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Slide from the Paul Buchheit presentation. Paul is the founder of FriendFeed and the Creator of GMail.

 

Photo taken at Startup School 2008.

Here's my images from Y Combinator's Startup School, held October 29, 2011 at Stanford University. Learn more about this great event at startupschool.org/ Video recordings will be up soon.

 

Here's my images from Y Combinator's Startup School, held October 29, 2011 at Stanford University. Learn more about this great event at startupschool.org/ Video recordings will be up soon.

JL on Female Founders

 

"... By nature, startups are very non-discriminatory ..."

 

I don't know about that, maybe in a homogeneous ideal Startup.

 

Startups by nature tend to be a blended team soup of testosterone, technology and immaturity. Of the three I don't know which is worse. Testosterone is vital because it gives drive and competition. But has the downside of cruelty and bullying. Technology circles also tend to attract a certain cloistered male culture (online or in meat-space). Hostile to difference and eager to argue. The nastiness occurs in arguments over technology is in part due to the makeup of Startup founders, Homo logicus. There is a Coding Horror article discussing Coopers observations if you are interested ~ www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000091.html The last of the Startup ingredients is "immaturity". There's a reason the term "grown-up" is bandied jokingly around Startup-up culture. It has less to do with "Age" and more to do with understanding how the "real world" works and how to deal with it. Put the founder team under enough stresses, let them get tired (because they are working hard) and put before them a decision that has to be made, now! Now place any male founder in this environment and tell me if "discrimination" of some sort will not happen. Let alone a female.

 

It's no co-incidence that a question in the application asks how long the founders have know and presumably worked together. Because this is a sort of heuristic of future success. It's interesting that Mitch Kapor discussed the issue of poor behaviour in Startups (but not specifically with founders). Behaviour that would never be tolerated in big business at StartupSchool '07 ~ feeds.feedburner.com/~r/Ycombinator-StartupSchool/~3/... [ approx 20Mb] Kapor was most proud of the culture created where good behaviour resulted in a non-discriminatory workplace. It must be easier to do this when you build a 1000 employee company and have a Business background and wide experience.

 

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#startupschool 2012 was a great event.

A closeup of the bipedal robot's legs as it hangs from the 80/20 gallows.

Someone riding Trevor's homebrew self-balancing unicycle.

 

I did try out his homebrew Segway, which lacks almost all the safety features of an actual Segway. Pretty crazy.

These are pictures from YCombinator's Startup School, held today at Stanford University. Tons of great speakers and entrepreneurs.

Snapped on a walk at lunch.

Here's my images from Y Combinator's Startup School, held October 29, 2011 at Stanford University. Learn more about this great event at startupschool.org/ Video recordings will be up soon.

These are pictures from YCombinator's Startup School, held today at Stanford University. Tons of great speakers and entrepreneurs.

These are pictures from YCombinator's Startup School, held today at Stanford University. Tons of great speakers and entrepreneurs.

On the way to the party, Dan turned to me and said "You know, Paul said he would extend the deadline for SFP applications to tonight. We should pitch him something..." Which sounded like the sort of thing that is just so crazy it might work--of course the pitch that would get funded would be the one you come up with in the 10 minute drive to a VC's party. My old company, Neodesic, did all the work for a six month NASA contract on natural language interfaces for robots on the flight down to Johnson Space Center to deliver the final software, so I'm used to this sort of thing.

 

Later I mentioned to Paul that I hoped I would get to see someone pitch him right there, and see him reject or fund them in realtime. He said "Oh god I hope not, I'm exhausted," and thus jjw's and dnm's startup dreams ended. For now.

  

Boston, October 2005

 

Taken as I was exiting John Harvard's (restaurant) with a group of startup schoolers.

Slide from the David Heinemeier Hansson presentation. David is the Creator of Ruby on Rails and Partner at 37Signals.

 

Photo taken at Startup School 2008.

Ask YC: Can a startup entrepreneur not be a coder?

 

"... Can a startup entrepreneur not be a coder? ..."

 

Yes. Mitch Kapor was underestimated and you can use this to your advantage. He was seen as a novice non-tech in his Startup, recognised this & profited from it. Read about Mitch Kapor ~ www.kapor.com/bio/ and I've written more about this here: www.flickr.com/photos/bootload/2296168310/

 

Some time later a response ...

 

"... How is Kapor a non-coder? He was writing software throughout all of his early endeavors. He didn't outsource development of Visiplot and Visitrend. ..."

 

In hindsight you are making a similiar mistake the professional programmers at Software Arts did. Kapor didn't train as an engineer. He didn't have the pedigree of working with technology, startups. He had a great number of non-technical attributes that I think non-coders should utilise and exploit

 

- insight into people

 

- ideas of what is wrong with things & the solution

 

- business nous & how to extract money from buyers

 

- empathy for people & staff

 

- the determination to move good ideas forward

 

When I infer he wasn't a coder it was through research, not mere assertion. [0], [1], [2]

 

"... I'm having a hard time imagining how Kapor could possibly be considered a non-technical/non-coding founder. He may not have gone to school for it...but most of us didn't learn to hack in school (if you didn't know how to hack until you got to school you obviously don't love computers enough to be a hacker). ...

 

Once again. If you check his bio [3], track record (consider Chandler) [4] he is anything but the stereotypical hacker. He was not a coder who eats, breathes algorythms for breakfast. [5] It doesn't mean he didn't understand technology. He did some CompSci as part of his multi-disciplinary undergraduate degree. What made/makes Kapor good in my view was an amalgam of non-technical characteristics that make him a great entrepreneur to study and emulate.

 

"... So, sure Kapor hired additional developers, and his genius probably lies more in his dealings with other people than computers, but he was clearly a hacker from very early on, and one certainly can't hold him up as an example of an entrepreneur without any technical ability. ..."

 

I'm not trying to say he has no technical ability. I'm saying that in this case an Entrepreneur succeeded in spite of what is considered by many to be the prime requirement of Entrepreneurship. The current mantra is, "if you are non-technical, give up". If anything, Kapors success came more from his insight into human psychology and business nous than the mere sheer technical ability to code.

 

Reference

 

[0] Jessica Livingston. Founders At Work, "Stories of Startups Early Days", Ch6, Mitchell Kapor, pp90 - 102.

  

[1] Mitch Kapor, Bio: Though I found he did some Computer Science as part of a multi-disciplinary degree. To me this is the interesting bit because he obviously knew just enough about computers and a lot about other related areas. By not knowing enough CompSci did this allow a broader view of what improvements could be made.

 

www.kapor.com/bio/

 

[2] Startup School 2007, Mitch Kapor talks to hackers about what makes good startups.

 

feeds.feedburner.com/~r/Ycombinator-StartupSchool/~3/1065...

  

[3] Mitch Kapor, Bio et., al.

 

[4] Dreaming in code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software, Scott Rossenburg, "An embedded writer who dissects the failure of an ambitious software product, Chandler"

 

www.dreamingincode.com/

 

[5] Brad Templeton, Brad Ideas: I remember IBM, "... VisiPlot did graphs and charts, and a module in it (VisiTrend) did statistical analysis. Mitch had since left, and was on his way to founding Lotus. Mitch had written VisiPlot in Apple ][ Basic, and he won’t mind if I say it wasn’t a masterwork of code readability, and indeed I never gave it more than a glance. Personal Software, soon to be renamed VisiCorp, asked me to write VisiPlot from scratch, in C, for an un-named soon to be released computer ..."

 

ideas.4brad.com/node/444

   

It's Easter and time to dig out "Life of Brian". The shot above is of the "late, great Graham Chapman' of Monty Python fame from the "Life of Brian" book I picked up in the early 80's.

 

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Joshua Schachter's mesmerizing sneakers

My only picture from the day of startup school, and it's from the lunch break.

 

This girl in the burger shop had a t-shirt in Y Combinator orange, and it said, as you can see, "pg" on the front. I went up to her and said "Nice shirt!" and she said "Thanks. But do you have any idea why everyone here keeps staring at it?"

 

Turns out "pg" stands for Parting Gift, which is her friend's band and has nothing to do with Paul Graham at all. Poor girl.

 

Here's my images from Y Combinator's Startup School, held October 29, 2011 at Stanford University. Learn more about this great event at startupschool.org/ Video recordings will be up soon.

Slide from the David Heinemeier Hansson presentation. David is the Creator of Ruby on Rails and Partner at 37Signals.

 

Photo taken at Startup School 2008.

Here's my images from Y Combinator's Startup School, held October 29, 2011 at Stanford University. Learn more about this great event at startupschool.org/ Video recordings will be up soon.

Here's my images from Y Combinator's Startup School, held October 29, 2011 at Stanford University. Learn more about this great event at startupschool.org/ Video recordings will be up soon.

Here's my images from Y Combinator's Startup School, held October 29, 2011 at Stanford University. Learn more about this great event at startupschool.org/ Video recordings will be up soon.

 

Here's my images from Y Combinator's Startup School, held October 29, 2011 at Stanford University. Learn more about this great event at startupschool.org/ Video recordings will be up soon.

Here's my images from Y Combinator's Startup School, held October 29, 2011 at Stanford University. Learn more about this great event at startupschool.org/ Video recordings will be up soon.

Here's my images from Y Combinator's Startup School, held October 29, 2011 at Stanford University. Learn more about this great event at startupschool.org/ Video recordings will be up soon.

 

Here's my images from Y Combinator's Startup School, held October 29, 2011 at Stanford University. Learn more about this great event at startupschool.org/ Video recordings will be up soon.

  

Here's my images from Y Combinator's Startup School, held October 29, 2011 at Stanford University. Learn more about this great event at startupschool.org/ Video recordings will be up soon.

Here's my images from Y Combinator's Startup School, held October 29, 2011 at Stanford University. Learn more about this great event at startupschool.org/ Video recordings will be up soon.

Mark Pincus, founder of Zynga, is interviewed by Y Combinator's Jessica Livingston.

 

Here's my images from Y Combinator's Startup School, held October 29, 2011 at Stanford University. Learn more about this great event at startupschool.org/ Video recordings will be up soon.

These are pictures from YCombinator's Startup School, held today at Stanford University. Tons of great speakers and entrepreneurs.

Here's my images from Y Combinator's Startup School, held October 29, 2011 at Stanford University. Learn more about this great event at startupschool.org/ Video recordings will be up soon.

 

Here's my images from Y Combinator's Startup School, held October 29, 2011 at Stanford University. Learn more about this great event at startupschool.org/ Video recordings will be up soon.

Lunch at Startup School.

  

Here's my images from Y Combinator's Startup School, held October 29, 2011 at Stanford University. Learn more about this great event at startupschool.org/ Video recordings will be up soon.

 

Here's my images from Y Combinator's Startup School, held October 29, 2011 at Stanford University. Learn more about this great event at startupschool.org/ Video recordings will be up soon.

These are pictures from YCombinator's Startup School, held today at Stanford University. Tons of great speakers and entrepreneurs.

The thing on the right is a bipedal robot with a support truss to keep it from falling over, and I assume with sensors to help analyze its gait. It mostly stood completely motionless, but every once in a while it would suddenly start thrashing, kicking its legs, swaying on the end of the thick lanyard attached to the truss from which it hung. Pretty unsettling, like being in a weird Disneyland with hourly animatronic lynchings.

 

The offices for Trevor Blackwell's Anybots company are attached to Y Combinator. Here Trevor works on his homebrew segway-like bot, adjusting the settings on the mobile DIY Krell mind amplification device that makes it possible for Paul Graham to write a new essay almost anywhere.

These are pictures from YCombinator's Startup School, held today at Stanford University. Tons of great speakers and entrepreneurs.

A shot from the secret Y Combinator art gallery (hidden behind the bookshelf filled with fake industrial supply catalogs).

Here's my images from Y Combinator's Startup School, held October 29, 2011 at Stanford University. Learn more about this great event at startupschool.org/ Video recordings will be up soon.

 

Here's my images from Y Combinator's Startup School, held October 29, 2011 at Stanford University. Learn more about this great event at startupschool.org/ Video recordings will be up soon.

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