter @viditaatrey and Adora is @nolimits.

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/



00:00 - Intro

01:20 - What is Meesho?

3:20 - Why not just sell directly to consumers?

5:05 - What are the macro trends in Meesho's favor in India?

7:30 - A trust deficit market

8:55 - How does Meesho help users get online and start selling?

11:45 - Most impactful user stories

13:50 - Growth drivers

15:50 - Balancing growth and quality

17:25 - What if Facebook copies Meesho?

18:50 - When did Vidit and his cofounder know they wanted to start a startup?

21:20 - Their first startup idea and the inspiration for Meesho

25:40 - When did they know Meesho was working?

27:20 - How hard was it to pivot the business and how did they manage it?

30:05 - As a CEO how does he stay in touch with users?

34:50 - How has Vidit's role changed over time?

36:55 - How has he learned to be a CEO?

38:30 - What mistakes have they made?

39:35 - What was his best decision?

40:15 - What's a strong opinion he had about running a startup that he's changed since running Meesho?

41:45 - How has the Indian startup ecosystem evolved?

43:20 - Big problems worth solving in India

43:05 - Can foreigners come to India and start a startup?

45:10 - Best advice for aspiring Indian founders

46:20 - After Meesho, what's the most exciting startup in India?

47:20 - Why is Delhi the best IIT?

48:15 - What's a must read book and why?

49:10 - What's a startup idea he'd be working on if Meesho didn't happen?

49:25 - In 100 years, what does he hope Meesho is?

May 22, 2019
#126 - Chris Best and Jonathan Gill

Chris Best is the cofounder and CEO of Substack. Substack makes it simple for a writer to start a paid newsletter. They were in the Winter 2018 batch of YC. You can check them out at Substack.com.

Jonathan Gill is the cofounder and CEO of Backtracks. Backtracks is a podcast analytics and hosting platform. You can check them out at Backtracks.fm.

Chris is on Twitter @cjgbest and Jonathan is @jgill333.

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/



00:00 - Intro

1:03 - Paid vs advertising in podcasting

3:33 - Are advertisers overpaying for podcast ads?

6:13 - What percent of the market will ultimately be paid content?

8:13 - Payment mechanisms

9:48 - Price anchoring

12:28 - Individual creators vs brands

17:23 - Deplatforming

18:53 - Spotify

20:23 - Discovery and growth in newsletters

22:53 - Public and private feeds

25:23 - Apple's role

26:38 - Will education be the driver of paid content?

30:23 - Educational podcasters in China

32:23 - How are their newsletter and podcast customers growing?

36:18 - Jack Ryder asks - In 5 years time, are personal newsletters going to replace social networks like Facebook?

38:13 - Debdut Mukherjee asks - Do podcasts actually work? If so, how do startups calculate the ROI & the CAC?

43:38 - Measurement

45:23 - Best practices for new podcasters and newsletter creators

May 15, 2019
#125 - Brian Halligan and Kevin Hale

Brian Halligan is the CEO and cofounder of HubSpot. HubSpot builds software for marketing, sales, and customer service. You can try it out at HubSpot.com.

Kevin Hale is a Partner at YC and cofounder of Wufoo.

Brian is on Twitter @bhalligan and Kevin is @ilikevests.

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/



00:00 - Intro

00:27 - Brian's an introvert that likes to work from home. He also runs a public company. How does he do both?

2:12 - How does he manage his calendar as an introvert?

4:12 - How Brian met his cofounder Dharmesh

6:12 - The first project they worked on together

7:27 - What was their unique insight when starting HubSpot?

8:52 - Pricing in the early days

9:27 - How would he have priced HubSpot differently knowing what he knows now?

10:27 - HubSpot's first customer

12:27 - Important early features

14:47 - At what point did they shift entirely away from consulting?

15:32 - Providing advice as content vs in the product

16:27 - SEO is underrated

17:12 - Trends in B2B and marketing

21:57 - Inbound marketing and audience building advice

26:52 - How did Brian know that his cofounder was right for him?

28:12 - The internet disproportionately benefiting small businesses over big ones

29:12 - Keeping your company hungry when you're big

29:52 - Building assets for your company

30:47 - Freemium

34:27 - Structural pieces of HubSpot Brian would have changed if he did it again

37:27 - Creating the voice of your company

39:57 - Early metrics they tracked

40:32 - Having a coach and reviews

41:57 - How Brian's changed as a CEO from the beginning

42:51 - What was the hardest thing to give up as CEO?

43:57 - Humility

May 08, 2019
#124 - Jarvis Johnson

Jarvis Johnson was previously a software engineer at Patreon, Yelp, and Google. He’s now a YouTuber.

You can find him on YouTube at Jarvis Johnson and on Twitter @jarvis.

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/



00:00 - Intro

00:20 - Jarvis' intro

00:50 - Where his videos first got traction

1:30 - Being part of the software industry while critiquing it

4:05 - How he got into programming

6:30 - Moving to California

7:50 - Interning at Google then Yelp

9:20 - Interviewing multiple times at the same company

10:20 - Moving from Yelp to Patreon

14:30 - Switching from individual contributor to manager

18:35 - Learnings from managing that he applies to himself

21:45 - What made Jarvis want to do YouTube full time?

30:20 - Investing in yourself

31:25 - Making what you want vs talking to viewers

35:55 - When did things really start to click for his channel?

38:20 - Choosing to make multiple genres of video

44:00 - Nathan Allebach asks - Are content creators responsible in any capacity for their audiences?

51:05 - Taylor asks - In what ways do you think content creation can benefit one's career in the tech industry?

54:40 - Jarvis made a podcast when he was a teenager

56:30 - Octopus Blues asks - What lessons did improv teach you/who would you recommend it to, if anyone?

58:45 - Predictions for YouTubers and content creators

May 01, 2019
#123 - Harry Zhang and Kevin Hale

Harry Zhang is the cofounder of Lob. Lob makes it possible for enterprises to programmatically send physical mail. They were in the Summer 2013 batch of YC.

Kevin Hale is a Partner at YC.

Harry is on Twitter @harryzhang and Kevin is @ilikevests.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.



00:00 - Intro

00:31 - Harry's intro

00:41 - What did Lob have when they applied to YC?

2:01 - Documentation as an API company

3:16 - Where did the insight to create Lob come from?

4:26 - Lob's first version and first customer

7:26 - Closing their first big customer then signing others

12:31 - Did Harry always know Lob would be an API company?

14:01 - How long did it take to work up to enterprise customers?

15:31 - Pricing

19:46 - Creating a product roadmap

21:26 - Tradeoffs when building product

22:21 - Competing for top engineers as an API company

24:31 - Options vs RSUs

28:01 - Sales mistakes

32:21 - Building out features for enterprise clients

34:16 - Why did Lob choose to not vertically integrate?

39:31 - How has Harry had to change as a founder over the life of Lob?

Apr 24, 2019
#122 - Max Rhodes and Anu Hariharan

Max Rhodes is the cofounder and CEO of Faire. Faire helps retailers find and buy unique wholesale merchandise for their stores. They were in the Winter 2017 batch of YC.

Anu Hariharan is a Partner at YC.

Max is on Twitter @MaxRhodesOK and Anu is @AnuHariharan.



00:00 - Intro

00:32 - Max's intro

01:06 - Leaving Square and coming up with the idea for Faire

7:37 - Changes to SMBs in the past five years

9:37 - What is Faire?

11:57 - Max’s vision for Faire

15:12 - Finding product/market fit

18:12 - Switching to try before you buy

21:22 - What separates the great companies

22:32 - Scaling as a CEO

26:32 - Calming down

29:42 - Faire's first hires

33:42 - Faire's first executive hire

38:27 - Fundraising and fundraising advice

43:32 - Ryan McCarthy asks - Why did Max study history at Yale?

44:32 - Why does Max think Square Cash became a successful app?

Apr 17, 2019
#121 - David Lieb and Gustaf Alströmer

David Lieb is the Product Lead for Google Photos. Prior to working on Google Photos, David was the cofounder and CEO of Bump, which was in the Summer 2009 batch of YC.

Gustaf Alströmer is a Partner at YC.

David is on Twitter @dflieb and Gustaf is @gustaf.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.



00:00 - Intro

00:42 - How Bump became one of the biggest apps on the App Store

3:56 - Bump was the billionth app downloaded on iOS

6:14 - David's YC interview

8:17 - Bump's goal during YC

10:12 - Experiments at Bump before working on photos

11:17 - How Bump grew

12:32 - How David thinks about product market fit

13:32 - Flock and talking with the top users of Bump

18:02 - Going upstream in photo sharing, becoming the camera roll

19:32 - Being a photo sharing power user and how that helped when building a product

22:12 - Fundraising

26:12 - Deciding that Photo Roll would work better within a big company and building it at Google

29:42 - When building a product, pretend there's a person doing that task for you in the best possible way then try to build that

31:52 - How David spends his time running Google Photos

33:47 - How David feels about his work at Google after being a startup founder

35:17 - When to apply AI

37:22 - Attention to the user vs the technology

38:02 - Talking to users at scale

41:02 - Lamide Akomolafe asks - What did David focus on too much as a rookie product lead that he thinks was a mistake now?

42:47 - Getting confidence to ship features to a billion users

45:17 - Generating support for a project within a big company

47:02 - In 5-10 years will David be working for a large or small company?

48:27 - When thinking about an acquisition, can you execute your vision in a larger way within the company?

50:12 - Larger truths about people learned by paying so much attention to photos and memories

51:47 - Giving everyone a photographic memory and deciding which photos are important

52:57 - Products David likes and the importance of solving a durable human need

Apr 10, 2019
#120 - Austen Allred

Austen Allred is the CEO and cofounder of Lambda School.

Lambda School provides a CS education that's free until you get a job. They were in the Summer 2017 batch of YC.

You can learn more about Lambda School at lambdaschool.com.

Austen is on Twitter at @austen.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.



00:00 - Intro

1:01 - Encouraging people to do something that they're scared to do

5:16 - Where did the insight for Lambda School come from?

6:26 - College vs developer schools

10:26 - Building a network

12:16 - Does Austen see value in a traditional liberal arts education?

14:56 - Steven Klaiber-Noble asks - As competitors begin to copy your model what front do you believe you'll be competing on?

17:56 - Why did Austen choose to raise money?

20:06 - Fundraising falling through on Austen's first startup

21:36 - Moving back to Utah and writing a book about growth

23:26 - Why Austen wrote a book

26:26 - "Starting a company is by definition saying, I think what I can do is worth more than what other people will pay me for."

27:26 - Mispriced human capital

30:21 - Other opportunities for Lambda School

32:46 - Modeling risk

35:36 - David Kofoed Wind asks - When Lambda School is incentivized to take in people that will land high paying jobs, how do you think about the diversity of candidates? One would imagine that it quickly becomes a game of pattern matching the stereotypical SV people.

37:51 - Will Lambda School ever not be remote?

41:16 - Dave Dawson asks - You appear to be on the successful path now, was there a point early in Lambda School when you wanted to stop?

43:46 - Helping everyone become an autodidact

46:46 - Rethinking where to start on an online course

48:11 - Dave Dawson asks - What keeps you up at night at this point?

49:46 - Dayo Koleowo asks - “I have made remarks I do not agree with” - from Austen's Twitter bio. What is that one remark you wish you didn’t have to disagree with?

53:26 - Choosing remote work as a core problem to solve in your company

55:56 - Analysts aren't good at measuring product quality

57:36 - Teaching taste

Apr 03, 2019
#119 - Amy Buechler and Michael Seibel

Amy Buechler is an executive coach for startup founders.

Michael Seibel is a partner and the CEO of YC.

In this episode we talk about coaching and use examples from Michael’s time working on Justin.tv and Socialcam.

You can find Amy at her site foundercoach.io and on Twitter at @amybue.

Michael is on Twitter at @mwseibel.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.



00:00 - Intro

00:41 - What is coaching?

01:11 - How is coaching different from therapy?

2:31 - What are the most common challenges founders in coaching have?

3:26 - Challenges with roles and responsibilities at Twitch

7:46 - How would Amy have coached Michael around roles and responsibilities?

9:41 - Not being disruptive as a leader

11:31 - Switching roles at Twitch

12:46 - Uneven equity splits

15:01 - Distributing and negotiating equity

21:16 - Communicating your own value

22:51 - Can there be too much communication?

24:11 - Productive arguments

28:11 - Talking about performance issues

30:16 - Setting clear goals and managing motivation

33:16 - Enjoying the work

34:01 - Conversations about runway

36:51 - Digging your company out of the grave and continuing

40:21 - Michael being against coaching initially

42:31 - How to have hard conversations

44:16 - Removing a responsibility from someone

49:51 - Returning to roles and responsibilities

50:41 - Jeanie McCallister asks - What’s the single most important piece of advice you can give a founder?

Mar 27, 2019
#118 - Marques Brownlee

Marques Brownlee is a YouTuber. He has over 8 million subscribers to his channel MKBHD where he reviews electronics, drives electric vehicles, and interviews people such as Kobe Bryant and Bill Gates.

You can find Marques on YouTube and on Twitter at @MKBHD.

The YC Podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.



00:00 - Intro

00:26 - What does Marques attribute his channel's success to?

2:41 - The early days

5:11 - How does he go about evaluating a product?

7:31 - Features that Marques thought were great that didn't catch on

8:41 - Peak smartphone?

10:31 - Folding phones and new trends

11:26 - Tesla and the EV market

15:46 - Getting older and staying relevant

17:06 - New kinds of videos and podcasting

22:26 - Does Marques feel limited by gear?

26:11 - Storytelling techniques

28:16 - Tech vs Marques as the star of the show

29:56 - Marco Castro asks - What advice do you have for new creators on YouTube?

30:56 - When did Marques find his voice as a creator?

33:56 - Overcoming perfectionism

34:56 - Gut instinct vs data

37:26 - YouTube comments

39:31 - Austin Ryder asks - In the early years of his channel, Marques took a several month hiatus from YouTube, but then came back with a new video format and seemingly renewed drive. What happened during those months off that led to the channel becoming what it is today?

40:41 - Winston asks - What’s your daily schedule?

43:06 - Ultimate frisbee injuries

43:26 - Amad Khan asks - Are there any problems that you see or face that you really wish engineers/developers would solve?

44:51 - Christian Giordano asks - Any tips on how to engage/work with influencers when you are a very early stage startup with little or no money?

46:41 - The future of creators supporting themselves financially

49:31 - His biggest challenge as a creator

50:31 - Long-term goals

Mar 21, 2019
#117 - Craig Cannon and Adora Cheung

Craig Cannon is the Director of Marketing at Y Combinator. He usually hosts the YC podcast but is the guest on this episode about podcasting.

Adora Cheung is a Partner at YC.

You can find Adora on Twitter at @nolimits and Craig at @craigcannon.



00:21 - Adora's intro

1:26 - Craig's intro

4:06 - Starting the YC podcast

5:21 - Podcast metrics

6:21 - Tips on creating a podcast

8:31 - Picking episode topics

9:21 - Order of operations for finding guests

10:51 - Preparing for interviews

14:11 - How to keep an episode engaging

16:26 - Analytics

18:51 - Gear

23:21 - Software

24:16 - Listening to your own voice

25:41 - Favorite interviews

26:41 - Most surprising things Craig's learned about startups on the podcast

29:21 - What has Craig learned from guests that he's put into practice?

32:01 - Non-consensus things about building startups

34:21 - If Craig had to start a podcast from scratch, how would he structure it?

37:01 - Clipping the show

42:21 - Monetizing podcasts

45:51 - Will podcasts become saturated?

46:21 - What's missing in the podcast world?

48:21 - Influential podcasters

52:11 - Adora's podcast picks

53:11 - Patrick Benders asks - What idea do you believe in that your social group would think is crazy?

58:11 - Zachary Canann asks - Please tell us about the time you most successfully hacked some (non-computer) system to your advantage.

1:00:11 - Being at YC, do Craig and Adora feel pressured to go start a company?

1:06:21 - When is an opportunity good enough to quit your current job?

Mar 13, 2019
#116 - Domonique Fines and Cadran Cowansage

Domonique Fines is the Director of Events at YC.

Cadran Cowansage is the cofounder and CEO of Elpha. Elpha is a private online community for women in tech.

Join Elpha to read Dom's AMA.

You can find Dom on Twitter at @domoniquefines and Cadran at @cadran_c.



00:30 - Dom’s intro

00:50 - How Dom started in events and her background

2:25 - Deciding to not go to law school

3:55 - Choosing to work on tech events

6:00 - Outreach to underrepresented founders

9:15 - Common misconceptions about getting into tech

10:35 - University outreach

11:55 - Identifying problems to fix and not being blocked

14:35 - Reflecting on accomplishments

15:40 - Dom’s career plans

17:10 - Will Dom do a startup?

17:35 - Avoiding burnout

20:55 - The importance of just getting started

Mar 11, 2019
#115 - Mike Knoop and Kevin Hale

Mike Knoop is cofounder and Chief Product Officer at Zapier, which was in the YC Summer 2012 batch. Zapier moves information between your web apps automatically.

Kevin Hale is a Visiting Partner at YC. Before YC Kevin was the cofounder of Wufoo, which was funded by YC in 2006 and acquired by SurveyMonkey in 2011.

You can find Mike on Twitter at @mikeknoop and Kevin at @ilikevests.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.



00:43 - Kevin's intro

01:03 - Mike's intro

2:03 - How Mike and Kevin met

4:03 - Market sizing for consumer software

5:13 - Zapier's growth strategy today vs 2012

6:28 - Jumpstarting a platform like Zapier

9:03 - Building an app directory before building a product

11:03 - Applying to YC twice

13:23 - Zapier after Demo Day

14:48 - Zapier's first remote hire

16:48 - Remote companies not being perceived as legitimate

18:48 - Noticing remote was working then committing

21:28 - Qualities to look for when hiring remote employees

24:28 - Nina Mehta asks - What’s the best way to share work and knowledge across designers working on different parts of product without distracting from focused working time?

25:58 - Remote mistakes in the early days

27:33 - When to change modes of communication to allow for deep work

29:28 - When to ask for someone's full attention

31:33 - Product and design practices at Zapier

34:38 - OKRs for teams vs individuals

39:48 - Tools for remote teams

43:48 - No internal email at Zapier

46:53 - Keeping morale high in a remote team

49:28 - What happens at a Zapier retreat

51:43 - Remote design critiques

56:43 - Serendipity and over optimizing for it

58:33 - Setting up a remote company for success

Mar 06, 2019
#114 - Karn Saroya

Karn Saroya is the CEO and cofounder of Cover, which was in the YC Winter 2016 batch.

Cover is a nationally licensed insurance brokerage. You can use their app to take a picture of property you want to insure and they’ll connect you with their insurance partners so that you can get the best price and coverage.

You can find Karn on Twitter at @karnsaroya.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.



00:36 - Karn’s intro

01:01 - Using computer vision to identify and catalogue property

2:28 - How Karn ended up starting Cover

3:48 - Being a maker vs. an advisor

5:58 - Stylekick, Karn’s previous startup

9:28 - Joining Shopify

10:08 - How the idea for Cover happened

11:58 - The capital-light way to start an insurance business

16:28 - Underwriting

17:58 - Lead generation

20:18 - Product development

21:28 - Buying Cover.com for $750k

24:53 - Being engaged to a cofounder

28:43 - Managing two offices and cultures

30:58 - Being an international founder in YC

31:58 - Advice to people in the current batch of YC

Feb 27, 2019
#113 - Caterina Fake and Kat Manalac

Caterina Fake hosts the podcast Should This Exist? which is about how technology is impacting our humanity. It launches today on iTunes. She also cofounded Flickr, Hunch, and Findery and is an investor at Yes VC.

Kat Manalac is a partner at YC.

You can find Caterina on Twitter at @Caterina and Kat at @KatManalac.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.



00:32 - Caterina's new podcast, Should This Exist?

2:32 - Is there a process for considering if something should exist?

4:02 - Who should be part of these conversations?

5:17 - Wait But Why and the Human Colossus

7:22 - Episode 1 of Should This Exist?

10:17 - Having conversations before things exist

11:42 - How might employees think about their role in whether or not something should exist?

14:32 - Caterina reflecting on her creations and if they should exist

19:02 - Considering whether things should exist as investors

23:32 - Cofounder charter - What you will and won't do

26:03 - Questioning the VC model

27:22 - Working on Wall St, feeling herself change, and quitting

31:22 - Caterina as a student

34:02 - Peculiarity and entrepreneurship

35:22 - "Don't fight to win prizes that aren't worth winning"

38:32 - What was once fringe is now mainstream

40:52 - Kat looking up to Lea Salonga

42:42 - Evgeny asks - How did she get her first 100 paying users?

49:27 - How does she advise founders to find investors?

54:47 - What questions should founders ask themselves while making something?

Feb 21, 2019
#112 - Ryan Hoover and Dalton Caldwell

Ryan Hoover is the founder of Product Hunt which was in the Summer 2014 YC batch and was acquired by AngelList. He also invests in startups through his Weekend Fund.

Dalton Caldwell is a Partner at YC where he runs admissions.

Ryan is on Twitter at @rrhoover and Dalton is at @daltonc.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.



00:27 - Ryan's intro

00:52 - Dalton's intro

1:27 - Forming Product Hunt and applying to YC

5:17 - Product Hunt's growth rate when they applied to YC

6:27 - Raising money for the right reasons

9:42 - Maker communities

11:27 - Why raise money for Product Hunt?

13:12 - Having buzz during the batch

18:12 - Brex changing their idea during YC

20:17 - Pivoting into something you know well

21:32 - In retrospect, how would Ryan have advised himself around monetization?

28:27 - Trying to build out other verticals

34:27 - Don't act like you have infinite runway

35:57 - Creating urgency and developing products within AngelList

40:17 - Tips to launch on Product Hunt

45:07 - What Dalton looks for in applications

46:57 - Giving people the opportunity to start

48:47- What motivated Ryan to leave his job before Product Hunt

Feb 15, 2019
#111 - Jake Klamka and Kevin Hale

Jake Klamka founded Insight. Insight provides intensive 7 week professional training fellowships in fields such as data science and data engineering. Insight was in the YC Winter 2011 batch.

Kevin Hale is a Visiting Partner at YC. Before YC Kevin was the cofounder of Wufoo, which was funded by YC in 2006 and acquired by SurveyMonkey in 2011.

You can find Jake on Twitter at @jakeklamka and Kevin at @ilikevests.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.



00:37 - Kevin's intro

01:07 - Jake's intro

1:42 - Applying to YC with one product then changing it

4:07 - How Insight started

4:57 - Jake's first students and initial coursework

8:37 - Finding out what companies want from data scientists

10:37 - Picking the first class of students

12:07 - Common pitfalls for people transitioning into data science

15:07 - Types of data science roles

17:22 - What data scientists should look out for in companies

18:17 - Chuck Grimmett asks - When do you know you need to bring in seasoned data scientists?

20:37 - How Insight has scaled and changed

22:37 - What happens in the program

23:57 - Examples of a good project for a data science resume

26:27 - Will more data scientists be founders in the future?

28:37 - Teaching product

29:37 - Cleaning data

32:07 - Tools for tracking data

32:57 - Track what are you trying to optimize

35:57 - Churn and conversion

39:37 - Is there an ideal background for a data scientist?

41:37 - Which startups recruit well at Insight?

43:37 - Contracting

46:17 - Fields Jake is excited about

Feb 06, 2019
#110 - Avni Patel Thompson and Kat Manalac

Avni Patel Thompson founded Poppy, which helped parents book the best caregivers. They went through the YC Winter 2016 batch and recently shut down. Avni asked to come on the podcast to talk about what the process of shutting down was like.

Kat Manalac is a partner at YC.

You can find Avni on Twitter at @APatelThompson and Kat at @KatManalac.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon - @CraigCannon.



00:35 - Kat’s intro

01:15 - Avni’s intro

2:15 - When did it become clear that scaling Poppy wasn’t working?

5:50 - Experiments Avni tried with Poppy

9:55 - The last six months of runway

13:25 - Choosing to shut Poppy down

17:25 - Pivot or shut down?

20:10 - Who did Avni have these hard conversations with?

24:35 - Communicating with investors during the process of shutting down

31:20 - How does Avni feel since shutting down Poppy?

38:30 - Tying self-worth to your accomplishments and how it feels after shutting down

39:30 - “This is what trying looks like.”

44:00 - The effects of having raised money

46:00 - Starting to think about what’s next

49:00 - Struggling with unstructured nothing

49:45 - Kindness

Jan 30, 2019
#109 - Samantha Bradshaw

Samantha Bradshaw is a researcher at the Computational Propaganda Project and a doctoral candidate at the Oxford Internet Institute. She’s been tracking the phenomenon of political manipulation through social media.

You can find Samantha on Twitter at @sbradshaww.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.



:53 - What is a bot?

2:53 - When computational propaganda began

3:53 - Changes in bot tactics since 2016

5:53 - Using bots for content creation

7:28 - WhatsApp and the upcoming Indian election

9:23 - Trends in computational propaganda

10:53 - How bots integrate into platforms

13:23 - Responsibilities of platforms to remove fake accounts

14:53 - The role of governments in media manipulation

18:18 - Fake news and selecting news that aligns with your beliefs

19:53 - Are platforms getting better or worse?

21:33 - Samantha's personal internet habits

23:03 - Sentiment around tracking in the UK vs the US

24:23 - The Mueller report and US midterms

29:18 - Canadian elections

30:18 - 2020 US elections

30:53 - Deepfakes

31:48 - Optimistic thoughts for the future

33:08 - How to help against computational propaganda

Jan 23, 2019
#108 - Cindy Mi and Qi Lu

Cindy Mi is the founder and CEO of VIPKID. VIPKID is a 1-on-1 teaching platform where children in China learn english from North American teachers.

Qi Lu is the CEO of YC China and Head of YC Research.



00:23 - Qi's intro

00:38 - Cindy's intro

1:38 - Moving to a new province as a teenager

4:38 - Being an educator and an entrepreneur

8:23 - Starting VIPKid in a hyper-competitive market

14:53 - Metrics for measuring product market fit

21:43 - How did she find the business model?

26:53 - What things did she try that didn't work?

30:38 - Strategy for product expansion

33:03 - Content expansion for Mandarin learning

34:53 - Building global companies

41:23 - Creating a global culture

44:13 - The future of education

48:08 - How should engineers and product managers think about edtech?

51:33 - Thoughts on AI

54:33 - Advice for entrepreneurs

Jan 16, 2019
#107 - Vinod Khosla and Sam Altman

Vinod Khosla is the founder of Khosla Ventures, a firm focused on assisting entrepreneurs to build impactful new energy and technology companies. Previously he was the founding CEO of Sun Microsystems, where he pioneered open systems and commercial RISC processors.

How to Build the Future is hosted by Sam Altman.



00:30 - Vinod’s intro

01:20 - A zero-million-dollar company vs a zero-billion-dollar company

4:20 - What percentage of investors in Silicon Valley are good long-term company builders?

4:50 - Who has earned the right to advise an entrepreneur?

6:50 - Which risk to take when

7:20 - Helpful board members

8:15 - Who to trust for what advice

11:00 - First principles thinking and rate of change

13:00 - Evaluating a candidate in an interview

14:15 - How much should a founder have planned and how ambitious should a founder be?

16:30 - Recruiting great people

19:00 - Building a phenomenal early team

20:20 - Being generous with early employee equity

27:00 - Gene pool engineering

27:18 - The art, science, and labor of recruiting

28:20 - How founders should think about investors

31:00 - Doers vs pontificators

32:00 - What does Vinod want to do in the next ten years?

32:10 - Reinventing Societal Infrastructure with Technology

Jan 09, 2019
#106 - Frank Lantz

Frank Lantz is a game designer and Director of the NYU Game Center. He cofounded Area/Code Games and most recently released a game called Universal Paperclips in which you’re an AI that makes paperclips.

Frank’s on Twitter @flantz and his site is franklantz.net.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.



00:27 - "Games are the aesthetic form of thinking and doing"

6:57 - VR skepticism

9:42 - Universal Paperclips

14:27 - Explaining games to non-gamers

20:12 - Competitive gaming

22:57 - Building life lessons into games

31:42 - Teaching game design

36:17 - Inspiration, hard work, and taste

39:17 - Darker sides of gaming culture

43:07 - The indie game market

45:27 - Unexpected trends in gaming

49:17 - Benedict Fritz asks - Frank you seem much more interested in chess, go, poker, and other games with a long history than most game designers. Where do you think this comes from?

52:12 - Esports

55:37 - Inventing sports

57:27 - Pokemon Go

1:00:32 - Difficulty in predicting successes in entertainment

1:03:17 - Frank's game recommendations

1:05:47 - @fakebalenciaga asks - Why Tonto?

Dec 20, 2018
#105 - Reham Fagiri and Kalam Dennis

Reham Fagiri and Kalam Dennis are the founders of AptDeco, where you can buy and sell used furniture. They were in the YC Winter 2014 batch and you can find them at AptDeco.com.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.



0:21 - What is AptDeco?

1:06 - Why did Reham and Kalam start it?

2:51 - Were they considering other ideas?

5:06 - How did they prepare to start AptDeco after business school/the corporate world?

6:21 - Getting over the fear of starting

9:21 - Communicating that they're starting something to friends and family

14:21 - Starting a startup after business school

17:21 - Helpful learnings from a more traditional business education

27:21 - Early models of AptDeco vs today

31:51 - AptDeco's customers

34:06 - Brands and customer acquisition

38:46 - Learning how to do delivery

42:06 - Deciding not to warehouse furniture

43:51 - Ideas that didn't work and some that worked on the second attempt

48:21 - Analytics

50:51 - Being a NYC company in YC

52:11 - How to make the most of YC

Dec 14, 2018
#104 - Leonard Susskind

Leonard Susskind is a professor of theoretical physics at Stanford University and he’s regarded as one of the fathers of string theory.

He’s written several books including: The Black Hole WarThe Cosmic Landscape, and the Theoretical Minimum series.

He also has over 100 lectures on YouTube.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.



0:26 - Being perceived as an outsider physicist
4:26 - The perils of becoming too mainstream

6:11 - Where his ideas come from

7:26 - Claudio asks - Do you think the graviton can be experimentally found?

10:11 - The origins of String Theory

15:41 - Why should there be a grand unified theory?

16:56 - Quantum mechanics and gravity
20:16 - Large unanswered questions in physics

27:56 - Holographic principle

38:26 - Simulation hypothesis

40:41 - Richard Feynman on philosophy

42:26 - Feynman and the bomb

46:26 - Improving the world by discovering what the world is

49:26 - ER and EPR - Black holes and entanglement

56:26 - Noah Hammer asks - Could quantum teleportation be used in the future as a means of intergalactic communication?

58:26 - rokkodigi asks - How do you think quantum theory will shape technology in the future?

1:01:56 - Why teach physics for the public?

Dec 06, 2018
#103 - Michael Seibel

Michael Seibel is a partner and the CEO of YC. He cofounded Justin.tv, which was in the winter 2007 batch and Socialcam, which was in the winter 2012 batch.

In this episode Michael comments on five of his essays. The essays are: Why Should I Start a Startup?, One Order of Operations for Starting a Startup, The Real Product Market Fit, Users You Don’t Want, and Why Does Your Company Deserve More Money?

Michael’s on Twitter @mwseibel.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.



0:00 - Intro

0:42 - Why Should I Start a Startup?

2:00 - Three types of people: people highly motivated when working for themselves, people that could succeed starting a startup or within a big company, and people that could succeed within a big company.

6:00 - How do you decide what type of person you are?

7:30 - Identify bias in advice givers

10:30 - Peer advice becomes less valuable during college

14:40 - One Order of Operations for Starting a Startup

15:40 - People aren’t taught how to find ideas

17:20 - Find a particular problem that you’re passionate about

20:55 - Find some friends and brainstorm a solution

23:20 - Build an MVP

25:55 - Two failed orders of operations for starting a startup

29:57 - The Real Product Market Fit

30:57 - Why do many founders think they have product market fit when they don’t?

35:42 - Building a successful company is not a single variable problem

37:27 - Socialcam didn’t hit product market fit

38:37 - Justin.tv had $1M in profit before reaching product market fit

42:27 - Some companies take a long time

42:55 - Users You Don’t Want

44:25 - The spectrum of how users are using your product

45:55 - Users that take a lot of customer support time

48:50 - Don’t let the hijack users control the product roadmap

49:31 - Why Does Your Company Deserve More Money?

50:31 - A team, a product, and an office are all just a means to an end

51:31 - If you don’t really deserve money, what is an alternate path to create leverage?

53:16 - Breaking even at Justin.tv was a moment of infinite clarity

55:31 - Series A program and leverage

Nov 28, 2018
#102 - Andrew Kortina

Andrew Kortina is the cofounder of Venmo and Fin. Fin is a high quality, on-demand, personal assistant and executive assistant service.

You can get a $100 credit to try Fin at https://fin.com/yc

Andrew blogs at https://kortina.nyc/

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.



00:32 - Human dignity and work

8:07 - Creating jobs

10:07 - From The Beautiful Struggle // The Beautiful Game - You might argue that we’re already in a sort of failure mode, where our ability to assign dignity to arbitrary work and motivate people to work bullshit jobs is more efficient than our ability to allocate labor towards industry that would have greater social benefit, like education, healthcare, food, etc. If we’re already in this failure mode, it’s kind of the worst of all worlds, because not only are we assigning meaning to work that doesn’t need to be done, but, also, we could be redeploying that labor towards efforts that are actually important today.

18:32 - Travel

21:02 - Why do we want to do anything?

22:07 - Life after Fin

25:17 - From The Emperor Has No Clothes, There is No Santa Claus, and Nothing is Rocket Science - I want to preface this talk by warning you that it’s quite possible you’ll interpret much of this talk as cynicism. It is not my intention to be cynical. My goal is to treat you with respect by speaking to you honestly, without any grand illusions.

None of the companies trying to convince you to work for them will mention technological determinism. They will confirm what your parents and teachers told you, that your work and contribution will be totally unique and significant.

32:02 - From The Emperor Has No Clothes, There is No Santa Claus, and Nothing is Rocket Science - I recognize that the meditative aspect of craft is an excellent way to cope with meaninglessness

38:32 - Technological determinism

43:02 - Andrew's company Fin

48:17 - Ryan Hoover asks - When (if ever) will Fin task completion be 100% AI-driven?

49:32 - Differences between running Fin and Venmo

56:47 - Venmo's Lucas ads

58:32 - Spencer Clark asks - How did you and your co-founders decide to sell Venmo?

1:02:02 - Charlie Kaufman on Screenwriting - What I’m trying to express – what I’d like to express – is the notion that, by being honest, thoughtful and aware of the existence of other living beings, a change can begin to happen in how we think of ourselves and the world, and ourselves in the world.

1:08:30 - Get $100 credit to Fin at https://fin.com/yc

Nov 20, 2018
#101 - Brian Donohue

Brian Donohue is President of Instapaper and a Product Engineering Manager at Pinterest.

You can find him on Twitter @bthdonohue.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.



00:19 - The history of Instapaper

8:19 - Free competitors enter the market

10:19 - How Brian joined Instapaper

14:34 - Transitioning from paid to freemium

19:19 - Pinterest's acquisition of Instapaper

26:34 - Moving to California

29:04 - Working on Instapaper within Pinterest

32:19 - Spinning Instapaper out of Pinterest

42:34 - Jareau Wadé asks - What types of product integrations could Pinterest have done with Instapaper?

50:04 - Ryan Hoover asks - I’m curious how he and the team balance simplicity with new feature development/product expansion.

54:19 - Raymond Durk asks - I love the rapid reading mode but would also love a voice enabled mode where the Google Assistant or Siri reads it. Speaking of I'd use it on my Google Home to listen to news if that was a skill.

57:39 - Brian Kim asks - Any growth hacks that worked well?

1:00:04 - Gustaf Alströmer asks - How does it make time for focused time to catch up on everything he saves? What are his best productivity hacks related to this?

1:03:44 - Backpacking

Nov 14, 2018
#100 - Sam Altman

Sam Altman expands on ideas that have come up in several of his essays. Specifically: choosing projects, creating value, and finding purpose.

Sam’s the president of YC Group and co-chairman of OpenAI. You can find him on Twitter @sama.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.



1:25 - From The Days Are Long But The Decades Are Short - Minimize your own cognitive load from distracting things that don’t really matter. It’s hard to overstate how important this is, and how bad most people are at it.

3:50 - Stepping back and evaluating your work

5:30 - Creating metrics for your projects

6:30 - Taking a year off

9:30 - Figuring out when to commit

11:30 - Poker

12:30 - From Productivity - Sleep seems to be the most important physical factor in productivity for me. Exercise is probably the second most important physical factor. The third area is nutrition.

15:00 - From You and Your Research by Richard Hamming - "If what you are doing is not important, and if you don't think it is going to lead to something important, why are you at Bell Labs working on it?"

16:30 - From The Days Are Long But The Decades Are Short - Things in life are rarely as risky as they seem. Most people are too risk-averse, and so most advice is biased too much towards conservative paths.

17:30 - Perspective shifts

20:15 - From Productivity - My system has three key pillars: “Make sure to get the important shit done”, “Don’t waste time on stupid shit”, and “make a lot of lists”.

22:30 - What Happened to Innovation

24:50 - From You and Your Research by Richard Hamming - He who works with the door open gets all kinds of interruptions, but he also occasionally gets clues as to what the world is and what might be important.

26:50 - The deferred life plan doesn’t work

31:50 - From The Merge - Our self-worth is so based on our intelligence that we believe it must be singular and not slightly higher than all the other animals on a continuum. Perhaps the AI will feel the same way and note that differences between us and bonobos are barely worth discussing.

34:10 - Weight training

35:30 - The Way to Love by Anthony de Mello

Nov 08, 2018
#99 - Laura Deming

Laura Deming is a partner at The Longevity Fund. They invest in companies that will allow us to live longer and healthier lives.

You can learn more about them at Longevity.vc.

Laura’s on Twitter @LauraDeming.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.



00:22 - Why focus on longevity now?

2:12 - How did Laura get started in longevity?

3:22 - Why raise a fund?

5:52 - What does Laura do personally for longevity?

9:07 - Worm and mouse studies

10:44 - Craig's personal habits

12:37 - Human studies

15:22 - Mica asks - Do you think immortality is going to be achieved by: 1. Curing all disease and stop aging so we could live with our own bodies forever 2. OR is going to be something like porting our brain, "mind" to a computer/robot?

17:37 - Most likely strategies to increase lifespan

19:47 - Ryan Hoover asks - Ask about the ethics of longevity. Jack J. Fernandes asks - Do people actually want to live longer?

21:44 - Mica asks - How would immortality change society? Wouldn't we become more complacent? Since we have "forever" to do things wouldn't that diminish our rate of innovation? And since less new individuals are being created we would have access to less new ideas. We would just stop creating new Newtons, Einsteins, Mozarts…

24:52 - Cognitive enhancement

25:52 - Daily habits

34:12 - Tech environment changes in the past 5-10 years

39:22 - What percentage of people in labs want to start companies?

41:37 - Pioneer

43:57 - Confidence

45:52 - Podcasting

49:12 - Choosing media to consume

52:17 - Sam Betesh asks - The last thing that led to a step function change in average life span was germ theory. What new areas of research might provide the next step function change?

55:07 - Extending fertility windows

57:22 - Jason Choi asks - What % of longevity is attributable to lifestyle choices vs genetics and the progress of technology in influencing both.

58:37 - Fatih asks - is blood transfusion a thing or just a hoax

1:00:42 - Rapamycin

1:02:27 - Testosterone

1:04:37 - Chris asks - Aubrey De Grey, IIRC, mentioned a number of times that we might, in the future, replace organs and tissues with new organic ones before they fail. Is this actually a reasonable idea, or is it more likely that we'll replace them with synthetic ones, if we replace them at all?

1:06:07 - Mica asks - Laura did a "cookie diet" for one month. Why did you do it? How did you feel? Doesn't it go against all the research on longevity? ;-)

1:08:07 - Is Laura actually not doing anything strange in her diet?

Oct 23, 2018
#98 - Shola Akinlade

Shola Akinlade is CEO and cofounder of Paystack. Paystack helps businesses in Africa get paid online and offline. They’re based in Lagos, Nigeria and were part of the Winter 2016 batch.

Shola’s on Twitter @shollsman.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.



00:26 - What is Paystack?

01:06 - Shola's background and previous company

4:26 - Paystack's YC application

6:01 - Meeting his cofounder

7:26 - Interviewing at YC

10:21 - Joining YC as a Nigerian company

10:56 - Differences between startups in Nigeria and the US

13:26 - Nigeria's payments market

15:56 - Paystack's growth

19:26 - Expanding to other countries and hiring

25:26 - The best part of doing YC

29:26 - Crypto developments in Africa

30:21 - Creative Joe asks - How difficult is it to get into YC?

30:56 - Educating US investors

32:06 - Paul Israel asks - What gaps do you think still exist in the Nigerian fintech space?

33:01 - Nelson asks - Are there any conventional startup advice that did not work for Paystack as their target market is Africa?

35:21 - Nelson asks - What are some important lessons he learnt while building Paystack?

37:46 - Nelson asks - What are some applications he would love to see been built on top of Paystack?

39:56 - Building for Africa

42:16 - Nestor Ezeagu asks - Do you think something like GoFundMe could work in Nigeria?

42:46 - Car Joyy asks - Can I receive payments as an MVP ecommerce site before registering as a company?

44:06 - Achyut Shrestha asks - What’s your tech stack?

44:41 - Jordan Jackson asks - What are the biggest cultural differences that you account for in UX and product design?

48:41 - Shola's outlook

50:36 - What he misses about life before Paystack

52:51 - Paystack in five years

54:16 - Music recommendations

Oct 16, 2018
#97 - David Hua and Vincent Ning

David Hua is CEO and cofounder of Meadow. Meadow makes retail and delivery software for dispensaries. They were part of the Winter 2015 batch. You can check them out at GetMeadow.com. David’s on Twitter @Hua.

Vincent Ning is CEO and cofounder of Nabis. Nabis is a cannabis services group. They offer distribution, logistics, sales, and marketing. You can check them out at GetNabis.com. Vincent's on Twitter @vcning.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.



00:38 - What David brought with him

5:48 - Microdosing

6:48 - What are people buying?

10:38 - Customer demographics

12:00 - CBD

14:58 - Changing vocabulary around cannabis

17:13 - What is Meadow?

17:38 - What is Nabis?

17:53 - Why did they choose to not do cannabis product manufacturing?

22:38 - Fundraising as a cannabis company

26:08 - Why is there not one dominant cannabis company?

29:53 - Legalization across Canada

31:38 - Banking as a cannabis company

36:13 - Taxes

37:38 - Price sensitivity

40:14 - Brand loyalty

43:23 - What will the market look like in 5-10 years?

50:08 - Cannabis media

52:23 - Psychedelics

56:38 - Exonerations and social equity programs

Oct 11, 2018
#96 - Mathilde Collin

Mathilde Collin is the cofounder and CEO of Front. Front is a shared inbox for teams and they were part of the YC Summer 2014 batch.

You can check out Front at https://frontapp.com/

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.



00:25 - Tuomas Grannas asks - What's your favorite LEGO theme?

1:25 - What is Front?

3:50 - Google Inbox shutting down

5:25 - Prioritizing features

7:50 - Features that have increased Front usage

9:50 - What Front looked like at launch

12:45 - Early user acquisition

15:40 - Starting Front and meeting her cofounder

19:10 - The idea for Front

20:25 - When her cofounder was diagnosed with cancer

23:20 - Hardest moments running Front

25:25 - Employee retention

30:55 - Transparency

32:40 - Front's office in France

33:30 - KP asks - What is the one unique insight about the problem you didn’t have at the start but only discovered later after your launch?

36:15 - Did she consider other ideas Front?

37:40- Jordan Jackson asks - Email at least for me - has taken on a different meaning in a life of messaging apps and chat platforms. It is more serious in a way. How do you see email evolving and the ecosystem that encompasses in peoples lives?

39:55 - If she could remove any email feature

41:20 - When did they hit product market fit?

45:05 - Meditation

Oct 03, 2018
#95 - Eli Schwartz

Eli Schwartz is the Director of SEO and Growth at SurveyMonkey. He came in to answer commonly asked questions about SEO.

Eli blogs about SEO and growth at elischwartz.co

You can find him on Twitter at 5le.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.



00:23 - Does SEO matter in 2018?

2:23 - Where should a company start with SEO?

3:53 - Who’s doing SEO well?

4:48 - Why is Amazon doing SEO well?

5:48 - How should you crosslink?

7:33 - Paying for links

7:58 - SEO don’t dos

8:38 - Things that are no longer useful in SEO

9:43 - Keywords

13:08 - Reviews

13:48 - Content

17:48 - Images

23:08 - Link building

28:23 - How much time to give SEO?

28:53 - Mobile

30:58 - Ranking

32:08 - International SEO

34:18 - Translation

37:38 - International search

39:53 - GDPR

42:13 - Hiring someone to do SEO

44:08 - What to do when you organic SEO disappears

46:53 - Metrics for an SEO hire

48:53 - Tools for SEO

50:23 - Getting started in SEO

Sep 27, 2018
#94 - Joan Lasenby

Joan Lasenby is a University Reader in the Signal Processing and Communications Group of the Cambridge University Engineering Department, and is a College Lecturer and Director of Studies in Engineering at Trinity College. Here's a list of her published work.

In this episode we talk about Joan’s research into 3D reconstruction from multiple cameras and her interest in geometric algebra.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.



00:32 - What's a tangible example of geometric algebra?

1:52 - What is geometric algebra?

6:47 - What resparked interest in geometric algebra?

7:42 - Why is it important?

11:32 - When did Joan start working on it?

13:27 - Rotations

17:17 - Computer vision in the early 90s

19:32 - Joan's fellowship at the Royal Society

23:32 - What's changed in computer vision since the 90s to allow for Joan's drone research?

30:07 - Machine learning in computer vision

31:52 - How Joan and her students are applying machine learning

35:02 - Unifying qualities of geometric algebra

41:02 - Joan's paper ending up on Hacker News

45:32 - Where could geometric algebra take hold?

47:32 - Running and mobility

48:32 - Where to learn more

Sep 17, 2018
#93 - Peter Reinhardt

Peter Reinhardt is cofounder and CEO of Segment.
Segment helps companies capture data from every customer touchpoint and send it to the tools where it can be used most effectively.

They were part of the YC Summer 2011 batch.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.



00:26 - What is Segment?

1:56 - Segment’s first customers

3:31 - Their YC application

4:26 - Going through YC

5:56 - Realizing their first product didn’t work

10:56 - Launching Analytics.js

12:11 - Experiencing product market fit

17:21 - Debating whether to launch or build out the product

19:41 - Evan Farrell asks - You mentioned in the SS lecture that you had to totally pivot to Analytics.js to find PMF, is it possible to purely iterate on something people kinda like to find PMF, or should it be clear from the outset if a new idea is something people want?

20:56 - The importance of having a skeptic on your team

23:56 - Customer interviews

26:56 - Benjamin Liam asks - How did they know they have the right messaging to explain their product?

28:26 - Idea generation

33:11 - Danny Prol asks - What values and standards do you have in place for your team at Segment? And how do you actively build that culture into your company?

37:26 - Ashwin Doke asks - How has GDPR impacted Segment's business model?

39:41 - Andrew Pikul asks - Any advice he has on asking for more money than you're comfortable asking for.

42:11 - Juan Carlos Garza asks - How did YC help you to where Segment is right now?

43:41 - Juan Carlos Garza asks - In an early stage, what's the thin line between ignoring a customer suggested feature or moving a customer requested feature to the core of your application?

45:11 - Biggest learnings since YC

45:16 - Important hires at Segment

Sep 06, 2018
#92 - Ryan Petersen

Ryan Petersen is the founder and CEO of Flexport.

Flexport is a global freight forwarder powered by software and analytics. They are making international trade easier for over 10,000 companies in 70 countries. They were part of the YC Winter 2014 batch.



0:23 - What is a freight forwarder?

3:08 - Selling electric scooters on eBay 15 years ago

5:53 - Ryan’s business school experience

10:23 - Amazon competing with their vendors

13:23 - Matt Susk asks - What were the most important takeaways from Columbia Business School? Would you encourage entrepreneurs to pursue a MBA?

17:03 - Tyler Hogge asks - How did you get your first three clients at Flexport?

20:03 - Being a solo founder

23:08 - Varun Khurana asks - What's your strategy for rapidly hiring the best talent in so many different global hubs?

25:53 - Challenges of scaling Flexport

27:38 - Some of Ryan’s favorite books

29:43 - Scaling culture

34:23 - Jassim Ali asks - How has the Trump policy on foreign trade affected your business so far?

39:23 - PowerDecal asks - How do you poach clients from legacy providers?

46:23 - Automation in freight forwarding

49:23 - Jason Yannos asks - If you weren't operating Flexport and had to source a new idea to work on, where would you start?

53:23 - Derisking product ideas

56:53 - Biggest lessons learned at Flexport

Aug 30, 2018
#91 - David Zeevi

David Zeevi is a James S. McDonnell independent fellow at the Rockefeller University Center for Studies in Physics and Biology. He focuses on developing computational methods for studying microbial ecology in the human gut and in the marine environment, and its contribution to human and environmental health.

He was one of the authors on the paper Personalized Nutrition by Prediction of Glycemic Responses.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

Apply for $120K in funding from YC.



01:15 - Why did David start working on personalized nutrition?

4:45 - How did the measure the effects of food in their study?

11:55 - How was the study standardized across people?

15:55 - How they measured an individual’s gut microbiome.

17:30 - What is the gut microbiome?

22:05 - Is there an ideal gut microbiome?

23:20 - How do you manipulate your gut microbiome?

24:50 - Fecal transplants.

26:55 - Elizabeth Iorns asks - Does post prandial glucose response regulation track with weight regulation? I.e. can they use their test to determine what individual people should eat or not eat to lose weight?

28:35 - Has this research been turned into a product?

29:35 - Who else worked on this research?

30:35 - How was their predictive algorithm made?

35:15 - Did they end up with any dietary suggestions?

36:15 - David’s bread study.

38:55 - Has David changed his own diet?

39:25 - Why fat was vilified.

43:15 - David’s ocean microbiome and other research.

51:05 - Traveling and your microbiome.

56:35 - Trying this out yourself.

Aug 22, 2018
#90 - Jessica Brillhart

Jessica Brillhart is the founder of Vrai Pictures. They’re an independent immersive content studio.

Before founding Vrai, Jessica was the Principal Filmmaker for VR at Google.

The YC Podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.



00:23 - Starting VRAI

10:23 - Story in film vs. VR

12:38 - Gaming

19:53 - Conditions at Omaha - The Weather Channel in VR

22:38 - Jessica's upcoming projects

27:48 - Andrew Peterman asks - How long until we'll be able to create 3D 360° video from cell phone hardware+amazing software?

30:13 - Matt asks - Where do you see VR in 10 years?

30:28 - Michael Hodapp asks - Does VR still have long term mass adoption potential, or will the market shift to AR?

32:23 - Will people be in VR for a significant percentage of their time in the future?

40:58 - Virginia Pigato asks - How can a traditional storyteller adapt to vr?

50:13 - Can Olcer asks - What key but non-obvious thing is missing for VR to become mainstream?

52:08 - Matt MacVey asks - What are some of the most exciting or scariest parts of social VR and what is the storytelling potential of social VR?

55:38 - Tony Cassara asks - What kind of dog do you have?

Aug 16, 2018
#89 - Geoff Ralston and Adora Cheung Discuss Startup School

Geoff Ralston and Adora Cheung are both partners at YC.

This episode is about Startup School. It’s a free, online course we’re offering that starts on August 28th.

We’re also offering equity-free grants of $10,000 to 100 companies that participate in the course.

Anyone can sign up for the course at StartupSchool.org.

Read the transcript here.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.



0:40 - What is Startup School?

3:40 - Who are the speakers this year?

5:00 - What are the different paths in Startup School?

7:00 - Success stories from last year’s Startup School.

8:55 - Why offer $10,000 grants?

10:00 - What deals are offered to the startups in Startup School?

11:00 - When does the course start?

12:45 - What are the requirements to complete the course?

15:15 - What are the topics that will be covered?

18:00 - What happens during office hours sessions?

22:30 - Who else is working on this course at YC?

Aug 07, 2018
#88 - Office Hours with Michael Seibel

Michael Seibel is a Partner and the CEO of YC.

He cofounded Justin.tv, which was in the Winter 2007 batch and Socialcam, which was in the Winter 2012 batch.

For this episode we took questions from the internet. If you have questions for a future office hours episode, just tweet them our way.

Read the transcript here.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

We're accepting applications from startups for the Winter 2019 funding cycle. Apply here.


00:25 - Why is YC worth 7% of your company?

6:25 - Generating leverage when fundraising

12:07 - Youssef asks - How did you validate your product market fit?

15:00 - LC Carrier asks - How does YC feel about companies who don't want to raise VC after the program?

17:05 - Edmilson Rodrigues asks - Do companies need to be incorporated already to participate in YC?

18:50 - Alex Rodriguez asks - What do you look for in startups that haven't had good growth but continue to push through (e.g. AirBnB) that makes you accept them?

26:50 - Fedor Paretsky asks - Do you have techniques you encourage to make pitches sound more exciting?

35:05 - David Chen asks - How to find mentors and advisors?

39:25 - building EatNeat asks - What if anything are you specifically looking for in a startup that wants to be a part of the Startup School 2018?

40:00 - Ryan Carl Mercer asks - What's your preferred way organizing your time?

41:05 - John Rigler asks - Can intrapreneurship be effective? I recently returned to IBM, have a patent, and yet have only vague ideas about how to signal and organize other like-minded folks. Could this path sabotage my dreams?

41:55 - Horacio Chávez asks - How would you approach an investor who says "I won't invest unless you have a patent"?

42:35 - Yahya Elamrani asks - Why does it feel like entrepreneurs aren’t marriage material? Should an entrepreneur look for an entrepreneurial spouse?

44:15 - Yahya Elamrani asks - How intense do you really have to be to found a startup?

48:50 - Is there a particular stage of company that's best served by Startup School?

50:35 - How do you get the most out of Startup School?

Aug 03, 2018
#87 - Elad Gil

Elad Gil is an entrepreneur, operator, and investor. He cofounded Color Genomics and Mixer Labs. Worked at Google and Twitter. And has invested in companies including Airbnb, Coinbase, and Stripe.

He just released the High Growth Handbook, which is a guide to scaling startups published by Stripe Press.

It contains tactical advice on key issues for post product-market fit companies such as the role of the CEO, hiring executives, late stage fundraising, M&A, and other topics. It also includes interviews with people in tech, including Sam Altman, President of YC Group.

You can find the High Growth Handbook on Amazon.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

We're accepting applications from startups for the Winter 2019 funding cycle. Apply here.



01:04 - Why should an entrepreneur read the High Growth Handbook?

5:35 - On Marc Andreessen's comment, "The companies that charge more tend to grow faster."

6:50 - Myths about startups

7:50 - Leon Coe asks - What types of businesses do you avoid investing in?

9:20 - Things to just say 'no' to

12:40 - Companies that may be too early

14:52 - On Naval Ravikant's comment, "The most successful class of people in silicon valley on a consistent basis are either the venture capitalists, or people who are very good at identifying companies that have just hit product/market fit. They have the background, expertise, and references that those companies really want to help them scale."

17:41 - On Claire Hughes Johnson's "Guide to Working with Claire"

19:40 - Masud Hossain asks - How did most of the companies you interviewed get their first 10 customers?

20:55 - Masud Hossain asks - Is content really king?

22:50 - Narayan Mallapur asks - Where do founders make the most mistakes? Is it on hiring? What steps should they take to avoid these pitfalls

24:55 - Brianne Kimmel asks - What are some lessons learned in highly regulated sectors? When should you hire a General Counsel? How do you prioritize public policy and lobbying efforts?

29:05 - Media cycles

30:55 - Marius Chawa asks - What are the top three things a startup "must" achieve before VC firms would line up to fund them?

34:45 - Taylor Caforio asks - My company is at our early MVP stage. What is he best way to find a balance between giving our earliest customers the 6 star treatment while also having swift and exponential growth in the back of our minds.

36:54 - Tanmay Khandelwal asks - When you are sprinting in growth stage, how do you predict engineers required and hire accordingly?

38:41 - TD Bryant II asks - When your organization is experiencing exponential growth, how do you choose which functions to outsource vs build/hire?

41:50 - Andrew Pikul asks - Who is your favorite Dragon Ball (Z/GT/Super) villain?

Jul 27, 2018
#86 - Jocko Willink and Mike Sarraille

Jocko Willink and Mike Sarraille served together as Navy SEALs and now work together at Echelon Front, a company Jocko cofounded.

We met up to talk about a new initiative they’ve set up called Overwatch. Overwatch is a talent acquisition firm that matches employers with veterans from special operations forces and combat aviation. You can learn more about Overwatch at EFOverwatch.com.

They’re also hosting an event called the Muster in San Francisco on October 17th and 18th. You can sign up at ExtremeOwnership.com.

If you’d like to hear more from Mike and Jocko, check out Jocko Podcast Episode 134.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

We're accepting applications from startups for the Winter 2019 funding cycle. Apply here.



01:04 - Intros

5:07 - Mike and Jocko on how they transitioned out

9:37 - How the military prepares people for the private sector

13:47 - What is Overwatch?

23:32 - Preconceptions about veterans

28:24 - Advice for companies looking to hire veterans

31:03 - Jocko's next book, The Dichotomy of Leadership

33:58 - Mike and Jocko's working relationship

45:20 - How to set up your team so everyone can contribute

55:02 - What Mike and Jocko are trying to improve about themselves

58:45 - Alex Badalyan asks - What are some military tactics startups could adopt to increase team effectiveness and throughput?

1:00:47 - Allen asks - From your experience as a SEAL and in the business world, do two or more co-founders/leaders have a higher success rate? What are your thoughts on a solo leader/founder with a strong team and culture?

1:06:56 - Armando Neves asks - I liked Jocko's episode on strategy and the way of the Samurai (The Book of Five Rings), how much of the warrior mindset is he implementing on a day to day basis?

1:11:17 - Ryan Carl Mercer asks - Favorite MRE and thank you for your service sir.

1:14:59 - Spencer Clark asks - Is culture more decided by micro or macro policies & interactions?

Jul 20, 2018
#85 - YC Partner AMA at the Female Founders Conference

Recorded live at our Female Founders Conference in New York, an AMA with Kat Manalac, Kirsty Nathoo, Adora Cheung, Holly Liu, Jessica Livingston, and Carolynn Levy.

This panel was hosted by Sharon Pope, Head of Marketing Programs at YC.

We’re also posting the other talks from the Female Founders Conference today. You can see all of them and read the transcripts at blog.ycombinator.com

If you’d like to learn more about the Female Founders Conference, head over to femalefoundersconference.org

Jul 11, 2018
#84 - João Batalha and Luís Batalha

João Batalha and Luís Batalha are cofounders of Fermat’s Library.

Fermat’s Library is a platform for annotating papers. Each week they send out a paper annotated by their community. Some recent papers were Birds and Frogs by Freeman Dyson and Von Neumann's First Computer Program by Donald Knuth.

They’ve also built a Chrome Extension call Librarian for the arXiv which allows you to get direct links to references, do BibTeX extraction and make comments on papers.

You can find them at FermatsLibrary.com.

Read the transcript on our blog.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

Jul 06, 2018
#83 - Scott Aaronson

Scott Aaronson is the David J. Bruton Centennial Professor of Computer Science at The University of Texas at Austin, and director of its Quantum Information Center. Before teaching at UT, he taught Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. His research interests center around the capabilities and limits of quantum computers, and computational complexity theory more generally.

If you’ve listened to our other episodes about quantum computers and are curious to learn more, check out Scott’s book Quantum Computing Since Democritus.

And if you want to read Scott’s blog you can find that at scottaaronson.com/blog/.

Read the transcript on our blog.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

Jun 29, 2018
#82 - Henrique Dubugras of Brex and Anu Hariharan

Henrique Dubugras is the cofounder of Brex, which provides corporate cards for startups.

Anu Hariharan is a Partner at YC.

Brex went through YC in the Winter 2017 batch and just closed their Series B, which was led by YC Continuity.

In addition to discussing how the Brex team built out their service, Anu and Henrique also cover the specifics of what it takes to build a fintech startup in 2018. And Henrique shares advice for young founders, as he started his first company at 16.

Read the transcript on our blog.

Jun 27, 2018
#81 - Announcing Work at a Startup

Jared Friedman is a partner at YC and before that cofounded Scribd (YC S06).

Matt Long a software engineer at YC and before that cofounded Crocodoc (YC W10).

Today we’re talking about a project Jared, Matt, and several other people at YC have been working on. It’s called Work at a Startup and it’s like a common application for engineers to apply to many YC companies simultaneously.

We’re also hosting a Work at a Startup Expo on July 28th in Mountain View where you’ll be able to meet 35 rapidly growing YC companies. You can learn more and apply to attend at workatastartup.com/expo.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

Jun 22, 2018
#80 - Office Hours with Adora Cheung

Adora Cheung is a partner at YC and she also cofounded Homejoy, which went through YC in the Summer 2010 batch.

For this episode we took questions from the internet. If you have questions for a future office hours episode, just tweet them our way.


0:41 - topherPedersen asks - How many users did you have when you applied to YC? Also, how much revenue had you generated?

2:55 - Hatlii asks - How do you keep going if you can’t raise any money?

4:54 - Alejandro Ruperti asks - When/how do you decide to walk away from something you started?

10:41 - Chris Melnick-MacDonald asks - What advice and lessons did you learn in entering the #Canadian market?

13:16 - Yahya Elamrani asks - Do I have to work on culture in the very early stage?

15:39 - Adam Sanders asks - What was the best decision you made for Homejoy?

16:53 - Ujjawal Chauhan asks - Would love to know what’s the one thing she’d do differently in hindsight if she were to start over again?

20:35 - Nikita Butakov asks - What are some unique data science / machine learning challenges faced by Homejoy?

22:07 - Alejandro Ruperti asks - From @tferriss : how has a failure or apparent failure set you up for a later success?

32:37 - Siamak Freydoonnejad asks - What are the best practices when doing a cold reach out to an investor?

33:14 - 😎rliesaurus @ ✈️ 🇪🇺asks - Is Uber for X still a thing people would invest in, in the US?

36:21 - Fedor Paretsky asks - How have YC's views on cryptocurrency/blockchain-related startups changed since Coinbase?

42:56 - Manav asks - What type of companies is YC seeing more of this time around?

46:45 - Yahya Elamrani - What are the best marketing strategies for year one for a b2c startup?

53:55 - Yahya Elamrani asks - What would you say to a founder from a third world country where there is a big lack in tech talents (and you can't compete with big corps due to lack of resources) in term of hiring?

55:50 - Aspiring Angel asks - What’s the best way for investors interested in startup seed/angel funding get started? How does location affect the process?

Jun 13, 2018
#79 - Liz Wessel

Liz Wessel is the cofounder and CEO of WayUp. WayUp is a job and internship platform for college students and recent graduates. They were part of the Winter 2015 YC batch.

Read the transcript here.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

May 31, 2018
#78 - Simon Benjamin

Simon Benjamin is a Professor of Quantum Technologies at Oxford. He is also the Principle Investigator for Oxford’s project on Quantum Optimisation and Machine Learning.

This episode is more technical than last week’s episode with John Preskill. We start by covering some fundamentals then go into different approaches for constructing and scaling a quantum computer.

Read the transcript here.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

May 25, 2018
#77 - John Preskill

John Preskill is a theoretical physicist and the Richard P. Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics at Caltech.

He once won a bet with Steven Hawking, which as he writes made him “briefly almost famous.” John and Kip Thorne bet that singularities could exist outside of black holes and after six years Hawking conceded that they were possible in very special, “nongeneric” conditions.

In this episode we cover what John’s been focusing on for years: quantum information, quantum computing, and quantum error correction.

Read the transcript here

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

May 16, 2018
#76 - Carola Schönlieb

Carola Schönlieb is an applied mathematician at the University of Cambridge.

She’s also a Turing Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute and the head of the Image Analysis group at Cambridge’s Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics.

In this episode we cover mathematical approaches to image processing.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

May 09, 2018
#75 - Sean Mitchell

Sean Mitchell is the cofounder and CEO of Rezi. REZI helps landlords find high quality, long-term tenants in 48 hours. They were part of the Winter 2017 batch.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

May 04, 2018
#74 - Linda Xie and Avichal Garg

Linda Xie is the cofounder of Scalar Capital, a cryptoasset fund. Before that she was a Product Manager at Coinbase (YC S12).

Avichal Garg is a Managing Partner at Electric Capital, a value fund for digital assets. He’s also an Expert at YC. Prior to that he was the Director of Product Management at Facebook.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

May 02, 2018
#73 - Patrick Moberg and Holly Liu

Patrick Moberg is the cofounder of Playdots, which is a mobile game studio in New York. They make Dots, Two Dots, and Dots and Co.

Holly Liu is is a Visiting Partner at YC. Before that she cofounded the gaming company Kabam.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

Apr 27, 2018
#72 - Miles Brundage and Tim Hwang

Miles Brundage is an AI Policy Research Fellow with the Strategic AI Research Center at the Future of Humanity Institute. He is also a PhD candidate in Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology at Arizona State University.

Miles recently co-authored The Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence: Forecasting, Prevention, and Mitigation.

Tim Hwang is the Director of the Harvard-MIT Ethics and Governance of AI Initiative. He is also a Visiting Associate at the Oxford Internet Institute and a Fellow at the Knight-Stanford Project on Democracy and the Internet. This is Tim's second time on the podcast; he was also on episode 11.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

Apr 25, 2018
#71 - Claire McDonnell and Jennifer Kim on Building an Inclusive Company Culture

Claire McDonnell is cofounder and COO of True Link Financial (YC S13). True Link is a financial services firm that offers money management, investment, and insurance products, primarily for retirees.

Jennifer Kim is currently advising startups. Prior to that she was the Head of Employee Experience and Development at Lever. Lever makes recruiting software and they were part of the Summer 2012 batch.

Kat Manalac is a partner here at YC.

Apr 20, 2018
#70 - CoinList Cofounder Andy Bromberg and Ramon Recuero

Andy Bromberg is the cofounder and CEO of CoinList. Coinlist provides financial infrastructure for token creators and investors.

Ramon Recuero is an engineer at YC. He's the author of the Decentralized Future Series, which you can read here.

If you'd like to listen to more podcasts about crypto, here are episodes with Juan Benet (IPFS) and Dalton Caldwell (YC) and Olaf Carlson-Wee (Polychain Capital) and Aaron Harris (YC).

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

Apr 18, 2018
#69 - Anne Wojcicki of 23andMe and Sam Altman

Anne Wojcicki is the cofounder and CEO of 23andMe, which provides direct-to-consumer genetic testing.

Sam Altman is the president of YC Group. He interviewed Anne for a series called How To Build The Future, which you can check out on our YouTube channel.

Apr 13, 2018
#68 - Cost vs Quality in Edtech - Keith Schacht, Avichal Garg, and Geoff Ralston

Keith Schacht is the cofounder of Mystery Science, which makes lessons that inspire kids to love science. They were part of the Summer 2017 YC batch.

Avichal Garg is an Expert at YC and prior to that he was the Director of Product Management at Facebook.

Geoff Ralston is a Partner at YC and before that he cofounded Imagine K12, an edtech accelerator that’s now makes up YC’s edtech vertical.

Apr 06, 2018
#67 - 3D Home Printing for the Developing World - Alexandria Lafci and Brett Hagler of New Story Charity

Alexandria Lafci and Brett Hagler are cofounders of New Story Charity.

New Story Charity builds homes and communities in the developing world. They were part of the Summer 2015 YC batch.

They just 3d printed their first home in Austin, Texas. You can check it out at 3DHome.org.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

Apr 04, 2018
#66 - Breaking Down HackerRank's Survey of 40,000 Developers with Vivek Ravisankar

Vivek Ravisankar is the CEO and cofounder of HackerRank, which was in the Summer 2011 batch.

They surveyed 40,000 developers on things including their favorite frameworks, what they want in a job, and how they learned to code. You can read the report here.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

Mar 30, 2018
#65 - Funding Is an Outcome of Building a Good Business - Porter Braswell of Jopwell

Porter Braswell is the CEO and cofounder of Jopwell (YC S15).

Jopwell is a career advancement platform for Black, Latinx, and Native American students and professionals.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

Mar 21, 2018
#64 - Researching Psilocybin's Effects on Depression - Dr. Rosalind Watts

Dr. Rosalind Watts is a clinical psychologist at the Psychedelic Research Group at Imperial College London.

The Psychedelic Research Group focuses on two main areas: first, the action of psychedelic drugs in the brain and second, their clinical utility, e.g. as aides to psychotherapy, with a particular focus on depression.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

Mar 15, 2018
#63 - The Number One Goal is Getting Started - Avni Patel Thompson of Poppy

Avni Patel Thompson is the founder and CEO of Poppy (YC W16). Poppy lets parents book the best caregivers with just a text.

We recorded this episode at our Female Founders Conference in Seattle. We’re also hosting female founder events in New York and SF this year. You can sign up to our newsletter to get updates about those events.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

Mar 02, 2018
#62 - Dan Lewis, CEO of Convoy, on the Future of Freight

Dan Lewis is the CEO and Cofounder of Convoy.

Convoy matches shippers with freight carriers, which helps the trucking industry run more efficiently because currently, over 40% of the trucks on the road are empty.

Anu Hariharan is a Partner at YC Continuity.

Read the transcript here.

Feb 28, 2018
#61 - Sam Altman on Masters of Scale
Reid Hoffman interviews Sam Altman on this uncut interview from the Masters of Scale podcast.
Feb 22, 2018
#60 - Startup Investor School Preview with Geoff Ralston

Geoff Ralston is a Partner at YC and before that he cofounded Imagine K12.

This episode covers Startup Investor School. Startup Investor School is a free, 4-day course designed to educate early stage investors interested in investing in startups. You can sign up at investor.startupschool.org.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

Feb 07, 2018
#59 - Providing Fair Financial Products for the 56% of the US Without Access to Them - Jake Rosenberg of LendUp

Jake Rosenberg is the cofounder and CTO of LendUp (W12). They provide access to quality credit cards and loans without hidden fees or debt traps. Their customers are the 56% of Americans that have what is described as a “subprime” credit score, meaning they can’t be approved for credit by most banks.

Ali Rowghani is the CEO of YC Continuity.

Read the transcript on our blog.

Jan 31, 2018
#58 - It's Surprising How Much Small Teams Can Get Done - Sam Chaudhary of ClassDojo

Sam Chaudhary is the cofounder and CEO of ClassDojo. They've raised $30M and have 30 employees.

Karen Lien is an Edtech Principal here at YC.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

Jan 24, 2018
#57 - Alex Blumberg of Gimlet Media

Alex Blumberg is the cofounder of Gimlet Media. Gimlet makes several podcasts you’ve probably heard of–StartUp, The Pitch, and Reply All are a few.

Before Gimlet Alex worked on This American Life and Planet Money.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

Jan 17, 2018
#56 - Leah Culver of Breaker and Tom Sparks of YC Answer Your Questions About Security and Podcasting

Leah Culver is cofounder and CTO of Breaker, which is a social podcast listening and discovery app. They went through YC in the Winter 2017 batch. Leah’s also an author of both the OAuth and oEmbed API specifications.

Tom Sparks is an engineer on the YC Software team. He also cofounded Cryptoseal which went through YC in the Summer 2011 batch and was acquired by CloudFlare in 2014.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

Jan 05, 2018
#55 - Tim Urban of Wait But Why

Tim Urban cofounded the blog Wait But Why with Andrew Finn in 2013.

His posts about Artificial Intelligence, Elon Musk, and the Fermi Paradox have been read millions of times.

We discussed Tim's research strategy, the purpose of Wait But Why, and his thoughts on technologies including cryptocurrencies, A.I., and AR/VR.

Jan 03, 2018
#54 - Growth Office Hours: Round 2

Anu Hariharan and Gustaf Alstromer are partners at YC.

This episode is a follow-up to Anu's Growth Guide and the first Growth Office Hours.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

Dec 15, 2017
#53 - Be Wary of Solving a Small, Rare Problem - Des Traynor of Intercom

Des Traynor is the cofounder of Intercom.

Here's his talk Product Strategy Means Saying No and the blog post.

Dec 13, 2017
#52 - Making Physical Retail as Easy as Opening an Online Store - Ali Kriegsman and Alana Branston of Bulletin

Ali Kriegsman and Alana Branston are the founders of Bulletin.

Bulletin is a platform that allows brands to share the cost of a physical store.

They currently have two locations, one in SoHo and one in Williamsburg and there are more to come.

Ali and Alana went through YC Fellowship and then the winter 2017 batch.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

Dec 08, 2017
#51 - There's an Art to Getting Brilliant People to Surprise Themselves - Kevin Slavin of The Shed

Kevin Slavin is the Chief Science and Technology Officer of The Shed, which is an art center in New York that’s opening in 2019.

Before The Shed, Kevin founded the Playful Systems group at MIT's Media Lab.

He also gave a TED talk in 2011 called How Algorithms Shape Our World.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

Dec 06, 2017
#50 - Growth Office Hours with Anu Hariharan and Gustaf Alstromer

Anu Hariharan and Gustaf Alstromer are Partners at YC.

This episode is a follow-up to Anu's Growth Guide.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

Dec 01, 2017
#49 - Microbes, Robots, and Ambition - Robin Sloan on His Novel Sourdough

Robin Sloan is a writer and media inventor based in Oakland.

He just released his second novel, Sourdough.

Kat Manalac is a Partner at YC.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

Nov 29, 2017
#48 - The Future of Bike Sharing with Ofo Cofounder Yanqi Zhang and Anu Hariharan

Yanqi Zhang is a cofounder and COO of Ofo.

Anu Hariharan is a Partner at YC.

Nov 17, 2017
#47 - Baidu's COO, Qi Lu Discusses AI with Daniel Gross

Qi Lu is the COO of Baidu.

Daniel Gross is a Partner at YC.

Nov 15, 2017
#46 - Tencent's Chief eXploration Officer, David Wallerstein on WeChat, QQ, and Gaming

David Wallerstein is Tencent's Chief eXploration Officer.

Anu Hariharan is a Partner at YC.

Nov 10, 2017
#45 - Building Dota Bots That Beat Pros - OpenAI's Greg Brockman, Szymon Sidor, and Sam Altman

Greg Brockman is the CTO and cofounder of OpenAI.

Szymon Sidor is a Research Scientist at OpenAI.

Sam Altman is the President of Y Combinator and Co-Chairman of OpenAI.

Watch their bot compete at The International.

Nov 08, 2017
#44 - Cindy Mi on Building VIPKID, the World's Largest English Learning Platform for Children

Cindy Mi is the founder and CEO of VIPKID. VIPKID is a 1-on-1 teaching platform where children in China learn english from North American teachers.

Anu Hariharan is a Partner here at YC.

Nov 03, 2017
#43 - Casey Neistat and Matt Hackett on Live Video's Struggle for Interestingness

Matt Hackett and Casey Neistat are the cofounders of Beme, which was acquired by CNN last year.

You might already know Casey from his YouTube channel which now has over 8M subscribers.

And before Beme, Matt was a Hacker-in-Residence betaworks and the VP of Engineering at Tumblr.

Nov 01, 2017
#42 - Robotics and 3D Printing with Voodoo Manufacturing

Oliver Ortlieb and Max Friefeld are two of Voodoo Manufacturing's four cofounders.

Voodoo went through YC in the W17 batch. They bridge the gap between prototype and mass production with 3D printing.

We're also joined by Daniel Gross, a Partner at YC.

Oct 26, 2017
#41 - Experiments in Art and Technology with Artforum Editor Michelle Kuo

Michelle Kuo is Editor in Chief of Artforum.

Kat Mañalac is a Partner at YC.

Michelle came in to chat with us about art and technology and, in particular, a group called Experiments in Art and Technology.

Oct 18, 2017
#40 - Content Marketing Tips from Experts at First Round Capital and Andreessen Horowitz

Camille Ricketts is the Head of Content and Marketing at First Round Capital.

Sonal Chokshi is an Editorial Partner at Andreessen Horowitz.

Oct 13, 2017
#39 - Mr. Robot's Technical Producer and Writer - Kor Adana

Kor Adana is a writer and technical producer on Mr. Robot.

Mr. Robot season three premieres tonight.

Oct 11, 2017
#38 - The More You Communicate with Users, the Higher Chance You'll Build Something They Want - Ryan Hoover of Product Hunt

Ryan Hoover is the founder of Product Hunt.

Get a 10% discount on Ship pro plans by using this link.

Oct 04, 2017
#37 - Don't Start a Blog, Start a Cult - Mr. Money Mustache

Pete Adeney, more commonly known as Mr. Money Mustache, retired at 30 after working as a software engineer for about ten years.

He blogs at MrMoneyMustache.com about how he saved money, where he invested it, and how he achieved "financial freedom through badassity".

You can apply to the W18 batch of YC here - ycombinator.com/apply

Sep 27, 2017
#36 - Your Whole Goal Is to Not Quit - Courtland Allen of Indie Hackers

Courtland Allen is the founder of Indie Hackers, a place where the founders of profitable businesses and side projects can share their stories transparently, and where entrepreneurs can come to read and learn from those examples.

Check out the Indie Hackers podcast here.

Sep 22, 2017
#35 - The Technical Challenges of Measuring Gravitational Waves - Rana Adhikari of LIGO

Rana Adhikari is a Professor of Physics at Caltech and a member of the LIGO team, who were the first to measure gravitational waves.

Their detection papers are available here.

Sep 15, 2017
#34 - Elizabeth Iorns on Biotech Companies in YC

Elizabeth Iorns is cofounder and CEO of Science Exchange.

Here's info on the YC Fall Tour.

Apply to the Winter 2018 batch.

Sep 13, 2017
#33 - The Challenges a Repeat Founder Faces

Tikhon Bernstam cofounded Scribd (YC S06) and Parse (YC S11).

Read the transcript here.

Sep 08, 2017
#32 - Hosain Rahman on The "Defibrillator Experiences" of Jawbone

Hosain Rahman is the CEO and Founder of Jawbone. Jessica Livingston is a cofounder of YC.

Jessica interviewed Hosain during our 2014 Startup School and this is the recording of their conversation. If you'd like to check out our 2016 Startup School videos they're in a playlist here.

Sep 06, 2017
#31 - Spotting Ecommerce Trends in Shipping Data – Laura Behrens Wu

Laura Behrens Wu is the CEO and cofounder of Shippo.

Read the transcript here.

Sep 01, 2017
#30 - Artist Lauren McCarthy Will Be Your Home's Brain

Lauren McCarthy is an artist and assistant professor at UCLA.

Her latest project LAUREN, is a human intelligent smart home. Lauren will visit your home, deploy a series of smart devices, and watch over you remotely 24/7. Learn more here - http://get-lauren.com

Aug 29, 2017
#29 - Jack Dorsey On The Books That Helped Him Succeed

Jack Dorsey is the CEO of Twitter and Square. This is his talk from Startup School 2013.

Read the transcript here.

Aug 25, 2017
#28 - Prerequisites for Starting a Company - Phil Libin

Phil Libin is the cofounder and CEO of All Turtles. Prior to that he was the CEO of Evernote. This is his 2013 Startup School talk.

Watch the video here.

Read the transcript here.

Aug 23, 2017
#27 - The CEO Who Pays Employees to De-Locate From the Bay
Aug 18, 2017
#26 - Founders of Science Exchange, Goldbely, and The Flex Company Discuss Fundraising

During the Female Founders Conference Kat Manalac invited three YC founders on stage to share their experiences of fundraising. The founders are Elizabeth Iorns of Science Exchange, Vanessa Torrivilla of Goldbely, and Erica Jensen of The Flex Company.

Aug 16, 2017
#25 - Baidu's AI Lab Director on Advancing Speech Recognition and Simulation

Adam Coates is the Director of Baidu's Silicon Valley AI Lab.

Read the transcript here.

Aug 11, 2017
#24 - Padmasree Warrior on Designing Autonomous Vehicles - With Anu Hariharan at the Female Founders Conference

Padmasree Warrior is the CEO of NIO.

Anu Hariharan is a Partner at YC Continuity.

Aug 09, 2017
#23 - VMware Cofounder Diane Greene with Jessica Livingston at the Female Founders Conference

Diane Greene is SVP of Google Cloud and she was also the CEO and cofounder of VMware.

Jessica Livingston is cofounder of YC.

Aug 04, 2017
#22 - Morgan DeBaun on Reaching 20M Millennials - With Kat Manalac at the Female Founders Conference

Morgan DeBaun is the founder and CEO of Blavity.

Kat Manalac is a Partner at YC.

Aug 02, 2017
#21 - Emily Weiss on the Insights That Grew Glossier - With Amy Buechler at the Female Founders Conference

Emily Weiss is the founder and CEO of Glossier.

Amy Buechler is Batch Director at YC.

Video and transcript are on the YC blog.

Jul 26, 2017
#20 - Making Music and Art Through Machine Learning - Doug Eck of Magenta

Doug Eck is a research scientist at Google and he’s working on Magenta, a project making music and art through machine learning.

If you want to learn more you can check out Magenta.Tensorflow.org

Jul 21, 2017
#19 - Blockchain Investing - Olaf Carlson-Wee and Aaron Harris

Olaf Carlson-Wee is the founder and CEO of Polychain Capital.

Aaron Harris is a Partner at YC.

Jul 19, 2017
#18 - Q&A with YC Partners at the Female Founders Conference

This Q&A was recorded at our fourth annual Female Founders Conference.

Partners: Kat Manalac, Jessica Livingston, Adora Cheung, Anu Hariharan, Carolynn Levy, and Kirsty Nathoo.

Jul 14, 2017
#17 - Aileen Lee and Kirsty Nathoo at the Female Founders Conference

Aileen Lee is the founder of Cowboy Ventures.

Kirsty Nathoo is CFO and a Partner at Y Combinator.

Jul 12, 2017
#16 - Mark Zuckerberg on How to Build the Future

Mark Zuckerberg is the cofounder of Facebook.

Sam Altman is the president of YC Group and he interviewed Mark for a series called How To Build The Future, which you can watch on YC’s YouTube channel.

Jul 07, 2017
#15 - IPFS, CoinList, and the Filecoin ICO - Juan Benet and Dalton Caldwell

Juan Benet is the founder of Protocol Labs (YC S14). They're working on IPFS, Filecoin, and Coinlist.

Dalton Caldwell is a Partner at YC.

Jun 30, 2017
#14 - Ex Machina's Scientific Advisor - Murray Shanahan

Murray Shanahan was one of the scientific advisors on Ex Machina.

He's also a Research Scientist at DeepMind and professor of Cognitive Robotics at Imperial College London.

His book Embodiment and the Inner Life served as inspiration for Alex Garland while he was writing the screenplay for Ex Machina.

Jun 28, 2017
#13 - Scaling Growth - Gustaf Alstromer, Ed Baker, and Josh Elman

Gustaf Alstromer is a YC Partner and prior to YC he worked on growth at Airbnb.

Ed Baker worked on growth at Uber and Facebook.

Josh Elman is a partner at Greylock.

The conversation was recorded at The Scaleup Offsite, a private event hosted by Y Combinator Continuity and Greylock Partners in April 2017.

Jun 23, 2017
#12 - How Should Business Schools Prepare Students for Startups? - Jeff Bussgang and Michael Seibel

Jeff Bussgang is a lecturer at Harvard Business School and General Partner at Flybridge Capital Partners.

Michael Seibel is CEO of YC.

Jun 21, 2017
#11 - At The Intersection of AI, Governments, and Google - Tim Hwang

Tim Hwang is the Global Public Policy Lead on AI and Machine Learning for Google.

Read the transcript on our blog.

Jun 16, 2017
#10 - Office Hours with Ali Rowghani

Ali Rowghani is CEO of Y Combinator Continuity, where he invests in and advises growth-stage startups. Ali directly contributed to the growth of two great companies -- at Twitter, as CFO then COO, and at Pixar as CFO and SVP of Strategic Planning.

Read the transcript on our blog.

Jun 14, 2017
#9 - Sam Altman and Reid Hoffman - From Startup to Scaleup

Sam Altman and Reid Hoffman discuss the key changes founders should think about as they scale their company.

The conversation was recorded at The Scaleup Offsite, a private event hosted by Y Combinator Continuity and Greylock Partners in April 2017.

Jun 09, 2017
#8 - Rick and Morty Writer - Ryan Ridley

Ryan Ridley is a writer on Rick and Morty. Before that he was a writer on Community.

Read the transcript and show notes on the YC blog.

Jun 07, 2017
#7 - Jessica Livingston on How to Build the Future

Sam Altman interviews Jessica Livingston for a series called How To Build The Future, which you can watch on YC’s YouTube channel: https://youtube.com/ycombinator.


Read the transcript here: https://blog.ycombinator.com/jessica-livingston-on-htfbt/

May 31, 2017
#6 - Office Hours with Kat Manalac
Kat Manalac is a Partner at YC.

Read the transcript here - https://blog.ycombinator.com/office-hours-with-kat-manalac/
May 24, 2017
#5 - An AI Primer with Wojciech Zaremba

Wojciech Zaremba is a cofounder of OpenAI (https://openai.com).

OpenAI is a non-profit AI research company, focused on discovering and enacting the path to safe artificial general intelligence.

Read the transcript here (http://blog.ycombinator.com/an-ai-primer-with-wojciech-zaremba).

May 15, 2017
#4 - Elon Musk on How to Build the Future

Sam Altman interviews Elon Musk for a series called How To Build The Future, which you can watch on YC’s YouTube channel (https://youtube.com/ycombinator).

Read the transcript here (http://blog.ycombinator.com/elon-musk-on-how-to-build-the-future/).

May 15, 2017
#3 - The Technical Advisor for Silicon Valley on HBO - Ed McManus

Ed McManus was the technical advisor for season three of Silicon Valley on HBO.

He came in to talk about what his experience working on the show.

Read the transcript here (http://blog.ycombinator.com/the-technical-advisor-for-silicon-valley-on-hbo-ed-mcmanus).

May 15, 2017
#2 - Network Effects with Anu Hariharan

Anu Hariharan is a Partner at YC Continuity (https://www.ycombinator.com/continuity) which is an investment fund dedicated to supporting founders as they scale their companies.

Read the transcript here (http://blog.ycombinator.com/anu-hariharan-on-network-effects/).

May 15, 2017
#1 - Hiring Engineers with Ammon Bartram

Ammon Bartram is the cofounder of Triplebyte (YC S15) and Socialcam (YC W12).

Triplebyte (https://triplebyte.com) connects software engineers with companies that are hiring.

Read the transcript here (http://blog.ycombinator.com/hiring-engineers-with-ammon-bartram).

May 15, 2017