Paul Graham’s Office Hours

Wow. Sometimes you watch a video and you are blown away. I’m in the startup space now and everything I’ve read about Y Combinator suggest that they are leading the way for startups and innovation. Watch this video.

Paul Graham, one of the founders of Y Combinator has a candid 6 minute session with 5 startups randomly chosen from a pool at Techcrunch Disrupt. Here he assesses and evaluates startups on the fly, based on his years of experience and intuition.

Any startup or business will get valuable advice from this video. Here he defines the product, the target market, when to monetise (now!), if they should pivot, etc.. The most valuable advice I got was to focus on a niche customer group, that hardcore group that will use your service the most and leverage that.

Here is the blurb from Y Combinator’s blog.

“In 2005, Y Combinator developed a new model of startup funding. Twice a year we invest a small amount of money (average $18k) in a large number of startups (currently 60). The startups move to Silicon Valley for 3 months, during which we work intensively with them to get the company into the best possible shape and refine their pitch to investors…

Since 2005 we’ve funded over 300 startups, including Loopt, Reddit, Clustrix, Wufoo, Scribd, Xobni, Weebly, Songkick, Disqus, Dropbox, ZumoDrive,, Heroku, Posterous, Airbnb, Heyzap, Cloudkick, DailyBooth, WePay, and Bump.”

Y Combinator also funded, an Australian startup. It was the first Aussie startup to get through the program. In fact, I’m using them now to buy a flight!

I’m out like Office Hours,

Matt Ho.

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