300+ Resources From the Y Combinator Library for Startups

Resource Name Author Description Link to the resource/guide/blog
YC’s Essential Startup Advice Geoff Ralston, Michael Seibel We’ve collected here what we at YC consider the most important, most transformative advice for startups. Whether common sense or counter-intuitive, the guidance below will help most startups find their path to success. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4D-yc-s-essential-startup-advice
How to Succeed With a Startup (SUS 2018) Sam Altman Sam Altman, former President of Y Combinator, shares his thoughts on how you can succeed with a startup. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/89-how-to-succeed-with-a-startup-sus-2018
Elon Musk on How to Build the Future Elon Musk Elon Musk discusses what high value ideas people should work on today and what’s important for future of the humanity, including artificial intelligence and genetics. And how to achieve them. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6W-elon-musk-on-how-to-build-the-future
A Guide to Seed Fundraising Geoff Ralston The most comprehensive guide on why, when and how to raise money for your startup. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4A-a-guide-to-seed-fundraising
Fundraising Templates: Safe Financing Documents Carolynn Levy Y Combinator’s open-source simple agreement for future equity. Four versions of the safe (simple agreement for future equity) plus an optional side letter. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6z-fundraising-templates-safe-financing-documents
How to Build Your Seed Round Pitch Deck Aaron Harris Y Combinator has helped thousands of founders create pitch decks for their seed round fundraising. Here is the YC Seed Deck Template that works. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/2u-how-to-build-your-seed-round-pitch-deck
Mark Zuckerberg on Building a Startup Mark Zuckerberg Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder & CEO of Facebook, discusses his journey as a founder, including his first idea of a course directory to the hardest decisions he’s had to make and more. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5s-mark-zuckerberg-on-building-a-startup
How to Set Up, Hire and Scale a Growth Strategy and Team Anu Hariharan What does a growth team do and why should we set up a growth team? Growth experts on when to invest in growth, what the right growth KPIs are, how to manage growth, building a growth team how to get everyone in the company to care about growth. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/59-how-to-set-up-hire-and-scale-a-growth-strategy-and-team
Series A Guide Aaron Harris, Janelle Tam YC’s Series A team put together a guide on advice for raising a Series A round. They cover tactical strategy, preparation, investment materials, process, and closing. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/14-series-a-guide
Three Paths in the Tech Industry: Founder, Executive, or Employee Michael Seibel When thinking about tech as a career, there are three paths. There are pros/cons and useful strategies for each role. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4h-three-paths-in-the-tech-industry-founder-executive-or-employee
Biggest Mistakes First-Time Founders Make Michael Seibel Y Combinator CEO and Partner Michael Seibel on the biggest mistakes he sees first-time founders make, including not working on the right problems, communication with co-founders, not launching and more. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/66-biggest-mistakes-first-time-founders-make
How to Split Equity Among Co-Founders Michael Seibel Founders often make mistakes when figuring out equity for each co-founder. Equity should be split equally because all the work is ahead of you. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5x-how-to-split-equity-among-co-founders
A Minimum Viable Product Is Not a Product, It’s a Process Jim Brikman An MVP is a process that you repeat over and over again: Identify your riskiest assumption, find the smallest possible experiment to test that assumption, and use the results of the experiment to course correct. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4Q-a-minimum-viable-product-is-not-a-product-it-s-a-process
Building Product (SUS 2018) Michael Seibel YC Partner Michael Seibel outlines how successful startups think about building something people want. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7s-building-product-sus-2018
How to Evaluate Startup Ideas Kevin Hale YC Partner Kevin Hale walks us through the process of evaluating ideas and how founders should think about their startups. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6e-how-to-evaluate-startup-ideas
How to Design a Better Pitch Deck Kevin Hale Investors invest in teams not slides. Your slides should make your ideas more clear. Here are some design principles to follow when creating your pitch deck and story. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4T-how-to-design-a-better-pitch-deck
How to Find Product-Market Fit (SUS 2018) David Rusenko David Rusenko, Co-founder of Weebly (YC W07), details the story of how Weebly developed one of the most popular website creation and hosting sites on the web today. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7V-how-to-find-product-market-fit-sus-2018
What’s Different About Unicorns? Jessica Livingston Jessica Livingston gives a talk on how to be not just successful, but massively successful, and points to women-founded billion dollar companies as the next focus. Originally from Female Founders Conference 2017. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/8L-what-s-different-about-unicorns
How to Plan an MVP Michael Seibel YC CEO and Partner Michael Seibel shares his approach to building an MVP and getting your first users as a pre-launch startup. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6f-how-to-plan-an-mvp
How to Build the Future Sam Altman Sam Altman gives advice to young people onhow to pick something important to work on, who do you work with, and what are the ways to accomplish big things. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6G-how-to-build-the-future
A Conversation With Paul Graham (SUS 2018) Paul Graham and Geoff Ralston YC President Geoff Ralston interviews YC Founder Paul Graham. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/85-a-conversation-with-paul-graham-sus-2018
How to Talk to Users Eric Migicovsky YC Partner Eric Migicovsky shares a framework for asking questions and collecting feedback from your users. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6g-how-to-talk-to-users
How to Win (SUS 2018) Daniel Gross Daniel Gross, former YC Partner and Co-founder of Cue (YC W10), shares his wisdom on how to survive and thrive as a startup founder. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7U-how-to-win-sus-2018
How to Apply and Succeed at Y Combinator Dalton Caldwell YC Partner Dalton Caldwell gives insight into how YC admissions works and what makes for a successful YC experience. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6t-how-to-apply-and-succeed-at-y-combinator
COVID-19 Tips for Startups Eric Migicovsky, Jared Friedman YC Partners Eric Migicovsky and Jared Friedman discuss strategies for navigating COVID as an early stage startup. Questions from their discussion came from the Startup School forum. For more information about Startup School, visit https://www.startupschool.org https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6w-covid-19-tips-for-startups
How to Pitch Your Startup Kevin Hale In this lecture, YC Partner Kevin Hale goes over how to package up your idea and communicate it to an investor. He shares his tips on how to craft your pitch in a clear and concise way that effectively grabs your audience’s attention. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6q-how-to-pitch-your-startup
How to Launch (Again and Again) Kat Manalac YC Partner Kat Manalac presents on how startups should think about launching and why you should do it repeatedly. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6i-how-to-launch-again-and-again
How to Prioritize Your Time Adora Cheung YC Partner Adora Cheung shares her framework for how founders can efficiently make use of their time. She covers ways to identify and prioritize tasks, in addition to how you can measure their impact on your company. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6o-how-to-prioritize-your-time
All About Pivoting Dalton Caldwell YC Partner and Head of Admissions Dalton Caldwell gives us the rundown on pivoting and shares his advice on how founders should think about it for their startups. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6p-all-about-pivoting
Growth for Startups Gustaf Alströmer YC Partner and growth expert Gustaf Alstromer talks about how to measure product market fit, how to decide on a growth channel, metrics that lie about PMF and other mechanics of growth for startups. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6k-growth-for-startups
How to Set KPIs and Goals (SUS 2019) Adora Cheung YC Partner Adora Cheung covers the importance of defining and tracking KPIs to understand how effectively your startup is reaching its goals. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6j-how-to-set-kpis-and-goals-sus-2019
How to Work Together Kevin Hale YC Partner Kevin Hale talks about the importance of building a successful working relationship with your cofounders, and setting up processes to optimize for the strengths of your team. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6n-how-to-work-together
Startup School 2019 by the Numbers (SUS 2019) Kevin Hale and Adora Cheung YC Partners Kevin Hale and Adora Cheung reflect on Startup School 2019 and share some of our learnings from this year’s program. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/8K-startup-school-2019-by-the-numbers-sus-2019
How Investors Measure Startups Q&A (SUS 2019) Anu Hariharan, Adora Cheung YC Partners Anu Hariharan and Adora Cheung answer questions from Startup School founders on how investors measure startups. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/8J-how-investors-measure-startups-q-a-sus-2019
Managing Startup Finances (SUS 2019) Kirsty Nathoo YC Partner and CFO Kirsty Nathoo shares the most common mistakes startups make with their finances and how they can prevent them. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/8I-managing-startup-finances-sus-2019
Analytics for Startups (SUS 2019) Ilya Volodarsky Ilya Volodarsky, Co-founder of Segment, presents his tactics for setting up analytics to build your MVP and measure your metrics. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/8H-analytics-for-startups-sus-2019
Advice for Hard-Tech and Biotech Founders (SUS 2019) Jared Friedman YC Partner Jared Friedman covers hard tech companies and why founders should consider starting one. He also covers a couple of the most common problems hard tech companies face and how to solve them, with examples from seven YC companies. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/8G-advice-for-hard-tech-and-biotech-founders-sus-2019
Modern Startup Funding (SUS 2019) Carolynn Levy YC Partner and GC Carolynn Levy detail the basics of startup financing and how modern early stage rounds of financing are done using convertible securities, like the SAFE. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/8F-modern-startup-funding-sus-2019
Nine Business Models and the Metrics Investors Want (SUS 2019) Anu Hariharan YC Continuity Partner Anu Hariharan breaks down the metrics we look for when we’re evaluating a startup’s business model and common mistakes to avoid when measuring them. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/8E-nine-business-models-and-the-metrics-investors-want-sus-2019
Live Office Hours (SUS 2017) I Yuri Sagalov, Sam Altman Former YC Partner Sam Altman and Yuri Sagalov, CEO of Amium, hold Live Office Hours with three startups. They’ll discuss their ideas and their thought processes around building their companies. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/8D-live-office-hours-sus-2017-i
How to Measure Your Product (SUS 2018) Suhail Doshi Suhail Doshi, founder of Mixpanel (YC S09) and an expert on measurement, details how startups should think about discovering the important facts about how their product is used. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/8C-how-to-measure-your-product-sus-2018
How to Get Ideas (SUS 2017) Stewart Butterfield Stewart Butterfield, Co-founder and CEO of Slack, and Adam D’Angelo, Co-founder and CEO of Quora, explore the process of getting an idea, followed by tracking metrics for your company. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/8B-how-to-get-ideas-sus-2017
The Why and How of Angel Investing (IS 2018) Sam Altman Former YC Partner Sam Altman talks about why to invest in startups. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/8A-the-why-and-how-of-angel-investing-is-2018
Ron Conway on Angel Investing Ron Conway Ron Conway discusses what it means to be a good startup investor with YC’s Geoff Ralston. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/88-ron-conway-on-angel-investing
Qi Lu Discusses AI Qi Lu Qi Lu, COO of Baidu, and former YC Partner Daniel Gross discuss AI trends in China vs the US. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/87-qi-lu-discusses-ai
How to Find Product Market Fit (SUS 2017) Peter Reinhardt Peter Reinhardt, Co-founder and CEO of Segment (YC S11), shares his experience on finding product-market fit. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/86-how-to-find-product-market-fit-sus-2017
SUS 2013 Paul Graham Office Hours at Startup School 2013 with YC partners Paul Graham and Sam Altman https://www.ycombinator.com/library/84-sus-2013
Pitch Practice at Startup School SV 2016 Paul Buchheit, Sam Altman YC Partner and the creator of Gmail, Paul Buchheit, and former YC partner Sam Altman work with companies on their pitches. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/83-pitch-practice-at-startup-school-sv-2016
The Path to $100B (SUS 2018) Paul Buchheit, Geoff Ralston YC Partner and the creator of Gmail, Paul Buchheit, in conversation with YC’s Geoff Ralston, describes how he thinks about companies that manage to scale to the ultimate level. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/82-the-path-to-100b-sus-2018
Everything I Know About Picking Startups (IS 2018) Paul Buchheit Paul Buchheit speaks about how to pick startups for your investment portfolio. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/81-everything-i-know-about-picking-startups-is-2018
Running Your Startup (SUS 2018) Patrick Collison, Adora Cheung YC Partner Adora Cheung, along with Patrick Collison, the Co-founder of well known YC alumnus Stripe (YC S09), discuss how to most effectively run a startup company towards success. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/80-running-your-startup-sus-2018
A Conversation With Gobble Founder Ooshma Garg (SUS 2018) Ooshma Garg, Adora Cheung YC Partner Adora Cheung talks to Ooshma Garg, Founder of Gobble, about how the business evolved and how to be a successful founder. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7z-a-conversation-with-gobble-founder-ooshma-garg-sus-2018
How to Build a Product I (SUS 2017) Michael Seibel, Emmett Shear, Steve Huffman Michael Seibel, Partner at Y Combinator, interviews reddit Co-founder Steve Huffman and Twitch Co-founder Emmett Shear on how they built their products. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7y-how-to-build-a-product-i-sus-2017
How to Get and Test Ideas Michael Seibel Y Combinator Partner Michael Seibel on getting and testing startup ideas. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7x-how-to-get-and-test-ideas
Y Combinator’s Michael Seibel on Angel Investing Michael Seibel Michael Seibel, Partner at Y Combinator, speaks about angel investing. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7w-y-combinator-s-michael-seibel-on-angel-investing
Should I Use a Dev Shop? Michael Seibel Y Combinator Partner Michael Seibel on using development shops to build your startup. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7v-should-i-use-a-dev-shop
How Pitching Investors Is Different Than Pitching Customers Michael Seibel Y Combinator Partner Michael Seibel on pitching customers vs pitching investors. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7u-how-pitching-investors-is-different-than-pitching-customers
The Biggest Mistakes First-Time Founders Make Michael Seibel Y Combinator Partner Michael Seibel on the biggest mistakes first-time founders make. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7t-the-biggest-mistakes-first-time-founders-make
How Much Equity to Give Your Co-Founders? Michael Seibel Y Combinator Partner Michael Seibel on splitting equity between co-founders. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7r-how-much-equity-to-give-your-co-founders
After Pmf: People, Customers, Sales (SUS 2018) Mathilde Collin, Geoff Ralston Mathilde Collin, founder of YC alumnus Front, describes what she learned as she scaled Front to 1000s of paying customers. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7q-after-pmf-people-customers-sales-sus-2018
Investing Fundamentals (IS 2018) Kirsty Nathoo, Carolynn Levy YC Partners Carolynn Levy and Kirsy Nathoo discuss the fundamentals of investing. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7p-investing-fundamentals-is-2018
Startup Mechanics (SUS 2017) Kirsty Nathoo Kirsty Nathoo is a Partner and the CFO at Y Combinator. She has worked with thousands of companies through all stages of their life; from incorporation to hiring to fundraising. In this lecture, Kirsty will talk about Startup Mechanics. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7o-startup-mechanics-sus-2017
Live Office Hours (SUS 2017) III Kevin Hale, Dalton Caldwell Kevin Hale, Partner at Y Combinator, and Dalton Caldwell, Director of Admissions and Partner at Y Combinator, hold office hours with three startups: HubHaus, Lambda Intelligence, and Commaful. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7n-live-office-hours-sus-2017-iii
How Investors Think About Ideas Kevin Hale YC Partner Kevin Hale on how to know if your idea is interesting to investors and how they think about ideas. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7m-how-investors-think-about-ideas
PR and Content for Growth (SUS 2018) Kat Manalac, Craig Cannon YC Partner Kat Manalac and former Director of Marketing Craig Cannon describe the most effective ways to use PR and content to help your companies find more users. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7l-pr-and-content-for-growth-sus-2018
Diversity & Inclusion at Early Stage Startups (SUS 2017) Kat Manalac Kat Manalac, Partner and Director of Outreach at YC, hosts a panel with Makinde Adeagbo (dev/color), Cat Perez (HealthSherpa), Jennifer Kim (Lever), Ashu Desai (Make School), Mitchell Lee (Penny) and Cristina Cordova (Stripe) to discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workforce for early stage companies. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7k-diversity-inclusion-at-early-stage-startups-sus-2017
How to Find a Co-Founder Kat Manalac YC Partner Kat Manalac on how to find a co-founder, where co-founders from top YC companies met, what YC looks for in co-founding teams, how to split equity with a co-founder, and whether you need a cofounder at all. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7j-how-to-find-a-co-founder
How to Raise Money (SUS 2017) Jess Less, Aaron Harris Jess Lee (Partner at Sequoia Capital) and Aaron Harris (Partner at YC) discuss raising money as an early stage company, and how to think about the fundraising process. Ali Rowghani (CEO of YC Continuity, previously CFO, COO @ Twitter, CFO @ Pixar) shares his thoughts on how to be a great leader and succeed long-term. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7i-how-to-raise-money-sus-2017
A Conversation With Werner Vogels (SUS 2018) Werner Vogels, Kyle Corbitt Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon, joins YC Software Engineer Kyle Corbitt to share his experience and insights on technology and startups. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7h-a-conversation-with-werner-vogels-sus-2018
How to Build and Manage Teams (SUS 2017) Vinod Khosla, Anu Hariharan Anu Hariharan, Partner at YC Continuity, sits down with Vinod Khosla, Founder of Khosla Ventures and previously the founding CEO and Co-Founder of Sun Microsystems, to talk about belief systems around hiring, and how to manage your company’s growth internally. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7g-how-to-build-and-manage-teams-sus-2017
How to Sell (SUS 2018) Tyler Bosmeny Tyler Bosmeny, CEO and Co-founder of Clever (YC S12) shares his expertise on how an early stage company should think about sales and about building an enterprise sales team. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7f-how-to-sell-sus-2018
How and Why to Start a Startup (SUS 2017) Sam Altman, Dustin Moskowitz Sam Altman, former YC partner, and Dustin Moskovitz, Co-founder of Facebook and Asana, discuss why to start a startup. Sam introduces the 4 key components of starting a startup: Idea, Product, Team and Execution. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7e-how-and-why-to-start-a-startup-sus-2017
How to Think About PR (SUS 2017) Sharon Pope Sharon Pope, Head of Programs and Marketing at YC Continuity, walks through how to think about PR and the best practices for working with the press. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7d-how-to-think-about-pr-sus-2017
How to Build a Product III (SUS 2017) Jason Lemkin, Solomon Hykes, Tracy Young, Harry Zhang Jason Lemkin of SaaStr sits down with Solomon Hykes, CEO and Co-founder of Docker, Tracy Young, CEO and Co-founder of Plangrid, and Harry Zhang, Co-founder of Lob, to discuss their experience building products. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7c-how-to-build-a-product-iii-sus-2017
Scaling Culture Jason Kilar Jason Kilar is the former CEO of Hulu and Vessel, and an early executive at Amazon. He joined us at The Scaleup Offsite to talk about establishing and scaling a company’s culture. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7b-scaling-culture
How to Build a Product IV (SUS 2017) Jan Koum Jan Koum, Co-founder of WhatsApp, shares his journey building his company. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7a-how-to-build-a-product-iv-sus-2017
Angel Investing Advice Part II (IS 2018) Jeff Clavier, Andrea Zurek Jeff Clavier and Andrea Zurek give angel investing advice. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7Z-angel-investing-advice-part-ii-is-2018
Angel Investing Advice Part I (IS 2018) Elad Gil, Pejman Nozad Investors Elad Gil and Pejman Nozad give angel investing advice. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7Y-angel-investing-advice-part-i-is-2018
A Conversation With Elad Gil (SUS 2018) Elad Gil, Geoff Ralston Serial entrepreneur and angel investor Elad Gil sits down with YC Partner Geoff Ralston to discuss fundraising for startups. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7X-a-conversation-with-elad-gil-sus-2018
New Sales Models David Sacks David Sacks, Co-founder and CEO of Yammer, speaks about sales models and advice on selling your product. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7W-new-sales-models
Advice for Biotech Founders (SUS 2018) Elizabeth Iorns YC Partner Adora Cheung talks to Science Exchange Co-Founder and CEO Elizabeth Iorns about her experience as a biotech startup founder. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7T-advice-for-biotech-founders-sus-2018
Quantum Computing Chad Rigetti Chad Rigetti, founder of Rigetti Quantum Computing (YC S14), talks about quantum computing and Rigetti’s founding story. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7S-quantum-computing
Startup Legal Mechanics (SUS 2018) Carolynn Levy YC Partners Carolynn Levy, Jon Levy, and YC General Counsel Jason Kwon discuss legal mechanics for startups, in addition to common mistakes and problems. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7R-startup-legal-mechanics-sus-2018
Startup Technology – Technical Founder Advice (SUS 2018) Jared Friedman, Lillian Chou, Diana Hu, Calvin French-Owen and Ralph Gootee YC Partner Jared Friedman joins founders Lillian Chou (COO, Second Measure), Diana Hu (CTO, Escher Reality), Calvin French-Owen (CTO, Segment) and Ralph Gootee (CTO, PlanGrid), to talk about what can go right and wrong building technology. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7Q-startup-technology-technical-founder-advice-sus-2018
Does YC Fund Solo Founders? Jared Friedman Y Combinator Partner Jared Friedman answers the question: Does YC fund solo founders? https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7P-does-yc-fund-solo-founders
When Is the Right Time to Apply to Y Combinator? Jared Friedman Y Combinator Partner and Scribd Co-founder Jared Friedman answers the question: when is the right time to apply to Y Combinator? https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7O-when-is-the-right-time-to-apply-to-y-combinator
Building an Engineering Team (SUS 2018) Harj Taggar, Ammon Bartram YC Partner and Co-founder of Triplebyte (YC S15) Harj Taggar, along with Co-founder Ammon Bartram, discuss a topic startups often struggle with most: finding and hiring the key engineers who will build your product. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7N-building-an-engineering-team-sus-2018
Most Startups Are Undercharging Dalton Caldwell Dalton Caldwell, Y Combinator partner and founder of imeem and Mixed Media Labs, on pricing and how most startups undercharge. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7M-most-startups-are-undercharging
How to Create Luck Dalton Caldwell YC Partner Dalton Caldwell on how to create luck. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7L-how-to-create-luck
How to Get Users and Grow (SUS 2018) Gustaf Alströmer YC Partner Gustaf Alströmer, who was previously a growth expert at Airbnb, describes strategies for scaling your user base. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7K-how-to-get-users-and-grow-sus-2018
Laying the Foundation for Sustainable Growth Gustaf Alströmer YC Partner Gustaf Alströmer discusses laying the foundation for sustainable growth for startups. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7J-laying-the-foundation-for-sustainable-growth
Fundraising Fundamentals (SUS 2018) Geoff Ralston YC Partner Geoff Ralston gives an introduction to the key concepts to keep in mind once you enter a fundraising process. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7I-fundraising-fundamentals-sus-2018
Design for Startups, Part 2 (SUS 2018) Garry Tan Former YC Partner Garry Tan, the Co-founder of Initialized Capital and a design expert describes how to effectively integrate design into a product development process. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7H-design-for-startups-part-2-sus-2018
Design for Startups, Part 1 (SUS 2018) Garry Tan Former YC Partner Garry Tan, the Co-founder of Initialized Capital and a design expert describes how to effectively integrate design into a product development process. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7G-design-for-startups-part-1-sus-2018
A Conversation on Hard Tech (SUS 2018) Eric Migicovsky, Adora Cheung YC Partner Adora Cheung talks to Pebble Founder and YC Partner Eric Migicovsky about building a hardware company. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7F-a-conversation-on-hard-tech-sus-2018
Startup Advisor Equity? Eric Migicovsky Pebble Watch founder and Y Combinator partner Eric Migicovsky on how he found startup advisors, how his advisors helped Pebble, and how he compensated his advisors with equity. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7E-startup-advisor-equity
Hiring Tips From Pebble Watch Founder Eric Migicovsky Eric Migicovsky Pebble Founder and Y Combinator Partner Eric Migicovsky shares advice on qualities to look for when hiring for your employees. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7D-hiring-tips-from-pebble-watch-founder-eric-migicovsky
Founder Meetings (IS 2018) Dalton Caldwell YC Partner Dalton Caldwell speaks about how to make smart investing decisions for angel investors. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7C-founder-meetings-is-2018
Early Stage Investing: Past Present and Future (IS 2018) Andy Bromberg Andy Bromberg, Co-founder and President at CoinList, speaks about early stage investing: the past, present, and future. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7B-early-stage-investing-past-present-and-future-is-2018
How to Succeed Long-Term (SUS 2017) Ali Rowghani, Aaron Harris, Jess Lee Jess Lee (Partner at Sequoia Capital) and Aaron Harris (Partner at YC) discuss raising money as an early stage company, and how to think about the fundraising process. Ali Rowghani (CEO of YC Continuity) shares his thoughts on how to be a great leader and succeed long-term. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/7A-how-to-succeed-long-term-sus-2017
Overtime (IS 2018) II Ali Partovi, Geoff Ralston Ali Partovi speaks about his advice on angel investing. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/79-overtime-is-2018-ii
How to Get Users and Grow (SUS 2017) Alex Schultz Alex Schultz, VP of Growth at Facebook, shares with us how to get users, how to grow, and how to measure growth. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/78-how-to-get-users-and-grow-sus-2017
How to Invent the Future I (SUS 2017) Alan Kay One of the pioneers of personal computing, Alan Kay shares his story and how to think about building for the future. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/77-how-to-invent-the-future-i-sus-2017
How to Invent the Future II (SUS 2017) Alan Kay Alan Kay, one of the pioneers of personal computing, speaks about the history of the technology we know today. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/76-how-to-invent-the-future-ii-sus-2017
A Conversation With Aileen Lee (SUS 2018) Aileen Lee, Geoff Ralston YC Partner Geoff Ralston talks with Cowboy Ventures Founder Aileen Lee about her story and investment advice. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/75-a-conversation-with-aileen-lee-sus-2018
How to Measure (SUS 2017) Adam D’Angelo Sam Altman, former YC President, moderates a talk with Stewart Butterfield, founder and CEO of Slack, and Adam D’Angelo, founder and CEO of Quora as they give advice on the proces of getting an idea and tracking metrics for your company. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/74-how-to-measure-sus-2017
How to Build a Product II (SUS 2017) Aaron Levie Aaron Levie, CEO and Co-founder of Box talks about how to build an enterprise software company during Startup School 2017. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/73-how-to-build-a-product-ii-sus-2017
How to Be a Good Investor Aaron Harris YC Partner Aaron Harris shares his advice on how to be a good investor during Startup Investor School. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/72-how-to-be-a-good-investor
How to Get Meetings With Investors and Raise Money Aaron Harris YC Partner Aaron Harris gives advice on how to effectively and strategically meet with investors. He talks about figuring out when to get investor meetings, who to get meetings with, how to get investor meetings and then what to do when you’re there. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/71-how-to-get-meetings-with-investors-and-raise-money
Template Sales Agreement Carolynn Levy Y Combinator’s open-source Sales Template Agreement https://www.ycombinator.com/library/70-template-sales-agreement
Startup School Parting Advice Geoff Ralston YC President Geoff Ralston concludes Startup School this year with some parting advice, as founders continue on their journey to make something people want. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6u-startup-school-parting-advice
How to Lead Ali Rowghani To succeed in building a big company in the long-term, founders must become good at leading, motivating, and retaining great people. Ali Rowghani, YC Partner and CEO of the YC Continuity Fund, takes from his experience working with great leaders to share his three observations on leadership. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6s-how-to-lead
Building Culture Tim Brady YC Partner Tim Brady covers the importance of building a strong and coherent culture early and shares six things that you can do now to help you create a solid foundation for your startup. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6r-building-culture
Understanding SAFEs and Priced Equity Rounds Kirsty Nathoo YC Partner Kirsty Nathoo gives the lowdown on several different ways to capitalize your company and how those impact founder equity and cap tables overall. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6m-understanding-safes-and-priced-equity-rounds
How to Improve Conversion Rates Kevin Hale YC Partner Kevin Hale covers the first principles of conversion, one of the main drivers of growth for your startup, and how you can improve it starting with your landing page. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6l-how-to-improve-conversion-rates
Startup Pricing 101 Kevin Hale YC Partner Kevin Hale goes over the fundamentals of pricing and monetization, how it affects your customer acquisition strategy, and how to optimize it through a few rules of thumb. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6h-startup-pricing-101
Cory Doctorow on Adversarial Interoperability Cory Doctorow Founders shouldn’t start from scratch if they can avoid it. Cory Doctorow discusses adversarial interoperability, which is when you create a new product or service that plugs into the existing ones without the permission of the companies that make them. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6c-cory-doctorow-on-adversarial-interoperability
On Starting and Scaling Insight Data Science (YC W11) Jake Klamka Jake Klamka, founder & CEO of Insight Data Science, discusses his journey as a founder, on starting and scaling Insight, advice for those getting into data science and what the future holds for data scientists. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6b-on-starting-and-scaling-insight-data-science-yc-w11
On Starting and Scaling Lob Harry Zhang Harry Zhang, CEO & founder of Lob, talks about his journey as a founder, the genesis and evolution of Lob and lessons he’s learned along the way. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6a-on-starting-and-scaling-lob
Heads of Growth for Airbnb and Uber Discuss Scaling Growth Gustaf Alstromer, Ed Baker The former heads of growth for Airbnb and Uber share tips on growth experiments and team dynamics at a scaling company. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6Z-heads-of-growth-for-airbnb-and-uber-discuss-scaling-growth
How Much Should You Spend After Fundraising? Gustaf Alströmer Fundraising is just a means to an end. You should spend your money like you’ll never be able to raise again. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6Y-how-much-should-you-spend-after-fundraising
How to Build Your Board Glenn Kelman Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin, talks through how he built his board of directors, and shares lessons-learned. Topics include what you’re really looking for, drafting a job description, diversity, interviewing and more. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6X-how-to-build-your-board
Advice for Biotech Founders Elizabeth Iorns Answers to some common questions YC gets from founders in science and biotech. How to make significant short-term progress? What are the similarities and differences between software and biotech companies? Why apply to YC? And more. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6V-advice-for-biotech-founders
Expert SEO Tips & Advice Eli Schwartz The Director of SEO and Growth at SurveyMonkey covers why SEO is important for startups, how to get started and what are good and bad tactics. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6U-expert-seo-tips-advice
Advice From the High Growth Handbook, a Guide to Scaling Startups Elad Gil Elad Gill reviews observations of growth stage companies from his book, which includes discussion 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 https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6T-advice-from-the-high-growth-handbook-a-guide-to-scaling-startups
On Starting and Scaling Dropbox (YC W07) Drew Houston Drew Houston, co-founder & CEO of Dropbox (YC W07) talks about how he started Dropbox and went through YC after being rejected once and how has since grown it to over 500 million users today. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6S-on-starting-and-scaling-dropbox-yc-w07
How Pachama Uses Tech to Help Solve Climate Change Diego Saez Gil Diego Saez Gil is the founder of Pachama (YC W19). Pachama is building a marketplace where companies can support carbon offset projects. He discusses the genesis of the idea and how climate change is big business problem to work on. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6R-how-pachama-uses-tech-to-help-solve-climate-change
Diane Greene’s Advice for Founders Diane Greene Diane Greene has been the co-founder and CEO of three startups, including VMWare. She talks about lessons learned that has helped her along her founder journey. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6Q-diane-greene-s-advice-for-founders
On Starting and Scaling Intercom Des Traynor Des Treynor, co-founder of Intercom, discusses about how he started Intercom and got their first users via content marketing, how he’s changed roles since he co-founded Intercom, and bunch of lessons that he’s picked up along the way. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6P-on-starting-and-scaling-intercom
YC Application Advice From African Startups Dimeji Sofowora, Femi Kuti, Benjamin Ufaruna, Jesse Ghansah, Shola Akinlade YC founders from African startups share advice for founders applying to YC, including overcoming fear of applying, what YC looks for when selecting companies, what to do if you applied before, and more. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6O-yc-application-advice-from-african-startups
Vinod Khosla on How to Build the Future Vinod Khosla Vinod Khosla, founding CEO of Sun Microsystems and founder of Khosla Ventures, talks on the importance of hiring and picking the right people, being generous with early employee equity and his gripes with other investors. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6N-vinod-khosla-on-how-to-build-the-future
On Starting and Scaling Meesho Vidit Aatrey Vidit Aatrey is the cofounder and CEO of Meesho (YC S16), India’s Top Reselling Platform. He talks about how Meesho started and pivoted, how he thinks about building a business in India and how his role has changed. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6M-on-starting-and-scaling-meesho
On Starting and Scaling PlanGrid Tracy Young Tracy Young, CEO & co-founder of PlanGrid (YC W12), talks about her journey as a founder and lessons she’s learned from scaling PlanGrid to 400+ people. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6L-on-starting-and-scaling-plangrid
Simone Giertz on Her Robots and Returning to Work After Brain Surgery Simone Giertz Simone Giertz, a popular YouTube creator, talks about idea generation, how she decides what to work on, building a sustainable business as a creator, and how she manages her time. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6K-simone-giertz-on-her-robots-and-returning-to-work-after-brain-surgery
Gitlab’s Secret to Managing 160 Employees in 160 Locations Sid Sijbrandij Sid Sijbrandij talks about how GitLab (YC W15) has built a completely distributed company with 160 people (and growing). Sid’s biggest tip for success in scaling a distributed company: write everything down. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6J-gitlab-s-secret-to-managing-160-employees-in-160-locations
On Starting and Scaling Lever (YC S12) Sarah Nahm Sarah Nahm, CEO & co-founder of Lever, discusses her journey to becoming a founder, the decision to leave Google to build Lever, initial challenges of the startup and lessons learned along the way about hiring and diversity. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6I-on-starting-and-scaling-lever-yc-s12
Finding Product-Market Fit in the Education Industry Sarah Chou, Karen Lien Sarah Chou is the founder of Informed K12 (Imagine K12, S12), a company that automates business workflows for K-12 school districts. She shares the experience of finding product-market fit after an early pivot, plus her strategies for selling to K-12 schools and districts. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6H-finding-product-market-fit-in-the-education-industry
On Startup Launches Ryan Hoover, Dalton Caldwell Ryan Hoover, founder of ProdctHunt (YC S14), and Dalton Caldwell, YC partner, discuss lessons learned from thousands of startup launches. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6F-on-startup-launches
On Starting and Scaling Product Hunt Ryan Hoover Ryan Hoover, founder of ProdctHunt (YC S14), talks about his journey as a founder, applying to YC as a non-technical founder, the genesis of ProductHunt and its future post-acquisition. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6E-on-starting-and-scaling-product-hunt
Key Economic Concepts for Founders Russ Roberts Russ Roberts, professor in economics, shares the genesis and evolution of his very popular podcast – EconTalk, his mental models of startups and key economic concepts for founders. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6D-key-economic-concepts-for-founders
Starting a Startup After Business School Reham Fagiri, Kalam Dennis Reham Fagiri and Kalam Dennis of AptDeco (YC W14) talk about starting and scaling AptDeco, including their journey as founders, the genesis and evolution of their business idea, mistakes and lessons learned along the way. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6C-starting-a-startup-after-business-school
On Finding Product Market Fit at Segment (YC S11) Peter Reinhardt Peter Reinhardt talks about pivoting, the genesis of Segment and finding real product market fit – how you know it when you have it. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6B-on-finding-product-market-fit-at-segment-yc-s11
From Student Side Project to Startup Paul Dornier If you’re a student entrepreneur, turning a side project into a startup is one of the most important steps in your journey as a founder. Done well, this transition builds the determination and commitment that’s necessary to overcome the challenges of a startup that lie ahead. Done half-heartedly, the transition can be toxic for both the fledgling startup and the rest of your commitments. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6A-from-student-side-project-to-startup
On Starting and Scaling Gobble Ooshma Garg Ooshma Garg, the founder and CEO of dinner kit delivery service Gobble, details her company’s complicated years-long path to what might look from the outside like simple success, and described how building a startup is like a daily game of Snakes and Ladders that can take you two steps forward, and then two steps back. She also gave her best advice for other entrepreneurs. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/69-on-starting-and-scaling-gobble
Product and Design Process for Remote Teams Mike Knoop Mike Knoop, co-founder and head of product of Zapier, talks about how to jumpstart a saas ecosystem, the decision to go fully remote and how to manage a remote team. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/68-product-and-design-process-for-remote-teams
User You Don’t Want Michael Seibel Many startups will take every user they can get in the beginning. But this may cause all sorts of problems. Some of them will try to hijack your product to solve a problem you didn’t intend to solve. By and large, these hijackers are users you don’t want. Learn how to identify and avoid this. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/67-user-you-don-t-want
How to Cold Email Investors? Michael Seibel The best way to communicate with investors over cold email is simple: make it short. Your goal is to get a reply. Here are a few components to also include and consider to optimize for this. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/65-how-to-cold-email-investors
What Makes Great Founders Stand Out? Michael Seibel It’s a short list: Good communication. Great execution and being relentlessly resource creates formidability. And motivation. Here’s why. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/64-what-makes-great-founders-stand-out
Why Fundraising Is Different in Sillicon Valley? Michael Seibel Investors are not spread evenly around the world; they are concentrated in Sillicon Valley. Each has much more likely passed on a big deal and it will make them pause each time moving forward. This means there’s a different, more positive mentality to funding startups. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/63-why-fundraising-is-different-in-sillicon-valley
How to Build Product as a Small Startup Michael Seibel Founders tend to debate more than build and iterate and get stuck. Here’s a process to try to get product out of the door quickly. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/62-how-to-build-product-as-a-small-startup
Order of Operations for Starting a Startup Michael Seibel When and how should you start a startup? This guide can help you walk the path from nothing to a launched minimal viable product (MVP). https://www.ycombinator.com/library/61-order-of-operations-for-starting-a-startup
Why Should I Start a Startup? Michael Seibel Are you cut out to be a startup founder? Here are some questions to ask yourself: Do I like being the underdog? Do I seek the hard challenges that most people shy away from? Do I thrive when I take personal responsibility for success or failure? https://www.ycombinator.com/library/60-why-should-i-start-a-startup
The Real Product Market Fit Michael Seibel Founders often believe they’ve found product/market fit when they haven’t. This is a huge problem because they start hiring people, increasing burn, and optimizing their product before they’ve actually discovered what needs to be built. Here’s a way to understand when you’ve really found product/market fit. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5z-the-real-product-market-fit
Product Market Fit and Fundraising Michael Seibel Why does your company deserve more money? If you haven’t reached product market fit with your first round of funding, you shouldn’t expect to raise a second round of funding. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5y-product-market-fit-and-fundraising
On Starting and Scaling Second Measure (YC W15) Michael Babineau of Second Measure Michael Babineau, co-founder and CEO of Second Measure, discusses his journey as a founder, the genesis and evolution of Second Measure and lessons he’s learned along the way. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5w-on-starting-and-scaling-second-measure-yc-w15
On Starting and Scaling a B2B Marketplace Startup (Faire) Max Rhodes Max Rhodes, co-founder & CEO of Faire (YC W17), discusses the early days of Faire, scaling, fundraising and how to chose the right investors. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5v-on-starting-and-scaling-a-b2b-marketplace-startup-faire
Matt Cutts on Working at Google and Us Digital Service Matt Cutts Matt Cutts is the Administrator of the US Digital Service and previously the head of the webspam team at Google. He discusses the beginning of Google search, its evolution over time, and what developing software for government is like. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5u-matt-cutts-on-working-at-google-and-us-digital-service
Marques Brownlee on Building an Audience and Other Advice for Creators Marques Brownlee Marques Brownlee, a popular YouTuber, discuss his journey as a content creator, the evolution of his channel, and how he grew his subscriber base steadily. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5t-marques-brownlee-on-building-an-audience-and-other-advice-for-creators
On Starting and Scaling ZeroDown (YC W19) Laks Srini Laks Srini, co-founder and CTO of Zerodown and Zenefits, discusses the genesis and evolution of his real estate startup, lessons he’s learned along the way and the future of home ownership. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5r-on-starting-and-scaling-zerodown-yc-w19
Female Founders and Raising Money Kirsty Nathoo Three female founders share stories on how they raised money for their startups. They include tips and tricks that may help you. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5q-female-founders-and-raising-money
Creating Good Company Culture (And Sticking to It) Kathryn Minshew Kathryn Minshew, the co-founder of the job search and career advice platform The Muse, shares four key pieces of advice she’s learned as a founder so far, including being painfully honest about the state of your startup, how crucial it is to construct a positive company culture, and staying motivated by remembering your roots. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5p-creating-good-company-culture-and-sticking-to-it
On Starting and Scaling Cover (YC W16) Karn Saroya Karn Saroya, CEO & co-founder of Cover (YC W16), discusses his journey as a founder, the genesis and evolution of Cover and lessons he’s learned along the way. He also talks about the capital-light way to start an insurance business https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5o-on-starting-and-scaling-cover-yc-w16
Why You Should or Should Not Work at a Startup Justin Kan Justin Kan, co-founder of Twitch and former YC partner, discusses why you should, but also why you shouldn’t join a startup. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5n-why-you-should-or-should-not-work-at-a-startup
Scaling Product & Design at Airbnb Joe Gebbia Co-founder of Airbnb, Joe Gebbia, sits down with Reid Hoffman to talk about scaling the product for Airbnb, and how they thought about designing the full chain of the travel experience (not just the accommodations element). https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5m-scaling-product-design-at-airbnb
How Not to Fail Jessica Livingston Jessica Livingston has seen over 1000 companies go through YC and shares her learnings about what it takes to succeed as a founder. She emphasizes the importance of avoiding distraction and making something people want https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5l-how-not-to-fail
On Income Share Agreements and the Future of College Jeremy Rossmann of Make School Jeremy Rossmann of Make School, a college for computer science, talks about ISAs (Income Share Agreements) and the future of college. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5k-on-income-share-agreements-and-the-future-of-college
Jeff Dean on Building Intelligent Systems With Large Scale Deep Learning Jeff Dean Jeff Dean is a Google Senior Fellow in the Research Group, where he leads the Google Brain project. He discusses state of the art machine learning research, state of Tensorflow, real-world applications he’s excited about and more. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5j-jeff-dean-on-building-intelligent-systems-with-large-scale-deep-learning
On Starting and Scaling Feather (YC S17) Jay Reno Jay Reno, CEO & founder of Feather, talks about his journey as a founder, the genesis and evolution of Feather, scaling a company with physical products and lessons he’s learned along the way. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5i-on-starting-and-scaling-feather-yc-s17
From Software Engineer to Popular Youtuber Jarvis Johnson Jarvis Johnson describes his journey from getting into programming, switching from individual contributor to manager, to becoming a popular YouTube creator making tech videos. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5h-from-software-engineer-to-popular-youtuber
Work at a Startup Jared Friedman, Matt Long Work at a Startup and is a common application for engineers to apply to many YC companies simultaneously. Here are the learning running it. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5g-work-at-a-startup
On Starting and Scaling One of the Biggest iOS Apps David Lieb David Lieb, founder of Bump (YC S09) and now head of Google Photos, talks about his journey as a founder and how Bump became one of the biggest apps on the App Store. He also discusses the pivot from a contacts to photo app and his transition to scaling today’s biggest photo app, Google Photos. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5f-on-starting-and-scaling-one-of-the-biggest-ios-apps
Startup Advice for Potential Founders Daniel Gross Daniel Gross, former YC partner, gives general advice for people thinking about starting a startup, including career path to being a founder, how to get started and more. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5e-startup-advice-for-potential-founders
Advice on Organizing and Running Growth Teams Dan Hockenmaier Dan Hockenmaier, former head of growth for Thumbtack, discusses general strategies for growth and how to hire, manage and scale your growth team. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5d-advice-on-organizing-and-running-growth-teams
Some Thoughts on YC Application Dalton Caldwell Dalton Caldwell, head of YC admissions, answers a variety of common questions on the YC application and how to approach it. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5c-some-thoughts-on-yc-application
How Do You Convince Someone to Join Your Startup? Dalton Caldwell You must first convince yourself of your own idea. People can tell if you don’t believe in what you’re doing. Your confidence will flow out to others, including potential co-founders, employees and customers. How do you convince yourself? https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5b-how-do-you-convince-someone-to-join-your-startup
Consume Information That Encourages You to Do More Dalton Caldwell There is a lot of information out there geared towards aspiring founders. A lot of it is not good and discouraging. Here’s a way to consume the right information to help you build your future and startup. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5a-consume-information-that-encourages-you-to-do-more
Content Marketing Tips From Experts Craig Cannon, Sonal Choski, Camilla Ricketts Content experts discuss and debate their content strategies, including how they measure effectivness, how content connects with brand marketing, the use of podcasts and more. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5Z-content-marketing-tips-from-experts
Building an Inclusive Company Culture Claire McDonnell, Jennifer Kim Culture is a really nebulous concept. Learn why it makes sense to think about it at an early stage, and how to break this nebulous concept into more manageable kind of action items that early stage founders can put into place. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5X-building-an-inclusive-company-culture
On Starting and Scaling an Edtech Company in China Cindy Mi, Qi Lu Cindy Mi, CEO & founder of VIPKID, discusses her journey as a founder, including how the idea came to be, challenges to finding product market fit growing to becoming one of the biggest startups in China. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5W-on-starting-and-scaling-an-edtech-company-in-china
How Sketchdeck Went Back to Basics on Growth Chris Finneral Sketchdeck fell in the common trap of building too much for customer. Here’s how they put a stop to it and got back on track. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5V-how-sketchdeck-went-back-to-basics-on-growth
Monetizing Podcasts and Newsletters Chris Best, Jonathan Gill A discussion with founders of Substack (YC W18) and Backtracks on the current state of free versus paid content. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5U-monetizing-podcasts-and-newsletters
Sales Advice for Technical Founders Carol Luong You can have the best product, but if no one knows about it or understands the value, you won’t survive. Here are three easy ways to jumpstart your sales and build the momentum you need: how to identify and prioritize low hanging leads, how to get in front of these leads, and what a successful sales conversation looks like. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5T-sales-advice-for-technical-founders
On Managing Technical Teams as a First-Time Manager Camille Fournier Camille Fournier, ex CTO of Rent the Runway, discusses the challenges of transitioning from IC engineer to manager. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5S-on-managing-technical-teams-as-a-first-time-manager
On Starting and Scaling Hubspot Brian Halligan HubSpot builds software for marketing, sales, and customer service. Brian Halligan, CEO & founder, discusses the early days and challenges of Hubspot, and how he’s scaled it to a public company. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5R-on-starting-and-scaling-hubspot
On Starting and Scaling Boom (YC W16) Blake School Blake Scholl is founder and CEO of Boom Technology (YC W16). He discusses deciding to start a hard tech company, innovation in aviation, applying to YC, advice for hard tech companies and more. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5Q-on-starting-and-scaling-boom-yc-w16
What Shutting Down Your Startup Feels Like Avni Patel Thompson Avni Patel Thompson founded Poppy, which helped parents book the best caregivers, but had to shut down in 2018. She talks about what the process of shutting down was like. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5P-what-shutting-down-your-startup-feels-like
Building a Startup Is Not About Building a Product, It’s About Solving a Problem Avni Patel Thompson This is a story of how one founder struggled with her first startup but eventually discovered a problem many people had that was unsolved. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5O-building-a-startup-is-not-about-building-a-product-it-s-about-solving-a-problem
On Starting and Scaling Lambda School (YC S17) Austen Allred Lambda School provides a CS education that’s free until you get a job. Austen Allred, CEO & founder, discusses his journey as a founder, including how the idea formed, what he thinks about copycats and the decision to be remote. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5N-on-starting-and-scaling-lambda-school-yc-s17
How to Scale Growth Hacking Anu Hariharan, Gustaf Alstromer These are the do’s and dont’s of growth hacking, and when it’s time to create a growth team. Also, on the importance of tracking analytics and experimentation correctly. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5M-how-to-scale-growth-hacking
Metrics and Hiring for Your Growth Team Anu Hariharan, Gustaf Alstromer On the importance of retention as an important growth metric. And important qualities of your first growth hire include curiosity, low ego, creatvity, and more. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5L-metrics-and-hiring-for-your-growth-team
Network Effects Anu Hariharan What is a network effect and why is it valuable? What are examples of network effects? How do you know if your business has network effects? https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5K-network-effects
How to Create and Manage a Board, Part II Anu Hariharan More best practices in managing a board, including how to pick board members, how to think about independent board members, what board members actually do, and more https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5J-how-to-create-and-manage-a-board-part-ii
On Starting and Scaling a Healthcare Startup (23andMe) Anne Wojcicki Anne Wojcicki, co-founder & CEO of 23andMe, on why and how she started and grew 23andMe, including the best decisions she’s made and struggles of running a company in a regulated industry. She also covers the importance of thoughtful hiring, communication, and persistance. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5I-on-starting-and-scaling-a-healthcare-startup-23andme
Founder Coaching and Having Hard Conversations Amy Buechler A founder coach and former YC batch director goes over the most commons issues she helps founders, including difficult conversations co-founders need to have on roles and responsibilities, equity, runway and co-founder performance. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5H-founder-coaching-and-having-hard-conversations
On Raising Seed and Series A as a Female Founder Amber Atherton, Iba Masood Two female founders talk about their fundraising histories and what they’ve learned about the process. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5G-on-raising-seed-and-series-a-as-a-female-founder
People Management as a Founder Ali Rowghani Common mistakes growth stage founders make and recommendations for young people on how to improve their skills in people management and business. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5F-people-management-as-a-founder
Two Most Common Mistakes Growth Stage Founders Make Ali Rowghani Growth stage founders tend to make two mistakes: not recognizing the job description changes as you grow, and rushing and forcing hiring. This means they become bottlenecks. Know how identify and avoid. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5E-two-most-common-mistakes-growth-stage-founders-make
Fundraising Advice for Female Founders Aileen Lee Aileen Lee, founder of Cowboy Ventures, discusses strategies and tactics female founders should deploy when fundraising. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5D-fundraising-advice-for-female-founders
Tips on Company Formation and Fundraising Aaron Harris, Carolynn Levy, Jon Levy, Kirsty Nathoo YC partners talk about the key financial and legal basics that founders should keep in mind when establishing a startup and raising early funding rounds. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5C-tips-on-company-formation-and-fundraising
Fundraising and Meeting With Investors Aaron Harris Demystifying the basics of fundraising process, including how to email investors, what investor meetings are like, and how to pick your investors. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5B-fundraising-and-meeting-with-investors
How to Pick a Startup Adviser Aaron Harris Your job as a founder is to build a company not just get advice. Pick an advisor who gives nuanced advice, who’s seen the game multiple times, who you get along with. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5A-how-to-pick-a-startup-adviser
How to Use Responsive Images Yoav Givati Here’s an explanation of the responsive images spec so you can use these powerful HTML attributes on your site. You’ll also learn how to build your own responsive image workflow, with a code demo that distills our responsive image stack into a single file. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/57-how-to-use-responsive-images
Why the Best Companies and Developers Give Away Almost Everything They Do Yevgeniy (Jim) Brikman Why do so many software companies and developers give away so much of their work? Why would they invest thousands of hours and millions of dollars into a project and then release it for free to everyone, even their competitors? Is it really all about altruism? https://www.ycombinator.com/library/56-why-the-best-companies-and-developers-give-away-almost-everything-they-do
Agility Requires Safety Yevgeniy (Jim) Brikman For software, agility requires safety. There is a difference between making intelligent tradeoffs and throwing all caution to the wind and charging blindly ahead. You need safety mechanisms that ensure those changes cannot do too much damage in case something goes wrong. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/55-agility-requires-safety
How to Create an Employee Handbook Katie Evans-Reber, Steffi Wu Katie Evans-Reber and Steffi Wu of Gusto (YC W12) talk about the importance of creating an employee handbook and how to go about doing it. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/54-how-to-create-an-employee-handbook
How to Get Into NLP Vincent Chen What is NLP, why is it hard but useful and how can your startup leverage it? https://www.ycombinator.com/library/53-how-to-get-into-nlp
How to Get Into VR Vincent Chen An exploration of why it’s an exciting time to get into VR now–both for consumers and developers, how a wide range of interdisciplinary fields have pushed the technology forward, and concrete ways in which you can get started. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/52-how-to-get-into-vr
Learning Math for Machine Learning Vincent Chen Recommendations on the mathematical background necessary to build products or conduct academic research in machine learning. These suggestions are derived from conversations with machine learning engineers, researchers, and educators. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/51-learning-math-for-machine-learning
Vikrum Nijjar: Engineer #1 at Firebase and Founder of Gold Fig Labs (YC S19) Vikrum Nijjar Vikrum Nijjar joined as the first engineer at Firebase. He discusses his role – whatever it took to help the company succeed: scaling out infrastructure, shipping mobile SDKs, hosting 1-1 office hours with developers and even standing in as SRE for 24×7 hour shifts… for over a year. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/50-vikrum-nijjar-engineer-1-at-firebase-and-founder-of-gold-fig-labs-yc-s19
Advice Gusto Founder Gives Every Startup Founder Tomer London Tomer London, co-founder of Gusto, shares insights and lessons learned from his own startup journey, including your #1 priority after raising seed, always be recruiting, being opinionated, and more. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4z-advice-gusto-founder-gives-every-startup-founder
Founder Stories: Detroit Water Project’s Tiffani Ashley Bell Tiffani Ashley Bell The co-founder of the Detroit Water Project on creating a non-profit from scratch, coping with government bureaucracy, and how hearing a family’s toilet flush can make it all worthwhile. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4y-founder-stories-detroit-water-project-s-tiffani-ashley-bell
On Starting a Company From a Hackathon Project Tanay Tandon Athelas (YC S16) makes low cost devices that enables rapid blood diagnostics. Here’s the story of how Athelas began as a small hardware prototype at a YC Hackathon and grew into a real shippable product. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4x-on-starting-a-company-from-a-hackathon-project
Advice for International Founders Sondre Rasch Konsus (W16) joined Y Combinator via Norway. Here are lessons learned during the batch as an international founder. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4w-advice-for-international-founders
Best Practices for Managing a Remote Team Sid Sijbrandij, Wade Foster, Ian Tien YC founders who run fully-remote teams discu share useful playbooks as well and discuss how to manage a remote team, including what the right cadence of check-ins, ways to keep culture alive, and more. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4v-best-practices-for-managing-a-remote-team
Why Many On-Demand Platforms Fail Sam Madden Due to the extraordinary success of Uber there is a school of thought among the tech community that every service can be Uberized. However, when it comes to home and local services, the Uber model tends to break down. Here’s why. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4u-why-many-on-demand-platforms-fail
Startup Playbook Sam Altman To have a successful startup, you need: a great idea (including a great market), a great team, a great product, and great execution. This playblook distills the most generalizable parts of advice YC gives to its companies. A brief look into how to start and run a startup. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4t-startup-playbook
Navigating Success for Your Startup Sam Altman Different people accept different outcomes for their startup. It’s all a matter of what you want to do. If you want to shoot for the $B outcome, then perhaps fundraising from VCs is the right move. But if you don’t or what you have cannot get there, then sometimes it’s much better for you to not sell any of your equity. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4s-navigating-success-for-your-startup
YC and Hard Tech Startups Sam Altman YC wants to fund more hard tech companies. Here’s how YC most helps hard tech founders. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4r-yc-and-hard-tech-startups
Later Stage Advice for Startups Sam Altman There are many common issues founders face in later stages of their startups. Here’s a condensed list of what they are and how to get ahead of them sooner than later. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4q-later-stage-advice-for-startups
Before You Grow Sam Altman Startups are defined by growth, but growth isn’t step one in building a great company. If you focus on trying to grow before you make a product people love, you are unlikely to succeed. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4p-before-you-grow
Dilution Sam Altman Sometimes raising more money is not better. There’s a fine balance between how much of your company you give up – dilution – and how much money you need to grow the company. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4o-dilution
Am I Too Early or Too Late to Apply to YC? Sam Altman One of the most common misconceptions startups have about applying to Y Combinator is thinking that they are too early or too late. Here’s why this is unfounded. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4n-am-i-too-early-or-too-late-to-apply-to-yc
Enterprise Sales for Hackers Ryan Junee Many hackers-turned-founders understand that sales is an important and valuable skill, but shy away from doing it out of fear and uncertainty. But being a great enterprise salesperson requires the same skill set as being a great hacker. You just need to reframe how you think about sales. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4m-enterprise-sales-for-hackers
Advice for Job Seekers on Resumes and Reaching Out Ryan Choi To help job seekers, YC’s Ryan Choi spends a lot of time doing 1-1s and resume reviews. Here are his most common pieces of advice. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4l-advice-for-job-seekers-on-resumes-and-reaching-out
What Y Combinator Looks for in Nonprofits Robby Walker YC chooses nonprofits to fund based on four key factors: team, big problem + big solution, provable or promising program, and Y Combinator fit. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4k-what-y-combinator-looks-for-in-nonprofits
Startup HR: What’s Important? Renee Mars In the early stages of working on a startup, there is little time to spend on areas other than product development and talking to users. However, as you start to hire people and build a team, there are HR fundamentals worth investing in. Having basic HR practices in place can help your startup scale quickly and may eliminate unforeseen and often costly problems down the road. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4j-startup-hr-what-s-important
The YC Effect Oleg Rogynskyy As the founder of a startup that graduated from Y Combinator I’m often asked about my experience – particularly by other founders. Was it valuable? What did we get out of it? What did we learn? Y Combinator is about understanding the metrics you need to hit to grow and thrive, how to be laser-focused on your company’s goals and lots and lots of hard work. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4i-the-yc-effect
The Scientific Method for Startups Michael Seibel Executing a startup is a balance between creativity/intuition/instinct and the scientific method: hypothesize > a/b test > conclude > repeat. Here’s how this measurement and experimentation works. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4g-the-scientific-method-for-startups
Fundraising Is Not Milestones Michael Seibel Success isn’t the same as raising a round of financing. Quite the opposite: raising a round should be a byproduct of success. Using fundraising itself as a benchmark is dangerous. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4f-fundraising-is-not-milestones
Product Development Cycle Fundamentals Michael Seibel This is a guide to run your product development process. This will help you rapidly iterate, measure, test, and improve your product while fully engaging your team. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4e-product-development-cycle-fundamentals
A Letter to College Students Michael Seibel These are the decisions people commonly make during college that have the most negative effects on their ability to start a startup. Avoid them. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4d-a-letter-to-college-students
Getting Press for Your Startup Michael Seibel Treating PR like business development means developing relationships with reporters as people, getting introduced through warm connections instead of cold emails, and creating a fair value exchange. Here’s the process YC companies follow when they’re ready for press. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4c-getting-press-for-your-startup
How to Pitch Your Company Michael Seibel It is much easier to talk to an investor if they understand what your company does. As a founder you’ll have to pitch your startup countless times. To be effective, your pitch has to be clear and concise. Here is the pitch creation process condensed to answering seven questions. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4b-how-to-pitch-your-company
How to Email Investors Michael Seibel Simple yet effective tips on getting an investor’s attention over email. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4a-how-to-email-investors
How to Stay Best Friends With Your Co-Founders? Michael Seibel How do you manage being best friends and co-founders? How do you separate the personal from the professional? https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4Z-how-to-stay-best-friends-with-your-co-founders
How to Monetize a Freemium Business Melissa Tan, Abbie Kouzmanoff A step-by-step guide for monetizing your freemium business – covering user segmentation and targeting, monetization campaign set-up and best practices, and model optimization. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4Y-how-to-monetize-a-freemium-business
On Innovating in Email Mathilde Collin Front is a multiplayer version of Gmail. CEO & founder Mathilde Colin shares her thoughts on email that she would have wanted to know before she started, but had to learn the hard way. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4X-on-innovating-in-email
Hardware: How to Iterate Fast Luke Iseman How can hardware startups compete and move as fast in the software-centric startup world? In the earliest stages, nothing involving hardware product creation should take more than 3 days longer than software. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4W-hardware-how-to-iterate-fast
Going Global With Your Startup Kwindla Hultman Kramer If you’re thinking about going global, there are certain issues you should think about before making the jump, including hiring local, additional complexities across locales, work visas, and more. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4V-going-global-with-your-startup
Motivating Employees Without Fear Kevin Hale When there is fear amongst your employees, you have to get at the root of why they might think their future is uncertain. Here’s advice on how to expect results without it having a culture ruled by fear. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4U-motivating-employees-without-fear
How to Offer Stock Equity to Your Employees Joshua Reeves Joshua Reeves, co-founder & CEO of Gusto (YC W12), discusses what he went through when he made employee offers, including “standard terms” he disagrees with. He’s also created a public guide after he realized his experiences would help other entrepreneurs. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4S-how-to-offer-stock-equity-to-your-employees
How GetAccept Achieved 100% Uptime Jonas Blanck GetAccept (YC W16) shares months of research and work on configuring the perfect hosting environment for their SaaS application. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4R-how-getaccept-achieved-100-uptime
A Standard and Clean Series a Term Sheet Jason Kwon, Aaron Harris YC has invested in so many founders over the years and have seen hundreds of Series A term sheets, and knows what good terms look like. This is what a Series A term sheet looks like with standard and clean terms from a good Silicon Valley VC. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4P-a-standard-and-clean-series-a-term-sheet
Raising Money Online Advice for Startups Jared Friedman Fundraising websites like AngelList, FundersClub and Wefunder are legitimate options for startups to raise money. But it is important to understand them well before signing on to use them. This summarizes the evolution of this way to raise funds and provides perspective on their pros and cons. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4O-raising-money-online-advice-for-startups
How to Balance Focus on One Customer at a Time Versus New Features for Many? Kevin Hale Should we spend our time making one individual customer more happy, or build new features that will have benefits over the long term? The tradeoff is tricky, here’s how to think about it. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4N-how-to-balance-focus-on-one-customer-at-a-time-versus-new-features-for-many
The Wizard of Oz Approach Jared Friedman Sometimes building the product you want involves a huge upfront technical investment. Here’s a way to figure out whether you should spend the time doing that. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4M-the-wizard-of-oz-approach
How Biotech Startup Funding Will Change in the Next 10 Years Jared Friedman The landscape of funding for biotech startups is changing. What happened for software companies 10 years is happening today. Here’s why more people will be able to start biotech companies moving forward. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4L-how-biotech-startup-funding-will-change-in-the-next-10-years
From Intern #1 to YC Founder Jack Forbes Jack Forbes shares his experiences moonlighting as an intern at HigherMe (YC W15), playing soccer with YC founders & partners, and what drove him to start a YC company – even after being rejected. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4K-from-intern-1-to-yc-founder
How to Know When Products Actually Use AI Ivan Novikov Artificial Intelligence has become a buzzword. Here you will learn how to distinguish between a service provider that is truly using artificial intelligence in their product – and has enough big data that it helps them form such technology – from those that are simply using the allure of the term AI to attract new customers. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4J-how-to-know-when-products-actually-use-ai
Advice for Gaming Startups Holly Liu Holly Liu, co-founder of Kabam, discusses the ins and outs of working in gaming, how think about the market and strategies to succeed. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4I-advice-for-gaming-startups
How to Hire Your First Engineer Harj Taggar Advice for early stage startup founders who are hiring their first engineer. At this stage traditional recruiting methods e.g. hiring a recruiter won’t work as well for you as they do for larger companies. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4H-how-to-hire-your-first-engineer
Convincing Engineers to Join Your Team Harj Taggar Once you’ve found an engineer you want to hire, the final step is presenting them an offer to join your team and convincing them to accept it. This is advice for increasing the percentage of the offers you make that are accepted. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4G-convincing-engineers-to-join-your-team
Five Ways Non-Profits Can Think Like Startups Grace Garey, Jessica Livingston YC non-profit founders discuss their experiences building 501(c)(3) organizations with a startup mindset. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4F-five-ways-non-profits-can-think-like-startups
Founder Stories: Grace Garey, Founder of Watsi (YC W13) Grace Garey Grace Garey discusses how she met her co-founder, how Watsi began and advice she has for people going into non-profits. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4E-founder-stories-grace-garey-founder-of-watsi-yc-w13
On the History and Potential of CRISPR and Gene Drive Geoff Ralston Before CRISPR, genetic engineering was slow, expensive, and inaccurate. With CRISPR, genome editing is cheap, accurate, and repeatable. This is a non-technical discussion on the story and potential of CRISPR and Gene Drive, a biological technique which, when used with CRISPR, gives even greater power to genetic engineers. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4C-on-the-history-and-potential-of-crispr-and-gene-drive
Transparency in Startup Investing Geoff Ralston When you raise a round with many investors, it is hard for the investors to keep track. Here is a proposal to make this better by sending all investors a concise summary of what has happened in the deal, along with all the documents needing their signature. A template is provided. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/4B-transparency-in-startup-investing
A Guide to YC Demo Day Presentations Geoff Ralston Y Combinator has helped over 1000 companies with their presentations. This guide summarizes what we’ve learned and describes how to create an effective demo day presentation. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/49-a-guide-to-yc-demo-day-presentations
Mistakes First-Time Founders Make Fred Stevens-Smith, Lyal Avery, Erica Brescia, Oleg Rogynskyy, Corry Flatt, Ravi Parikh First-time YC founders discuss things they wished they would’ve known before they started. In particular, how did they learn of the mistake and how it impacted them once they fixed it. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/48-mistakes-first-time-founders-make
Product Advice for Hardware Founders Eric Migicovsky Pebble founder talks about how to start a hardware startup, including lessons learned, tricks to launch and iterate fast, and fundraising. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/47-product-advice-for-hardware-founders
Making Culture a Tangile Metric Eric Blondeel, Moufeed Kaddoura Investing time in building culture doesn’t pay off in the short term, so it’s often discounted. But how many times have you been to a startup event where the speaker said “as a startup CEO/Founder, your number one job is to define culture.” Well, what exactly does that really mean? https://www.ycombinator.com/library/46-making-culture-a-tangile-metric
How to Get Started With App Store Optimization Eli Schwartz Mobile SEO is essentially the same as desktop SEO, with the additional challenge of required higher search rankings because of truncated mobile search results. Keyword usage and placement is just as necessary in mobile as in desktop, and search engine rankings are driven by the relevancy of content as they relate to user’s search query. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/45-how-to-get-started-with-app-store-optimization
The Basics of SEO Eli Schwartz Valuable content alone is not enough to guarantee strong rankings if the best practices that help with search engine discovery are not followed. These are the four must-haves to realize the potential of free search engine traffic on your website. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/44-the-basics-of-seo
Marketing Strategies for Asia Eli Schwartz Tips for companies that are expanding their marketing into Asia, including consideration of dialects, different payment methods, android-first mentality, and more. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/43-marketing-strategies-for-asia
Domain Extensions for Your International Audience Eli Schwartz When expanding internationally, there are pros and cons to using country-code top-level domain (ccTLD). Here an SEO expert recommends following Google’s path. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/42-domain-extensions-for-your-international-audience
Tools for Practical Design Dominika Blackappl In an early stage startup design serves one purpose: helping you understand your users. To that end, design encompasses more than logos and layouts, it also means user observation, messaging, MVP specs, concise pitches, and more. Here are a set of tools to demystify design and help founders improve their user understanding. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/41-tools-for-practical-design
The Art of Shipping Early and Often David Mack When you’re going through Y Combinator, one piece of advice you receive is to “ship early” — to launch well before you think you’re ready. Here’s how to make it a habit. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/40-the-art-of-shipping-early-and-often
Engineer #2 at Clearbrain (YC W18) Cynthia Rogers Learn how Cynthia Rogers landed at ClearBrain (YC W18) as the second eng hire, and found exactly what she wanted: a great mentor/manager, a strong technical team, and challenging work to keep her learning (but not overwhelmed). https://www.ycombinator.com/library/3z-engineer-2-at-clearbrain-yc-w18
How Scientists Can Thrive in the Startup World Colleen Taylor Insights and lessons learned from several founders from this new breed of science-oriented startups on how to navigate the path between academia and Silicon Valley. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/3y-how-scientists-can-thrive-in-the-startup-world
Hidden Forces Behind Toutiao: China’s Content King Anu Hariharan Toutiao, a news aggregator, has quickly become one of the top apps in China. Learn how it grew into its popularity and why users use it everyday more often than any other daily app. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/3x-hidden-forces-behind-toutiao-china-s-content-king
How to Create and Manage a Board Anu Hariharan Best practices in creating and managing a board, including how to create board decks, preparing and running board meetings and overcoming board issues. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/3w-how-to-create-and-manage-a-board
How to Build an oEmbed Integration for Your Startup Alex Krupp Embeds have become increasingly important for growth given the current state of the web. Explore why and we’ll dive into how to actually implement this for your own startup. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/3v-how-to-build-an-oembed-integration-for-your-startup
Different Types of Investors and Their Incentives Aaron Harris A broad breakdown of the incentives that drive the major types of startup investors. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/3u-different-types-of-investors-and-their-incentives
How WeChat Grew to Be the #1 App in the World Anu Hariharan Deep dive into the growth strategy that led to key WeChat milestones, lessons learned and insights into the method behind the madness as WeChat scaled from over a billion users. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/3t-how-wechat-grew-to-be-the-1-app-in-the-world
Founder Stories: Ambika Bumb, Founder of Bikanta (YC S14) Ambika Bumb Going from academia to startup is a more common path today. Here how one biotech YC founder did it. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/3l-founder-stories-ambika-bumb-founder-of-bikanta-yc-s14
What’s the Second Job of a Startup CEO? Ali Rowghani A CEO’s first job is to build a product users love; the second job is to build a company to maximize the opportunity that the product has surfaced. The future of your startup depends on how you transition from Phase 1 to Phase 2. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/3k-what-s-the-second-job-of-a-startup-ceo
How Do You Measure Leadership? Ali Rowghani Measuring leadership through bottom-line company performance also fails to provide any clues as to how someone can improve as a leader. So is there a better way? https://www.ycombinator.com/library/3j-how-do-you-measure-leadership
How to Find a Technical Co-Founder Adora Cheung Having a technical co-founder is important. There are a few methods you can try to find one for your startup. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/3i-how-to-find-a-technical-co-founder
Series A Diligence Checklist Aaron Harris, Jason Kwon This checklist includes all the pieces of information you’ll need to have ready once you sign a term sheet. Having all of this together in one place (a data room) before you sign a term sheet will cut as much as a week off of your closing process. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/3h-series-a-diligence-checklist
The Cost of Preemptive Deals Aaron Harris, Janelle Tam Preemptive offers were generally more or less dilutive than process driven rounds. Investors that make preemptive offers are capitalizing on two different founder incentives: risk and work premiums. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/3g-the-cost-of-preemptive-deals
The Delicate Balance of B2B Sales Aaron Harris, Brian Trautschold How startups selling to businesses have to balance between catering to their early customers and not becoming a consultancy. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/3f-the-delicate-balance-of-b2b-sales
Thoughts on Insurance Aaron Harris The insurance industry is very complex and rife with opportunity. Here we explore the main problems, opportunities and misconceptions. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/3e-thoughts-on-insurance
Fooled by Experts Aaron Harris Experts are generally right until they’re wrong. Unfortunately, it’s very easy to get fooled into thinking that experts are always right. How do we avoid this? https://www.ycombinator.com/library/3d-fooled-by-experts
Ignoring the Wiggles Aaron Harris Good and bad things happen at startups every day. We’re conditioned to react to the things in front of us. How does one not get overly influenced by something in the scheme of things is small? https://www.ycombinator.com/library/3c-ignoring-the-wiggles
Advice on Pitching Aaron Harris Here are the main points of feedback Y Combinator tends to give to teams during Demo Day pitch practice. This advice works for almost any kind of presentation you might give. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/3b-advice-on-pitching
“Angels,” Angels, and VCs Aaron Harris Many early stage investors call themselves “angel investors” but within this are many types with varying degrees of effectivness and control of their funds. Every founder should be aware of what kind of angel investor they are before accepting money from them. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/3a-angels-angels-and-vcs
Advice for Companies With Less Than 1 Year of Runway Dalton Caldwell Having low runaway is a tricky spot to be in. Many founders delude themselves into thinking they can raise more money to get out of it. Here we discuss why this is bad and other counter-productive ideas founders have. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/3Z-advice-for-companies-with-less-than-1-year-of-runway
How to Cope With Founder Depression Aaron Harris All founders go through rough times. Don’t bottle things up. Seek professional help. And be there for fellow founders. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/3Y-how-to-cope-with-founder-depression
Why VCs Push Companies to Burn Too Fast Aaron Harris VC incentives can become misaligned around questions of cash burn because of uncertainty and time. Here’s a deep dive into why this happens and how founders should respond. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/3X-why-vcs-push-companies-to-burn-too-fast
What to Do With Too Much Advice? Aaron Harris Getting too much advice can be bad. The key is to pick a single expert and make that person the one you consult, make that the person to whom you look to for advice and counsel. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/3W-what-to-do-with-too-much-advice
Toy Markets Aaron Harris Founders often talk themselves out of building new things because they can’t quite figure out the answer to “How big could this get?” But many of the largest companies in the world started in markets so small they looked like toys. Over time, each of these companies grew their markets or created new ones to dominate. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/3V-toy-markets
Why Build Toys? Aaron Harris Some of the biggest technology companies look like toys in the beginning versus actual businesses. When and how does this happen? https://www.ycombinator.com/library/3U-why-build-toys
How Much to Customize for a Customer? Aaron Harris When early customers ask you for many different things, how do you figure out what to build and not? The goal is to find a level of customization that makes as many customers as possible happy while not incurring support costs that would kill your company. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/3T-how-much-to-customize-for-a-customer
When to Shut Down a Startup Aaron Harris Sometimes the right thing to do is shut down your company. It’s a hard and painful decision. Here’s how to think about this process and whether it’s the right answer for you. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/3S-when-to-shut-down-a-startup
What Founder Friendly Actually Means Aaron Harris Lots of VCs talk about being “founder friendly.” What does this really mean? https://www.ycombinator.com/library/3R-what-founder-friendly-actually-means
When to Raise a Series A Aaron Harris One of the hardest questions to answer when considering a series A is “when is my company ready?” There are many variables to consider, and here’s a framework of how to think about it. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/3Q-when-to-raise-a-series-a
How to Optimize Your Fundraising Round Aaron Harris Important factors for getting a good deal include price, investor, dilution, amount raised and speed. Here are ways to think about getting the right deal for your startup and closing it. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/3P-how-to-optimize-your-fundraising-round
Why Big Deals Are Bad for Startups Aaron Harris Founders often trick themselves into chasing big deals. While it may seem like the right thing to do, we dig into how and why big deals can kill startups. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/3O-why-big-deals-are-bad-for-startups
Process and Leverage in Fundraising Aaron Harris Running a proper process when fundraising is essential. Here’s how to do it and when and where to use leverage while fundraising. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/3N-process-and-leverage-in-fundraising
Pinduoduo and the Rise of Social E-Commerce Anu Hariharan, Nic Dardenne The success of Pinduoduo in China suggests there is a huge opportunity for social commerce platforms to emerge in other regions. Learn how it grew so quickly by creating a new category in social shoppping. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/2z-pinduoduo-and-the-rise-of-social-e-commerce
A Guide to Preemptive Funding Offers Aaron Harris Preemptive funding offers are when an investor offers a founder money before that founder is ready to run a proper fundraising process. There are several ways founders can avoid suboptimal outcomes. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/2t-a-guide-to-preemptive-funding-offers
Advice for New Managers Aaron Epstein One of the most difficult things about starting a company is that you have to create both a product that people love and a company where people want to work at the same time. Here’s advice for those just beginning to grow and manage a team. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/2s-advice-for-new-managers
How to Find a Co-Founder in College Aaron Harris College is one of the best times and places to find a co-founder. This isn’t easy or fast to figure out, but you can leverage a set of principles to increase your chances of success. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/2r-how-to-find-a-co-founder-in-college
How to create and market a podcast Craig Cannon Craig Cannon, creator of the popular YC podcast, discusses how to start podcast, manage content and guests, and distrbiute the podcast. https://www.ycombinator.com/library/5Y-how-to-create-and-market-a-podcast