Startup school

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pages: 274 words: 75,846

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


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

execbios. 178 “come to Google because they choose to”: Greg Jarboe, “A ‘Fireside Chat’ with Google’s Sergey Brin,” Search Engine Watch, Oct. 16, 2003, accessed Dec. 16,2010, 178 “the future will be personalized”: Gord Hotckiss, “Just Behave: Google’s Marissa Mayer on Personalized Search,” Searchengineland, Feb. 23, 2007, accessed Dec. 16, 2010, 179 “It’s technology, not business or government”: David Kirpatrick, “With a Little Help from his Friends,” Vanity Fair (Oct. 2010), accessed Dec. 16, 2010, 179 “seventh kingdom of life”: Kevin Kelly, What Technology Wants (New York: Viking, 2010). 180 “shirt or fleece that I own”: Mark Zuckerberg, remarks to Startup School Conference, XConomy, Oct. 18, 2010, accessed Feb. 8, 2010, 181 “ ‘the rest of the world is wrong’ ”: David A. Wise and Mark Malseed, The Google Story (New York: Random House, 2005), 42. 182 “tradeoffs with success in other domains”: Jeffrey M. O’Brien, “The PayPal Mafia,” Fortune, Nov. 14, 2007, accessed Dec. 16, 2010, 183 sold to eBay for $1.5 billion: Troy Wolverton, “It’s official: eBay Weds PayPal,” CNET News, Oct. 3, 2002, accessed Dec. 16, 2010, 183 “impact and force change”: Peter Thie, “Education of a Libertarian,” Cato Unbound, Apr. 13, 2009, accessed Dec. 16, 2010, 183 “end the inevitability of death and taxes”: Chris Baker, “Live Free or Drown: Floating Utopias on the Cheap,” Wired, Jan. 19, 2009, accessed Dec. 16, 2010,

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

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

pages: 373 words: 112,822

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

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

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

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

“It was controversial to invest in the company,” says Alfred Lin, then the chief operating officer at the online shoe retailer Zappos. When Lin heard about the deal, he doubted Uber could ever work back at his home in Las Vegas. He had serious misgivings. “I just thought that founders who are passionate about the idea would run the company,” he says. But he ponied up anyway after trying out the service in San Francisco and deciding he’d rather not be left out. David Cohen, co-founder of the Colorado-based startup school Techstars, got a chance to invest only because of a geographic accident. Ryan Graves had to fly to Chicago that summer so he and Molly could ferry their possessions back across the country. On the drive to San Francisco, he made call after call, pitching UberCab so frequently that Molly could recite the spiel word for word. They happened to pass through Boulder, and Graves stopped to meet Cohen, who liked the pitch and ponied up $50,000.

pages: 290 words: 87,549

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

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

v=W608u6sBFpo. 13 (“until we got customers”): Ibid. 18 “travel related businesses”: Brian Chesky, “7 Rejections,” Medium, July 12, 2015, 19 Urban Land Institute: Brian Chesky and Connie Moore, “Impact of the Sharing Economy on Real Estate,” Urban Land Institute Fall Meeting, October 6, 2015, 20 losing their patient: Brian Chesky, “1000 days of AirBnB,” Startup School 2010, YouTube, uploaded February 12, 2013, 21 “have some please?”: “Obama O’s,” YouTube, uploaded January 12, 2012, 22 to launch Facebook: Lacy, “Fireside Chat.” 24 “‘I just ruined it,’” says Chesky: Ibid. 25 as Fortune called it: Leena Rao, “Meet Y Combinator’s New COO,” Fortune, August 26, 2015, 28 (log on to his account): Brian Chesky, “1000 days of AirBnB,” Startup School 2010, YouTube, uploaded February 12, 2013, Chapter 2: Building a Company 35 “How to Start a Startup”: Sam Altman, “How to Start a Startup,” lecture with Alfred Lin and Brian Chesky, video, accessed October 10, 2016, 36 (six new core values in 2013): The six core values put in place in 2013 were “Host,” “Champion the Mission,” “Every Frame Matters,” “Be a cereal entrepreneur,” “Simplify,” and “Embrace the Adventure.” 41 in the first half of 2016 alone: “Uber Loses at Least $1.2 Billion in First Half of 2016,” Bloomberg BusinessWeek, August 25, 2016, 45 a surge in bookings: Owen Thomas, “How a Caltech Ph.D.

Another host, a musician who was about to go on tour, asked if he could rent out his full apartment, but Chesky and Gebbia said no; if he wasn’t there, how could he provide breakfast? That musician was David Rozenblatt, who was the touring drummer for Barry Manilow, and he forever changed AirBed & Breakfast’s business: His request led the cofounders to see that their business could have much bigger potential. They eliminated the breakfast requirement and added the option to rent an entire residence. (Giving a talk at Y Combinator’s Startup School, Chesky later recalled Rozenblatt calling him while he was backstage, complaining to Chesky through muted chants of “Barr-y! Barr-y!” that he couldn’t log on to his account.) Graham had noted the limitations of the company’s early model, too, and somewhere around this time, he suggested they remove “airbed” from the name to broaden its market potential. They bought the domain Airbanb, but it looked too much like “AirBand,” so they chose “Airbnb” instead.

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

pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr


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

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

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

pages: 168 words: 50,647

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


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

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

pages: 216 words: 61,061

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


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

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

pages: 238 words: 73,824

Makers by Chris Anderson


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

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

pages: 294 words: 82,438

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


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

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

pages: 468 words: 233,091

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


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

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

That’s the most encouraging thing for an author—to feel that the book can be useful, at least in a small way, even to people who haven’t read it. About the Author Jessica Livingston is a founding partner at Y Combinator, a seed-stage venture firm based in Cambridge, MA, and Mountain View, CA. Previously she was vice president of marketing at investment bank Adams Harkness. In addition to her work with startups at Y Combinator, Livingston organizes Startup School ( She has a BA in English from Bucknell. xiii Acknowledgments I’d first like to thank my aunt, Ann Gregg, for her unfailing support and encouragement. She’s an extraordinarily perceptive reader and she provided a lot of advice that helped make this a better book. Thanks to the people I interviewed for sharing their stories and their time. One thing I noticed in the interviews that I didn’t mention in the Introduction is how much I liked the founders.

pages: 455 words: 133,322

The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick


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

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

pages: 387 words: 112,868

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


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

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

pages: 903 words: 235,753

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


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

Martin Lukacs, “Detroit's Water War: A Tap Shut-Off That Could Impact 300,000 People,” Guardian, June 25, 2014, 31.  See,, and 32.  Balaji Srinivasa, “Silicon Valley's Ultimate Exit,” speech at the Y Combinator Startup School, De Anza College, Cupertino, CA, October 25, 2013, “Peacefully start an international (1) company, (2) community, (3) currency, (4) country. We are now at step 3.” (@balajis, January 3, 2014. 33.  Albert O. Hirschman, Exit, Voice, and Loyalty; Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1970). 34.