E421: Y Combinator’s Paul Graham sits down with Jason at LAUNCH Festival 2014




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about this episode

“It’s Sam’s show now.” After 9 years and over 500 startups, Y Combinator cofounder Paul Graham is stepping back as president.  In his fireside chat at LAUNCH Festival, PG told Jason why he’s handing the reigns to Sam Altman, entrepreneur from YC’s first batch. That summer in Boston, Sam was joined by Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman of Reddit, Justin Kan and Emmett Shear who later founded Twitch.tv, and more.

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  • Is that Seth Godin taking a seat down front at the very beginning?

    Great interview, J. I can see the qualities that you mention in the opening. I think his outlook on co-founders is interesting, but maybe he hasn’t come to the best conclusion based upon his experience. I’d love to see Graham and Suster talk at length about that topic.

  • I like these invisible ink comments ;-)

  • This was my favourite section:

    “Start with a small intense fire. With the Apple I, all they had to do was find 500 people to buy these computers, and they launched Apple. It’s impossible to make something that a large number of people want a lot. Find a small number of people who want your product a LOT. That’s how these giant things get started: know who these first few users are. Focus entirely on them, and make them super happy. Act like a consultant: pretend you’ve been hired by these first users, all you have to do is make them happy. That’s the test: not if your friends that say ‘Oh yeah, that’s good I’d use that.’ People have to be bummed if you stop working on it.” – Paul Graham